The best of South Australia’s restaurateurs, caterers and caf operators were recognised at the Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering HOSTPLUS Awards for Excellence last night.

Over 1,000 guests and dignitaries gathered at the Adelaide Convention Centre for the event which was designed to recognise regional and metropolitan operators across that state who provide exceptional service, demonstrate culinary excellence and value for money.

The winners of the major award categories include:

  • Penfolds Magill Estate Restaurant, Magill – Restaurant of the Year;
  • Blanco Catering, Trinity Gardens – Caterer of the Year;
  • 2KW Kitchen & Bar – Best New City Restaurant;
  • Peter Morelli – Lifetime Achiever & Hall of Fame – Individual;
  • Assaggio Caf, Campbelltown – Hall of Fame – Caf;

In addition to their major awards, Penfolds Magill Estate Restaurant also won best Fine Dining Restaurant and Blanco Catering won the Events Caterer category.

Chianti, Adelaide also took out two awards, winning both the Breakfast Restaurant – City and Italian Restaurant – Formal categories and sister venue, Bar Torino took out the Small Bar award.

“The winners should be proud of their achievements, as they have been rigorously reviewed in one of the most objective awards systems, which looks at the entire dining experience, rather than a single food or service dimension,” says Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA) CEO John Hart.

“It is this dining experience that attracts international visitors to our country and is proudly promoted in Tourism Australia’s Restaurant Australia campaign.”

Stewart White, Chair of Judges for the Awards for Excellence, says that businesses were judged using criteria established by their customers.

“Knowing your customer and exceeding their expectations is pivotal to success – businesses need to serve great food, to evolve and innovate, and invest in their staff,” says White.

“The Awards for Excellence provides a benchmark for this success with its criteria determined by consumers who rank what is important to them in the dining experience. The winners are clearly and unequivocally scored as the best hospitality operators in their category.”

The South Australia Social Media Award, was awarded to Coffee Amigo, Salisbury, which generated the most posts on Instagram using their registered hashtag. Commenting on the use of social media, John Hart says that the industry cannot ignore the power of new communication platforms to engage with their customers.

“The digital age is upon us – the use of smartphones is growing exponentially in Australia with smartphone ownership estimated at about 81 percent," says Hart. "It’s great to see operators embracing technology and finding new ways to engage with customers."

Some of the winning businesses will compete at the national Awards for Excellence held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Monday 26 October.

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