The Bedfordshire Food and Drink Award Entries will open in 2017.
- Best Butchers Shop
- Best Artisan Bakery
- Best Fine Dining Restaurant
- Independent Restaurant of the Year
- Restaurant of the Year
- Best Farmers Market Stall
- Outstanding Service Excellence
- Pub of the Year – Free House
- Pub of the Year
- Best Newcomer
- Best Tea/Coffee Shop – Independent
- Best Tea/Coffee Shop
- Independent Retailer/Producer of the Year
- Craft Beer of the Year
Best Butchers Shop
We are looking for you to nominate and vote for champions of the meat trade. They offer top quality local meat and unbeatable customer service. Their meat can be traced to a local farm, where it will have been kept to the highest standards of care, including being well kept and fed naturally. Staff at the winning business will know how to prepare the choicest cuts and be able to advise customers on what is best for them. Once you’ve tasted their meat, you won’t want to eat produce from anywhere else.
Best Artisan Bakery
Never the run of the flour mill, the winning business in this category will offer the tastiest breads and most imaginative bakery products. Quality is key, with immaculate preparation in tip-top surroundings. No short cuts are allowed in this born and bread business!
Best Fine Dining Restaurant
Fine dining comes at a premium price but customers won’t mind busting their budgets for the fabulous food, superb service on life’s most special occasions. Diners will not hesitate in travelling many miles to experience the beautiful surroundings, delicious décor and best quality service. To qualify for the fine dining accolade the cost of the meal should be more than £60 per person, not including wine.
Independent Restaurant of the Year
By independent we mean not owned by a chain. We have another category for chains and franchises. In every sense they will be a one-off, perhaps a family owned business. They do everything right; from the moment the customer makes contact to when they leave with a smile on their face. The exciting dining experience is be made unforgettable by the quality of the food, of course, but also by the care and attention paid by staff and immaculate surroundings. The winners will use fresh, local ingredients to create original, inventive and creative menus. All in all, the winners will provide an exceptional all-round dining experience.
Restaurant of the Year
Any brand with three or more establishments qualifies in this category, this restaurant could be part of a franchise or chain. The brand name brings people in but it is the offer that keeps customers coming back time and time again. People know what they are getting when they step through the door – quality food and a high standard of customer service. The winners will provide an exceptional all-round dining experience as standard.
Best Farmers Market Stall
Winners in this category are so proud of their products that they take them to market and sell them direct to local consumers. Whether meat, dairy or other food and drink products, not only will the food be prepared to the very highest standards but it will be marketed with aplomb, too. The stalls are brilliantly arranged, the produce is fresh and tasty and the stallholders are real characters on the markets they attend.
Outstanding Service Excellence
Customer service isn’t a one-off. Be it a restaurant, pub or coffee shop, the winning establishment will be consistently outstanding. There will be friendly meeting, greeting and service available throughout a customer’s stay. Staff will be trained to know what they are doing and they’ll carry out their duties in a natural, caring way
Pub of the Year – Free House
A free house is where the host owns the pub and has free reign to sell whatever drinks he or she likes and to stamp their own character on the venue. The winning pub will be a destination venue, with the wow factor. They are gems and customers would be lost without them. Their emphasis is on high quality, not only of the drinks on offer, which should come as standard, but also the food. Service will always be with a smile.
Pub of the Year
This category is for a tied house which is owned by a brewery or pub company where the licensee has to sell certain products as a condition of their lease. The licensee will have created a venue truly reflective of their own values of top customer service and unrivalled quality. The winning pub will have found a way to create their own niche, perhaps through music or other events, and be a pillar of the local community.
Be it a new café, pub, restaurant or other food and drink venue, these new kids on the block will be making a real difference in their local community. They will have started their venture within the last 24 months (as of the 1st January 2014) and have all their competitors worried about how to react. They will have hit the ground running, with great products, brilliant service and an imaginative offering. In another few years they will be expanding their brand, no doubt.
Best Tea/Coffee Shop – Independent
Competition in this sector is extremely tough but the winner of this category will see that as a challenge and an opportunity to be different. They will provide an exceptional level of service and choice in surroundings that are not only relaxing and informal but comfortable, too. They will be at the centre of their community, providing local producers with a chance to sell their products as well as employment opportunities and being a hub for all kinds of customers.
Best Tea/Coffee Shop
Any brand with at least three venues qualifies as a chain in this category, this could be part of a chain or franchise. The power of the brand brings customers through the door but it’s the quality of service that keeps people coming back time and time again. Highly trained staff make the branch stand out and the winner of this category will provide an exceptional level of service that regular customers have come to know and expect. Décor will be relaxing and comfortable and the premises will be a hub for employment and all kinds of customers.
Independent Retailer/Producer of the Year
The winning Independent retailer/producer will show no compromise on quality or customer service, this category can include food or wine retailers and producers. They will be champions of product diversity, choice and having an unstinting and heartfelt belief in giving their loyal customers what they want in a way that makes them a proud standard bearer in their sector
Craft Beer of the Year
With some excellent and thriving local breweries producing wholesome and tasty ales, we want people to nominate their favourite locally brewed ale. Whether it be an impulsive IPA, an unbeatable bitter or the perfect premium brew, let us know your top tipple.