Young Restaurateur


Australia’s only award recognising and mentoring young gun hospitality restaurateurs

27 March 2020: In light of the unprecedented and uncertain times that the hospitality industry is currently experiencing due to the impacts of the covid-19 virus we have made the difficult but necessary decision to hit pause on the 2020 Appetite for Excellence awards. As our industry navigates unchartered waters we feel that the best way to support our community of judges, and young chefs, waiters and restaurateurs, is to allow them to focus their full attention and energy on their businesses and livelihoods over the coming months. Stay tuned though as WE WILL BE BACK IN 2021. 

This award celebrates the dynamic people and teams leading the new wave of exciting, ground-breaking Australian restaurants.

Being a restaurateur is not just about running a restaurant, it’s about running a successful business. Each of our judges understand this and bring a unique and diverse business acumen to the panel. They also recognise that a successful business isn’t always the result of one person but of a team that bring complementary skills to the table.


Restaurateurs chosen to represent the business must meet the following criteria to be eligible to enter:

  • Are over 18 years of age on the application deadline date 
  • Are aged 36 years of age or under on the awards event date
  • Have owned your business under the same name for a minimum of two (2) years on the application deadline date 
  • Have an establishment that holds a liquor licence
  • Hold an equal or majority share in the business
  • Work full time within the business
  • Are not a hospitality trainer/teacher on a casual, part time or full time basis
  • Are an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident


young RESTAURATEUR 2021 prize

  • Return overseas flights 
  • Opportunity to experience a stagiaire at a world renowned restaurant
  • $2500 to help with overseas accommodation, travel and expenses
  • Money-can’t-buy PR and media recognition


Entry is via submission of a completed online application form and payment of the $55 entry fee by the deadline.


The judges assess all eligible applications and select a shortlist of the strongest applications and these restaurateurs will be named the 2021 Young Restaurateur National Finalists and be invited to Sydney for judging.

The Young Restaurateur finalists will represent a restaurant business that demonstrates a clear vision, strong leadership, forward thinking, innovation and strong community engagement among the business leaders and business ethos.

For the purposes of judging, if a restaurant has more than one owner with equal equity working full time within the business, one owner will be chosen to represent the business at the judging, however the Young Restaurateur award will recognise the business as a whole by naming all owners, key team members and the business as the overall winner. 

Over the course of two days the selected young restaurateurs will participate in masterclasses & workshops and individual interviews. At the conclusion of the two days, the judges will decide on the Young Restaurateur winner. The winner will be announced an invitation-only awards event in Sydney attended by Australia’s leading chefs and restaurateurs, media and program partners. 

2021 DATES

  • To be confirmed

THE 2021 young RESTAURATEUR national finalists will ENJOY:

The Appetite for Excellence Young Restaurateur 2021 finalists will be offered the opportunity to join the Young Chef & Waiter 2021 finalists on an all-expenses paid regional produce tour to one of Australia’s leading food destinations where they will meet, and learn from some of Australia’s world renowned dairy, seafood, meat, horticultural and viticultural producers. It is not compulsory for the Young Restaurateur finalists to attend the produce but we highly recommended they try to do so. This prize is made possible with the support of our valued partners such as PorkStar, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and Rare Medium.

THE 2021 young RESTAURATEUR will wIn:

  • A return overseas flights 
  • Opportunity to experience a stagiaire at a world renowned restaurant
  • $2500 to assist with travel and accommodation expenses
  • Money-can’t-buy PR and media recognition