As voting opens for Australian Café of the Year 2014
Aiming to find the number one café in the nation, the inaugural competition has attracted cafés from all over the country – from popular Sydney and Melbourne hotspots through to rural gems.
There are also a few big names on the list, with the likes of Brunetti’s in Carlton, Victoria and Excelsior Jones in Sydney among the over 1,300 cafés registered and ready to fight for the nation’s café crown.
Each competing café has designed and entered a dish for their menu featuring ingredients from the Heinz and Don ranges. Options include bacon, pulled pork, chipolatas, chorizo, baked beans and the new Heinz condiments range – and entries include everything from pies to pappardelle.
With registrations now closed, phase two of the competition is soon to kick off – and it’s about to get interesting. Public voting opens September 1, and over the next few weeks Australia’s ardent army of café lovers will select 21 finalists (three from each of the 7 competition regions).
Votes can be cast via text using the chosen café’s unique in-store code, as well as online at cafeoftheyear.com.au or via the Australian Café of the Year smartphone app. Simply by voting for their favourite café, punters will go into the draw to win a share of an $11,000 prize pool including a grand prize of $5,000 cash. Point-of-sale material has been provided to all competing cafés encouraging patrons to get involved, and competition organisers expect to receive hundreds of thousands of votes.
The voting phase is a great opportunity for cafés to focus on improving customer service and atmosphere, as well as taking care of all the little details easily forgotten during the daily rush. As the industry expands, changes and grows, these small acts of service become vital. As head judge and industry legend Sean Edwards puts it, “With an industry of over 30,000 cafés nationally, the competition is tough. Our research shows most people are wanting more from their local café, and food is becoming the next hero after good coffee service.”
Voting closes October 9, followed by announcement of the finalists. From there, Sean and his panel of experts will decide on the Supreme Winner, who will take home a Renault Clio RS200 Sport valued at over $32,000.
It’s bound to be a difficult decision, but there are few more qualified in the industry to make it. For over fifteen years, Sean has been at the forefront of promoting Australia’s diverse café industry, and currently heads up Café Culture International. He’s visibly passionate about good food and coffee, and excited by the opportunity to judge Australia’s top café.
“The Australian café scene has changed exponentially over the last 10 years, and is leading the world in many areas like coffee and other beverage service,” Sean says.
“Australian chefs also have been known to be innovators in food techniques, and have graced the world with their amazing takes on food service.”
“We see a big future in café growth in the next 10 years.”
Open to AU residents. Entrants under the age of 18 must have parent’s or guardian’s & bill payers permission to enter. Voting is limited to one vote per café per voting method & five cafés per region per person. Opens 1/9/14 at 08:01 & closes 9/10/14 at 23:59 AEDT. Winners drawn at Permitz Group, Suite 9, 18 Karalta Road Erina NSW 2250 on 14/10/14 at 11:00 AEDT. Total prize value is up to $11,000 (incl GST), as at 15/5/14. Winners notified by email & published online at www.cafeoftheyear.com.au. Promoter: Cafe Culture International Pty Ltd (ABN 48 164 218 571) of 1 / 2 Arncliffe Avenue, Port Macquarie NSW 2444.NSW Permit No. LTPS/14/04890. Vic Permit No. 14/4398. ACT Permit No. TP 14/02027. SA Licence No. T14/1030.