In 2022 Eat Out moved from a top 20 ranking system to a star rating system. The Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards celebrates excellence in the form of the ‘Eat Out stars’ and the announcement of special award winners.
What is the Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards?
The Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards is an annual awards programme that recognises and applauds excellence in the South African restaurant industry. The winners are announced at a celebration ceremony in November.
Can I nominate my favourite restaurant?
Only the Eat Out team can nominate restaurants for the 2023 Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards. The nominations are based on recommendations from Eat Out’s broad and diverse panel of reviewers and the editorial team’s collective experience and expertise in eating at and writing about, restaurants around South Africa.
How were the top-nominated restaurants chosen for the 2023 Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant awards?
The restaurants rated in the 2023 Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards year are selected based on several factors including the quality of their offering – from the décor, ambience and service to the wine list, ingredients used and quality of the food. The team also takes note to visit restaurants that receive strong recommendations from its review panel. The Eat Out team makes suggestions for the judges and chief judge to consider.
Who is eligible for the awards?
Only restaurants in South Africa that are open to the public are eligible for the 2023 Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards.
Will you be rating restaurants from South Africa’s nine provinces?
Yes. We consider all restaurants nationwide. If they meet the criteria to be included, then there’s every reason that, for example, a restaurant in a lesser-known destination could be on the list with better-known establishments in Gauteng or the Western Cape.
Could I become an Eat Out reviewer?
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your credentials and our team will consider your application.
How can I get an Eat Out reviewer to my restaurant?
Eat Out does not review restaurants based on invites or freebies. We fiercely guard and maintain the editorial integrity of the Eat Out brand and have a strict policy that ensures all our reviewers dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. If you would like to bring a restaurant to our attention, send us an email email@example.com or tag us on Instagram, @eatoutguide
Will there be another Eat Out magazine?
Yes. We have exciting plans for the next issue of the Eat Out guide that will be on shelf in the first quarter of 2024 – keep an eye on the Eat Out website for more updates later in the year!
What happened to the Best Everyday Eateries category?
We are still reviewing casual eateries, but this year we are elevating them to be included in the same awards as the fine-dining restaurants. The new Eat Out rating system means that all restaurants in South Africa are scored in the same way.
If my restaurant is not nominated this year, how do I ensure that it’s nominated next year?
While there is no guarantee of being included in the nominations for the Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards, it is worth noting the criteria that we take into consideration when assessing a restaurant, namely: service; décor/ambience; the menu; how ingredients are used to convey your story; your techniques; execution; presentation; and overall consistency. If you’ve focused on enhancing any or all of these, please let us know and your restaurant will have an improved chance of being part of our top nominated restaurants next year.
Why don’t you judge and review all restaurants in South Africa?
Our reviewers dine unannounced, anonymously and pay for their own meals, accepting nothing “on the house”. This independent but crucial method of judging naturally means we also need to manage our budgets. Based on the team’s experience and expertise in the South African restaurant industry, we believe the restaurants that are judged is the optimal number for a realistic, achievable, and accurate assessment of South Africa’s best restaurants.
Is there a set number of restaurants that can qualify for stars, or are all that are eligible able to receive them?
All restaurants being rated can qualify for an Eat Out star. From the restaurants that were visited by the judges, one star was awarded to those restaurants that scored 70 – 80, two stars to those scoring 80 – 90, and three stars to those scoring 90+.
Why the change to star ratings?
We believe a star rating is the best way for Eat Out to deliver on its promise – to give South Africans the very best advice on where to eat out. It means we no longer merely rate the top 20 fine-dining restaurants, and by providing a rating of three, two, or one stars, we shine a brighter and wider light on the many excellent fine-dining and casual eateries available in our country.
How does Eat Out compare to Michelin when it comes to stars?
Eat Out has no connection to or association with the Michelin Guide. Our ratings are aimed at showcasing all restaurants in South Africa, not just fine-dining establishments.
What’s the maximum number of stars a restaurant can receive?
The maximum number of stars a restaurant can receive is three.
Will you still be announcing a restaurant of the year?
Yes, we will have a Restaurant of the Year Award, as well as a Chef of the Year Award and other special awards – please keep an eye on Eat Out’s website, where we will reveal what they are.
My restaurant is only open to hotel guests – can it be reviewed for the Woolworths Eat Out Awards?
No, in order to be eligible for an Eat Out star, all restaurants rated must be open to the public.
During the COVID pandemic, my restaurant started offering takeaways and deliveries instead of dine-in services. Will we still be considered for the awards?
If your business continues to only offer takeaways and deliveries, then no, it will not be eligible. However, if you returned to sit-down services once the pandemic restrictions were lifted, then you will still be eligible.
Do we have to pay an application fee in order to be considered for the awards?
No, Eat Out has never asked for payment for being eligible for its awards. This would go against the integrity and credibility of the brand.
I own three different restaurants – can they all be considered for the awards?
Yes, they would all be eligible.
How will I know whether my restaurant receives a star or an award?
You will not know if your restaurant will receive a star until the shortlist has been announced closer to November. Special award winners will be revealed on the night of the Eat Out Woolworths Awards ceremony.
How do you decide on how many stars to award each restaurant?
The number of stars is determined by the overall scores that restaurants receive during the rating process. Based on this, the top-rated restaurants are awarded three, two, or one-star by our panel of six judges.
When will ticket sales for the event/awards be released?
A decision was made by Eat Out to keep the event industry-related as far as possible. Sponsors, media, industry and public personalities who are food followers are being invited and there will be limited tickets open to the public, once these invited numbers are confirmed. Eat Out has gone this route as the industry has had such a challenging couple of years that it was agreed that the re-opening of the Awards would be quite ‘industry-intimate’.
Is your star grading affiliated with Tourism Grading Council of South Africa’s (TGCSA) grading?
No, Eat Out’s star grading system is not associated with the TGCSA.