Who is eligible?
Any RAMW member, in good standing, who meets all of the requirements of the category is eligible for nomination. Need to check if your membership is in good standing? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to check.
Who are the judges?
The RAMMYS judges are an anonymous panel of journalists and media representatives, appointed by the RAMW president. The members of the judges panel change each year in some capacity to best capture the needs of the program. The judges are appointed based on their thorough knowledge of the restaurant industry in the Metropolitan Washington region and represent various jurisdictions including the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, and Maryland (Montgomery County and Prince Georges County). The judges are required to pledge their confidentiality and are anonymous not only to the public, but also from each other.
Who can submit nominations?
Nominations are submitted online only through the nominations website by RAMW members, public relations representatives, restaurant owners, operators, staff, and the general public. Submissions are reviewed by RAMW for eligibility and approved for judging. There is no fee to enter submissions.
In 2017, RAMW recieved over 1,200 collective nominations.
How does the judging process work?
The RAMMYS judges assess each eligible nomination and judge the nominee based on a scoring system. The scoring system asks the judges to evaluate each nominee based on the following standards of excellence:
- Food (savory and sweet)
- Beverage Program
- Overall dining experience
Individual Chef Categories (Chef of the Year, Rising Culinary Star, Pastry Chef):
- Exemplary Culinary Talent
- Innovative Menu
- Public Acclaim
- Influence: How are they changing the face of the region’s dining scene?
- Business growth and entrepreneurship
- Consistency in restaurant quality, service, experience across the board
- Knowledgeable staff
- Diversity of menu
- Quality of products
- Diversity of price points
- Creativity of cocktails
- Presentation of cocktails
- Attentiveness of staff
- Knowledgeable about food, beverage, establishment
- Overall impression of staff
All scores are counted equally and tabulated by the independent accounting firm Thompson Greenspon. The 5 semifinalists with the highest scores become the finalists in each category. The judges panel choose the finalists in all categories except for the Allied Member of the Year Award and the Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award, which are both selected by the RAMW Executive Committee.
Finalists are announced in March at the RAMMYS Nominations Announcement event (open to membership, media, and sponsors by invite only).
Publically Voted Categories
The judges panel choose the five finalists in the publicly voted categories, which include:
- Favorite Gathering Place of the Year
- Upscale Brunch
- Casual Brunch
- Favorite Fast Bites
Public voting is hosted online by RAMW. Public voting takes place in March and April. Restaurant finalists are encouraged to promote the public voting as the winner is determined by the highest number of votes. The votes are tabulated by independent accounting firm Thompson Greenspon and announced at the Awards Ceremony in June.
For the judge voted categories, one winner is determined in each category by the highest score. Scores are tabulated by the independent accounting firm Thompson Greenspon. Winners are announced at the RAMMYS Awards ceremony on June 10, 2018 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
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