Some of our past Young Restaurateur winners and finalists share their top tips for the applying;
- Allow plenty of time
The application form is your chance to make an impression on some of the industry’s most influential people, so don’t leave it to the last minute.
- Do a draft
Don’t try to complete the application in one go. Write a first draft, mull it over and chat to your friends and colleagues about your answers. “Go back to it in a week and reflect on what you wrote,” says Bianca Welsh, Young Restaurateur 2013 National Finalist.
- Be concise
Your business is your baby, so it’s easy to get carried away on your application form. It’s important to be clear and concise when explaining your vision for your business. “You need to represent the right balance of creativity, passion and entrepreneurial skill,” says Julia Paussa, Coast Restaurant
- Show your personality
The application form should help the judges get a feel for you as a person and as a restaurateur, so don’t just write what you think they want to read. “Make sure you and your company have a clear vision. The judges want to know how you started, maintained and progressed your restaurant. But they also want to know who you are, what dives you and your passion for the industry.” Says Troy Rhoades-Brown, Muse Restaurant & Muse Kitchen
- Use spell check
Spelling errors and bad grammar look sloppy, so make sure you check your application form thoroughly. Get someone else to read it, too. Chances are, if they don’t know what you’re talking about, neither will our judges.
- Be confident
If you make it to the national finals, you’ll be interviewed by our judging panel of top restaurateurs. “Don’t be nervous. Remember, you’re an expert on the subject of your own business,” says Julia Paussa.
- Ask questions
Appetite for Excellence puts you in touch with the industry’s key players, producers and like-minded peers, so make the most of it! Network, ask questions and share ideas and experiences. “This is a fantastic opportunity to get advice from some of the greatest restaurateurs in Australia,” says Julia Paussa.
- Go on the produce tour
National finalists from all three categories go on a five-day tour of an Australian food and wine region. Taking time out from your business is tough, but you’ll get to meet and learn from passionate farmers, producers, harvesters and winemakers. “Definitely make time to go on the produce tour,” recommends Clint Hillery.
- Learn, collaborate, discover
You get out of it what you put in, but most importantly it’s about giving support and recognition to those whose career and profession is in hospitality. As James Viles says, “Appetite for Excellence, a program meaning exactly that. It’s a wonderful initiative that not only gave me more confidence in what I do, but more importantly allowed me to learn, discover, collaborate, teach and push boundaries with a collective, a bunch of people”.
Don’t forget to check in with the judges tips as well. Applications close at 11:59pm on Sunday 12 April