Eat Out’s scorecard criteria for its revamped judging process

After two years of using the star-rating system, Eat Out has refined its approach to fairly determine the best of the best across the country. This decision comes in response to the 2024 stakeholder research, which revealed strong support for the optimised judging process. 

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Eat Out reaffirms its commitment to uplifting the industry with this robust process. The brand’s mission lies in showcasing culinary excellence in South Africa, celebrating restaurants that continually strive for the highest standards. Our commitment is to guide guests to remarkable dining experiences, where principles of consistency, attention to detail, and refinement permeate every aspect of the restaurant. From the quality of ingredients to the skilful preparation and delivery of flavourful dishes, we also recognise restaurants that push the boundaries exploring new and innovative approaches. Through this, we aim to expertly curate a list of memorable dining experiences. 

The key findings from the stakeholder research showed that: 

  • 80% believe that restaurant awards in South Africa are relevant and needed. 
  • 84% agreed that Eat Out’s objective of recognising culinary excellence in South Africa is crucial. 
  • 75% stated that judges should remain anonymous. 
  • 90% indicated that all judges should dine at every restaurant being reviewed. 
  • 9 out of 10 called for transparency in the scorecards.

The survey feedback confirmed the relevance and order of importance of Eat Out’s judging criteria as follows:
1. Taste and technique
2. Service
3. Menu Composition
4. Presentation
5. Ambience
6. Perceived value

Eat Out’s enhanced judging process will be more rigorous and comprehensive, featuring anonymous judges, diverse scouts, and a multi-stage review system.

Scorecard weightings

Taste and Technique: 25% 

Service: 25% 

Menu Composition: 15% 

Presentation: 15% 

Beverages: 10% 

Ambience: 5% 

Perceived Value: 5% 

Awards ceremony

The annual awards ceremony is being scaled back to focus resources on this improved judging methodology, thereby solidifying Eat Out’s position as the definitive guide to culinary excellence in South Africa.

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