Entries open for Hospitality Awards for Excellence

The prestigious Hospitality Awards for Excellence, which recognise the best businesses and people across the food and beverage and accommodation sectors, will be presented at a gala dinner in Auckland on July 27th.

This will be the first time in three years they have been held in person. Due to Covid restrictions, they were held online last year after being cancelled in 2020.

In its 24th year, the Hospitality Awards for Excellence are the longest-running, biggest, most prestigious national hospitality awards. They will again be supported by long-time sponsor Lion New Zealand.

Entries are now open for the awards, this year celebrating the leaders who got the industry through the past two years with four people awards: Leader of the Year in Hospitality, Leader of the Year in Accommodation, Future Leader of the Year, and Chef of the Year. There will also be an induction into the Hospitality Hall of Fame.

Hospitality New Zealand Chief Executive Julie White said it is a privilege and she is delighted to be able to hold the awards this year.

“These awards are the pinnacle of our industry, and give everyone in it a chance to recognise and reward members who strove throughout the past year to create the highest possible standards and experiences for both their guests and their team.

“Being able to do this in person for the first time in three years to celebrate the businesses that have made it through Covid is something the industry needs to be able to do.

“I think we thought the first year or so was going to be the hardest part of the pandemic, but the latter part of last year and into this year have proven particularly difficult for our businesses and families, so this year’s awards are particularly relevant.

“I said this last year and I’ll say it again: after this latest year, and what’s happening right now, every hospitality business and every worker out there deserves a medal for the guts and perseverance they’ve shown through probably the toughest period the industry has ever been through.

“After all they’ve been through it is really inspiring to see hospitality businesses still working so hard to serve their communities and customers, not just in service but also in the comfort they offer in times of stress.

“It has been a huge privilege to work with these people, and now it’s a huge privilege to bring them this event to recognise that work.

“Hospitality New Zealand is promoting the awards widely, offering finalists and the winners a great opportunity to gain publicity. This is a great opportunity for them to market their business.”

Lion New Zealand’s Country Director Craig Baldie said Lion has had a long and proud history of sponsoring the awards.

“Following an unbelievably tough period for hospitality, we are delighted to be supporting this wonderful event again this year and look forward to celebrating excellence in the industry.”

Details of the new categories are:

Leader of the Year – Hospitality, Leader of the Year – Accommodation: people who are dedicated to their profession and contribute to and inspire confidence in the industry.

Future Leader of the Year: someone who is making a significant contribution in their role, be it front of house, duty manager, chefs, barista and bar staff, or the unsung hero who demonstrates exceptional leadership qualities and is seen as an industry leader of the future.

Chef of the Year: someone whose attitude and dedication has contributed to the success of their business, and who demonstrates leadership, innovation and the pursuit of excellence.

The other awards are for:

Best Bar/Pub, Best Café, Best Restaurant, Best Hotel, Best Motel, Best Luxury Hotel, Best Luxury Accommodation, Best Accommodation (Other), Best Brand Experience, Best Destination Venue, Best Local, Best Environmental/Sustainable Business, Best New/Redeveloped Food & Beverage Business, Best New/Redeveloped Accommodation Business, Best Live Entertainment Venue, Excellence in Gaming, Excellence in Marketing, Excellence in People & Culture.

Up to five finalists will be named in each category and we encourage businesses to consider whether they can submit multiple categories.

The People’s Choice Award is also back, where the public can vote on their choice for best venue.

The Supreme Award is the pinnacle of the Awards for Excellence. Independent judges select a single Supreme Winner from finalists in every category. Last year’s Supreme Award winner was QT Auckland, nominated as the best of the best in Hospitality or Accommodation for 2021.

Applications for the awards close on 20 May.

For further information on the awards, and to enter, go to hospitality.org.nz/s/awards