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AA College Restaurant of the Year

Launched in 2016 in partnership between People 1st and AA Hotel Services, the AA College Restaurant of the Year award recognises the hard work of chef lecturers and student brigades that run college restaurants.

Part of the AA’s annual Hospitality Awards, the award gives colleges an unprecedented opportunity to be part of one of the industry’s most prestigious events and put their restaurants well and truly on the map!

This award is only open to People 1st accredited colleges that have also been awarded an AA College Rosette.

AA College Restaurant of the Year 2019 - Finalists announced!

We're pleased to announce the three finalists for this year's AA College Restaurant of the Year Award:

In it's fourth year, successful applicants were invited to send two learners and a lecturer to a ‘judging day’ at a prestigious London hotel in June where they had the opportunity to present to the judges why their college restaurant should win the award as well as experience life behind the scenes of a busy London hotel.  

Check out a selection of photos from the day here.

The winner will receive their award at the AA Hospitality Awards to be held on Monday 23 September 2019 at the Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel on Park Lane.

Finalist videos

Entrants to this year's AA College Restaurant of the Year award were asked to create a short video that showcases the fantastic career opportunities in hospitality. Watch our three finalists' videos below:

If you are interested in finding out more about how your college restaurant can enter next year's competition, as well as gain recognition for your college restaurant and hospitality provision, please contact accreditation@people1st.co.uk

What previous winners say:

"It was a fantastic night of celebration and to win the AA College Restaurant of the Year award was an accolade to The Brasserie and hospitality and catering staff and the fantastic students who all work so hard day in day out. We are incredibly proud to be able to display such a fantastic accolade in our restaurant." - Maria Bowness, Head of School for Hair, Beauty, Catering, Hospitality & Events, Milton Keynes College (2018 winner)

“Winning the AA College Restaurant of the Year award has been the icing on the cake to the benefits that being a People 1st accredited college has delivered - not to mention the positive publicity it has given us.

"Our reputation in the Cheshire community continues to grow and attract talented chefs who can now train at the best college restaurant in the country.” - Jasbir Dehsi, Principal, South Cheshire College (2017 winner)

“The whole awards process was a brilliant experience for our students and staff – from the judging day, which included a talk from a five AA Rosette-awarded, Michelin-starred chef, to the awards evening itself and the fantastic publicity we’ve received on the back of our win.

"It’s been a source of immense pride for us all and has really helped to demonstrate how our hospitality department offers an excellent career option to school leavers. I definitely encourage other colleges to enter!” - Jennifer Cruickshanks, Head of Hospitality, Tourism and Foundations Skills, Runshaw College (2016 winner)


AA College Restaurant of the Year 2018

The quality of entries in the 2018 competition was incredible and the judges were hugely impressed by the energy and enthusiasm on display.

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AA College Restaurant of the Year 2017

The 2017 award process included an interactive judging day with Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge and was scooped by Academy Restaurant at South Cheshire College.

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AA College Restaurant of the Year 2016

The inaugural AA College Restaurant of the Year award offered a host of fantastic benefits to shortlisted entrants - from an exclusive judging day in central London to real-life work experience at a five-star venue.

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Four ways hospitality accreditation can take your college to the next level

Jennifer Cruickshanks, head of hospitality at 2016's AA College Restaurant of the Year award winner, Runshaw College, explains how accreditation has benefitted her department.

Read the blog