about restaurateur

 Appetite for excellence is Australia’s only national hospitality awards program that recognises and awards talented restaurateurs, waiters and chefs who are the next generation of industry leaders. the program aims to inspire young culinary talent by providing money-can’t-buy educational opportunities, unique experiences and enviable prizes, with the ultimate objective of creating a sustainable industry for young professionals and the industry alike.

curious to know what happens when you become part of the young restaurateur appetite for excellence program and how you’ll be assessed to become young restaurateur of the year? we’ve put together some info for you about each stage below.


applications are now closed

apply: 11-Jan to 10-Apr-16

young restaurateurs who meet the entry requirements submit their application by Thursday 31-Mar-16. the judging panel will select the three (3) to five (5) young restaurateurs they would like to invite to the next round of interviews (national finalists). Find out what the judges are looking for and some tips from past restaurateurs below

young restaurateurs can enter who;

  • are 35 years of age or under as at Tuesday 09-Aug-16 – applicants must be over 18
  • have owned your business under the same name for a minimum of two (2) years as at Tuesday 09 August 2016
  • have an establishment that holds a liquor licence
  • work full time within your business
  • are not a hospitality trainer/teacher on a casual, part time or full time basis
  • are an Australian Citizen or permanent resident


tuesday 03-May-16

once the judges decisions are in, we will be in contact with you on this day to let you know of their national finalists selection


national judging part 1: additional questions 

young restaurateur national finalists will be sent further questions by the panel as a group to learn more about each restaurateur and their business

produce tour: 03 to 10-Jul-16 (optional – but recommended)

restaurateur national finalists are invited to attend the produce tour at their discretion. the young chef and waiter national finalists are required to participate in an all-expenses paid produce tour of one of Australia’s leading food and wine region to meet and learn from some Australia’s world renowned dairy, seafood, meat, horticulture and viticulture producers. this is made possible with support from partners such as Porkstar, Dairy Australia, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation. We understand that it might be difficult for young restaurateurs to be away from their businesses for long periods of time. Therefore, the restaurateur national finalists are given the option of attending the tour which is a valuable part of networking


national judging part 2: 07-Aug-16

young restaurateur national finalists will be flown to Sydney (if outside NSW) where they will participate in individual interviews with the judging panel.

event dinner: 07-Aug-16

all of the young restaurateur national finalists will be invited as guests to a pop up dinner organised by Appetite for Excellence where the spotlight shines on the young talent unearthed this year. working as a collaborative group, they will be joined by the young waiters and chefs.

restaurateurs gathering: 08-Aug-16


we are holding a Young Restaurateurs Gathering in Sydney on the same day as the awards night. It will be a hosted 4 hour event for our past and present young restaurateurs to have an open forum discussion about business challenges/issues to find solutions as a group. It will also be an opportunity to network with other like-minded individuals who are facing many similar issues as you.

awards announcement: 08-Aug-16

The Australian Young Restaurateur of the Year 2016 will be announced at a star studded event to be held in Sydney on the 8th August 2016. attended by 350 industry heavyweights; appetite for excellence alumni; local & national media, our partners and their guests, the awards event is designed to showcase the talents of all our national finalists as well as announcing the other two categories young chef and young waiter of the year.


prize trip: 2017 dates TBC

The Electrolux Australian Young Restaurateur 2016 national winner travels to attend either “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards” 2017 or “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2017. 



if you aren’t sure if it’s for you, take a look at some reasons about how we might be able to help you.  if you’ve never done something like this before,  it might help to know that we don’t think of ourselves as a competition – more like a scholarship – and a friendly one! we think the best thing to do is to chat with one of our past young restaurateurs face to face but if that seems daunting, then there is some advice and tips we have gathered from some of them ….check 10 top tips from our young restaurateurs.

if you would like to chat with one of our past young restaurateurs, check out whose been involved to see if you know someone to talk to; or, better yet, contact Phee or Lyndsey in the office let them know what state you live in and they can put you in contact with one of the alumni.


utlimately the programme is here to provide a helping hand to young talent. Our judges have some tips on what they are looking for in your application. Being a restaurateur is not just about running a restaurant, it’s about running a business. Each of our judges understand this and bring a unique and diverse business acumen to the panel. Understanding that each restaurant has an individual viewpoint and vision, the panel wanted to give some inside tips about what they are looking for in your application.

the panel are looking for the following in your business profile;

  • Your vision
  • Forward thinking
  • Innovation
  • Leadership
  • How you are active in your community


for the application video, it only needs to be 1 – 2 minute taken via your phone explaining what inspires and/or excites you about your business(s). Don’t worry, it’s not to be shared with anyone outside of the panel & it only needs to be taken on your phone. It’s pretty simple upload done in the online application form – no larger than 20MB



check out our FAQ’s here or give the office a call – we are always happy to help!

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