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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 2020 - Now open for entries!

All People 1st International-accredited colleges with a current AA College Rosette are now invited to enter the 2020 award, which will be presented at the annual AA Hospitality Awards in London on 28 September. 

The theme of this year’s competition is sustainability and the judges will be keen to see how this is incorporated in your entries – from sustainability of produce to sustainability of your college restaurant and provision through to preparing students for sustainable careers in the industry.

In it's fifth year, successful applicants (maximum of 16 college restaurants) will be invited to send two learners and a lecturer to a ‘judging day’ at a prestigious London hotel in June where they will be asked to present to a panel of industry judges as well as experience life behind the scenes of a busy London hotel and hear from a renowned person from the hospitality industry. 

Following this, the judges will identify a shortlist of three college restaurants for the award.

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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)

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AA College Restaurant of the Year 2019

The quality of entries in the 2019 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 2018

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

Find out more

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