The Judging Process

The Golden Plate Awards is more than a consumer guide to excellence in hospitality. Its a program designed to assist continuous industry improvement.

Any Restaurant, hotel, cafe, or coffee house in Regional Victoria can compete if nominated by the public. They are then judged twice without notice over several months by some of Victoria’s best food critiques. 

Restaurateurs receive confidential reports from the perspective of the customer that identify strengths and opportunities to add-value.

Special attention is paid to:

  • Food quality & presentation (% depends on type of venue)
  • Customer service (20% of total scores)
  • Value for money (20% of total scores)
  • Use of local foods and wines  (% depends on type of venue)
  • Coffee and tea  (% depends on type of venue)
  • Ambience  (10% of total scores)

Six Venue Categories are recognised:

  • Restaurants – contemporary dining
  • Restaurants – casual dining
  • Hotel Dining
  • Licensed Cafes
  • Unlicensed Cafes
  • Coffee House / Bakery

There are nine Special Recognition Awards:

  • Best Chef (decided by cook-off at Comcater’s showrooms in Pope Street South. Melbourne)
  • Best Coffee
  • Best Barista (decided in competition conducted in partnership with ASCA)
  • Best Customer Service
  • Best Front of House Person
  • Best Cellar of Local Wines Beers and Ciders
  • Best Menu of Local Foods
  • Best Value for Money
  • Peoples’ Choice Award (decided by popular votes)

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