Categories & Criteria



The awards are open to individuals, teams, companies and organisations including contract caterers operating in a public sector environment.

Armed Forces Caterer of the Year
This award is not open to general entries.  All entries must be passed to the command of each area of the armed forces for consideration.

Commands are to encourage units to identify and nominate a military caterer who has made an outstanding contribution to the moral component through the delivery of catering services in 2019. The 3 criteria against which nominees will be judged are:

  1. Innovation. How has the nominee demonstrated innovation, flair and imagination in providing the best possible catering service to Military personnel?
  2. Leadership. How has the nominee’s leadership skills been instrumental in improving the delivery of the catering service? Are they an inspirational and consistent leader who inspires the team to provide an excellent catering service challenging conditions?
  3. Food Quality. What impact has the nominee had on improving the quality of the catering service?


Nominations are judged by senior military catering personnel.

Care Catering Award
Nominations are sought for an individual, team or organisation involved in the delivery of resident mealtimes in a care setting who has significantly improved catering services for clients and residents. We want to see evidence of how service delivery has been developed in all areas of resident nutritional and hydration, particularly in the context of the importance of food in the care of the resident. Judges are looking for entries of between 500 and 1,000 words that:

  1. Show exactly how the catering has been improved.
  2. Offer concrete examples of changes.
  3. Provide some comment/feedback from clients or customers.


Catering College Award - NEW FOR 2020
The training and educating of the next generation of chefs, catering managers and front of house staff for our industry is of paramount importance.  This education is largely provided in a public sector funded environment and we want to single out exceptional service in this area.  The award is open to individuals, teams or an organisation who have delivered exceptional results in student qualifications.  They should be able to demonstrate how students have been inspired in to careers in the hospitality industry and how they have helped and supported the students to achieve the aims.  Judges are looking for entries of up to 1,000 words and supporting evidence of:

  1. Strong academic results from the last graduating students
  2. Testimonials from students and local businesses who have benefitted from the colleges courses and graduates.


Catering Manager of the Year - NEW FOR 2020
Nominees for Catering Manager of the Year can work for an in-house or outsourced organisation, at an individual site or across a number of locations.  The winner will need to demonstrate both exceptional skill when delivering for their client/organisation and the ability to develop and motivate staff and colleagues.  Judges are looking for entries of between 500 and 1,000 words and supporting evidence of:

  1. Creative solutions
  2. Operational improvements and enhancements
  3. Leadership and empowerment


Chef of the Year
This award recognises the chef who provides the highest standards of professionalism for food quality and innovation in a public sector catering environment, whether in-house or for an outsourced organisation.  We are looking for the ability to create nutritionally balanced menus and meals produced to the highest standards within the constraints of public sector demands. Judges are looking for entries of between 500 and 1,000 words that:

  1. Show why this chef should win
  2. Provide some career background and development
  3. Offer examples of new ideas and innovation

All entries to this category will automatically be entered in to the Craft Guild of Chefs Awards Public Sector Catering Chef of the Year.


Contract Caterer of the Year
The award for the top-performing company supplying outsourced catering and support services to the public sector in either an individual area or across the sector. We’re looking for contractors that have excelled in all the important areas of business performance. This may include the successful move into new sectors, the introduction of education and training schemes, the development of new concepts and value added support, delivering improvements in health and wellbeing, completion of modernisation programmes, significant growth or change strategies or a combination of any of these. Judges are looking for entries of between 500 and 1,000 words and supporting evidence of:

  1. Sustainability policies that have been implemented
  2. Financial information showing percentage growth or turnover and/or meals served.
  3. Examples of improving the nutrition of food served with wellbeing benefits


Education Catering Award
Nominations are invited for catering professionals, teams and organisations working in establishments within the education sector and recognises excellence in the provision of foodservice for schools and academies in the state sector. The nominee could work within a local authority, contract caterer, school or academy. Judges are looking for entries of 1,000 words and supporting evidence of:

  1. Menu development and operational innovation
  2. Impact of any changes eg. Meal uptake, increased revenue
  3. The nominee’s impact on teams and/or pupils


Health and Nutrition Award
Public Sector Catering is focussed on delivering a healthy and nutritious service across the industry. We are looking to recognise good practice in the delivery of a clear health and nutrition strategy within an individual area or across the sector. All entries must have encouraged the concept of ‘eating for health’ and indicate which market sector(s) they have targeted. The award is open to in-house and outsourced organisations. Judges are looking for entries of up to 1,000 words and supporting evidence of how any strategy has:

  1. Radically altered the previous service delivery
  2. Raised awareness and had a material effect among customers
  3. Increased meal uptake or consumption


