Nominations Now Open for the 2024 Industry Excellence Awards

Nominations are now open for the third annual Industry Excellence Awards, presented by Bar & Restaurant Expo, which celebrate and support the individuals who make the independent bar and restaurant industry great. These awards honor leaders and teams for their talent, integrity and commitment to equality, sustainability, community and culture. 

Nominations will be open through Jan. 15, 2024, and winners will be announced at the 2024 Bar & Restaurant Expo on Wednesday, March 20, 2024. Nominations can be made here.

2024 Nomination Categories Include: 

Individual Awards 

Bartender of the Year

This award is given to a bartender of exemplary performance, skill and dedication—both behind the bar and beyond it. This person has worked tirelessly to improve their bar program, bar culture, guest experience and the industry at large, serving as a positive example for other beverage professionals. 

Chef of the Year

This individual sets high personal and professional standards for chefs across the industry. Chef of the Year will be awarded to someone who has dedicated themselves to culinary excellence, as well as sustainable, ethical practices and inclusive culture. 

Community Leadership Awards

This award is open to anyone in the food & beverage industry who has demonstrated outstanding contributions and dedication to bettering their local community.  

Best New Hospitality Book- NEW to 2024

This award recognizes a new book that has introduced innovative concepts, furthered the education of the hospitality industry, and/or highlighted a little-known area of cocktail or food culture. 


Venue Awards 

Bar of the Year

Awarded to a venue whose primary offering is beverage, the Bar of the Year has a unique identity and has established itself as a leader within the category. This award is given to an establishment that consistently demonstrates exceptional hospitality, creativity, training, culture and service. 

Restaurant of the Year

The Restaurant of the Year has established itself as a leader in the community and has made a significant impact within the industry. This venue boasts a unique atmosphere, thoughtful F&B offerings, and a training program. 

LGBTQIA+ Venue of the Year

This bar, whose primary offering is beverage, consistently delivers exceptional hospitality, creativity, and service, while championing the LGBTQIA+ community. The LGBTQIA+ Bar of the Year has a demonstrated history of supporting the queer community. 

Best Hospitality Training Program

This award is given to a restaurant or bar that has prioritized hospitality and guest experience by investing in a robust onboarding and continuing education program that yields results and consistently demonstrates exceptional hospitality, creativity, culture and service. 

Best Cocktail Program- NEW to 2024

This award is given to an establishment with an excellent cocktail program that exhibits uniqueness, breadth, and cohesiveness around a goal or a theme. The Best Cocktail Program recognizes a versatile menu that is on-trend while pushing the boundaries of mixology. 


Bar & Restaurant has compiled a judging panel of experts From Johnson & Wales University, who will evaluate each submission based on several criteria to determine finalists, and ultimately the winner, in each award category.  

Each finalist will be awarded two Expo + Party Passes to the 2024 Bar & Restaurant Expo, as well as recognition on the Bar & Restaurant website, social media, and newsletter before and during the expo. In addition, the winners in each category will receive a beautiful custom award, one VIP ticket to the 2025 Bar & Restaurant Expo and additional media recognition on the website, social media, newsletters and more.  

In addition to the above awards, Bar & Restaurant will also present the Industry Impact Award, which recognizes an individual who has made a lasting impact on the overall hospitality industry. This individual has a passion for the industry and has helped advance it in significant ways like enhancing employee culture, raising the visibility of under-represented businesses and owners, supporting mental health, sobriety and addiction recovery initiatives, implementing fair wage compensation, sustainability and more. The Industry Impact Award will be nominated and chosen internally. 

Submit now to the 2024 Industry Excellence Awards!


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Plan to Attend or Participate in the 2024 Bar & Restaurant Expo, March 18-20, 2024

To learn about the latest trends, issues and hot topics, and to experience and taste the best products within the bar, restaurant and hospitality industry, plan to attend Bar & Restaurant Expo 2024 in Las Vegas. Early bird registration is now open!

To book your sponsorship or exhibit space at the 2024 Bar & Restaurant Expo, contact:

Veronica Gonnello ​(for companies A to G)​ e: [email protected]​ p: 212-895-8244

​Tim Schultz​ (for companies H to Q) ​e: [email protected]​ p: 917-258-8589

Fadi Alsayegh ​(for companies R to Z)​ e: [email protected] p: 917-258-5174​

Also, be sure to follow Bar & Restaurant on Facebook and Instagram for all the latest industry news and trends.