Changes are afoot for the Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards! After undertaking extensive research through an independent firm in consultation with stakeholders in industry, the awards ceremony, and the awards themselves, will look a whole lot different this year.

In a move to celebrate more restaurants, Eat Out will, for the first time, announce 30 instead of 20 nominees ahead of the event, and on the night will count down from 20 to 11 before revealing the top 10 at the awards ceremony. The criteria remains the same as previous years, but with slightly more weighting going towards food this year. You can click here to see how the scorecard is structured.

“We’re so excited that we’re recognising even more restaurants this year,” says Aileen Lamb, MD of New Media, which owns Eat Out. “The industry is changing so fast, and Eat Out is evolving with it, always finding new ways to celebrate excellence in food. By aligning more with the latest international trends, we can help grow South Africa’s brilliant culinary talent even further. And we’re delighted that we have partners like Mercedes-Benz with us on this journey.”

Another big change this year is that the core panel of five judges will, aside from Eat Out editor Abigal Donnelly who heads up the panel, will remain anonymous. This will enable the judges to remain on the panel for the coming year(s) to ensure greater consistency. As always, their scorecards will be audited before the big announcement and chefs will be able to get feedback from Eat Out after the awards.

The awards function this year at GrandWest on the 19th of November look set to be unforgettable, and guests will be welcomed at 3PM with a drinks reception, before heading into the awards ceremony. This will then be followed by an interactive food-and-drinks experience, which includes dishes from award-winning chefs and entertainment, with dancing expected to go on until the wee hours.

In addition to the Top 10 restaurants, the 2017 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards will recognise the Eat Out S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Chef of the Year, Eat Out Retail Capital New Restaurant of the Year and Eat Out Rising Star, and the winners of the inaugural Eat Out Graham Beck Chefs’ Chef Award, Eat Out Service Excellence Award, Eat Out Wine Service Award, Eat Out John Psillos Award for Outstanding Contribution to Service, Eat Out Style Award and the Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award.

Limited tickets are now available for the 2017 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant awards at R1495 per person at