Hospital Catering Award
All catering professionals and teams working in establishments within the National Health Service are eligible for this award whether they work for an outsourced organisation or an in-house operation. It will be presented to the individual, team or organisation who has best demonstrated an improvement in patient, staff and visitor meal provision or in one of these areas in particular. Innovation in managing waste, improving service levels and the patient/customer experience will all be regarded as significant factors for judging. Judges are looking for entries of between 500 and 1,000 words and supporting evidence of:

  1. Meeting the challenge of malnutrition and hydration
  2. Innovation in menus and meal delivery
  3. A patient centric strategy


Innovation Award
Judges are looking for a product or service innovation that has dramatically changed an operator’s catering strategy. The concept must be original and the entry must be able to quantify the impact the innovation has had on the operation and the customer. Judges are looking for entries of between 500 and 1,000 words and supporting evidence of:

  1. Development of the innovation
  2. Feedback/testimonials from client or customers


Marketing Award
We’re looking for a marketing initiative or sustained campaign by an individual, team or organisation working for an outsourced or in-house operation that has proved successful and exceeded expectations. Entries can range from themed events to new business strategies or even political campaigning. Judges are looking for entries of between 500 and 1,000 words and supporting evidence of:

  1. Clear objectives and measurable outcomes for the campaign.
  2. How long the campaign ran/has been running


Special Contribution to Public Sector Catering
This will be awarded to an organisation, team or individual who, although not directly involved in providing catering services to the industry, have performed a role that has had a significant influence on the provision of services in one or more areas of the public sector. Detailed nominations are not sought for this category - entries should be accompanied by a citation of no more than 500 words, which the judging panel and organisers will then research and discuss.


Sustainability Award - UPDATED FOR 2020
We’re looking for the company or organisation that has best integrated social, economic and environmental concerns into its business. Key issues could include stakeholder engagement, labour standards, employee and community relations and sustainable and ethical sourcing. Judges are looking for entries of between 500 and 1,000 words and supporting evidence of the key pillars of any good catering sustainability policy:

  1. Food traceability, provenance and seasonality
  2. Staff safety & development
  3. Minimisation of environmental impact
  4. Support for the community.


Team of the Year
This award recognises the amazing results that can be achieved by getting a group of individuals working to collective aims and objectives. The category is open to all teams working in contract catering or self-delivered operations in the public sector. Judges are looking for entries of between 500 and 1,000 words and supporting evidence of:

  1. Demonstrable collaborative success.
  2. Improvements to the service and/or customer experience.


Training and Apprenticeship Award
We are looking for the company, organisation or individual that has shown the most outstanding commitment to developing skills and abilities, particularly among young or disadvantaged people. Nominations should evidence their strategy with supporting documentation that details of the approach taken. Judges are looking for entries of between 500 and 1,000 words and supporting evidence of:

  1. Testimonials from clients or individuals who have developed skills or benefitted as a result of the programme/strategy.
  2. The benefits to the company or organisation of investing in training, eg. upskilled workforce, staff retention, improved community relationships, etc.


University Catering Award
We’re looking for an individual, team or organisation that have had a major influence on the provision of foodservice to students and/or the development of commercial operations in a University operation.  The category is open to in-house and outsourced operations.  The provision of a sustainability policy is paramount and recognition of customer trends and a creative approach should be evident. Judges are looking for entries of between 500 and 1,000 words and supporting evidence of:

  1. How strategies and actions have markedly improved revenue and profit generation
  2. How the customer experience has been improved
  3. Clear sustainability policies


Unsung Hero - NEW FOR 2020
Within every organisation there is an individual or perhaps a team that go beyond the norm and support their customers, colleagues or the wider community in exceptional ways.

This award will recognise these people who may not otherwise get the acclaim they deserve.  Judges will be looking for an individual or team who’s contribution have added value, driven creative initiatives or benefitted their client, organisation or their community.  They need not necessarily be caterers but they do need to work within the public sector catering environment.  The entry should be between 500 and 1,000 words and include:

  1. At least 2 testimonials from clients, management or other third party
  2. Supporting evidence of the highlighted contribution of the individual or team


Lifetime Achievement Award
The Public Sector Catering Lifetime Achievement Award is in the gift of the judges, who have the opportunity to acknowledge outstanding and dedicated contribution to the industry. The award will be given to the individual or organisation who, during a notable career in the industry, have demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities, drive, ideas and influence that makes them a worthy winner of the highest accolade the industry can bestow.




The closing date for nominations is Wednesday 29 January 2020