The 2015 FreeFrom Eating Out Awards, after an extremely successful launch last year, open for entry today, June 8th. The awards, which are sponsored by Sodexo, were inspired by the new EU allergen regulations which require all food service outlets to know, and be able to tell their customers about, any of the 14 major allergens in their offer.
Initially, the food service industry was appalled by these new ‘regs’ but, six months in, they are realising that far from being a burden, being allergen-aware can open up untapped, exciting and lucrative new markets. And what better a way to attract customers who either need or want to eat ‘freefrom’ than to win a ‘freefrom' award!!
The FreeFrom Eating Out Awards are run by the team who already run the highly successful FreeFrom Food Awards, now in their ninth year and a vital fixture in the ‘freefrom’ year.
Says Wan Mak, head of Nutrition and Dietetics at Sodexo:
“After such a successful launch last year, we are delighted to be sponsoring these awards for the second year. We believe they will help to raise awareness of the need to provide accurate information for allergy sufferers and those with other dietary restrictions. We feed over a million customers a year and we think it is so important that they all can eat out in safety and with confidence.”
Says Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, director of the awards:
“We were really delighted with the response to last year’s awards and the level of dedication shown by many of our entrants. We look forward to an exciting second year and are hugely grateful to Sodexo and all of our sponsors for helping us to drive awareness forward.”
Categories for the 2015 awards will include as last year:
• Cafés and teashops – sponsored by Can I eat there?
• Pubs and pub restaurants – sponsored by Green’s Gluten-free Beers
• Independent restaurants and restaurant chains – sponsored by Riso Gallo
• Hotels and guests houses – sponsored by Caterlyst
• Schools, colleges and universities – sponsored by Thomas Ridley Foodservice
• Foods manufactured for food service
Plus new for this year:
• Street food and takeaways – sponsored by Genon Laboratories
• Fish and chip shops– sponsored by Glebe Farm
• Corporate hospitality and catering – sponsored by Nairn's
Entry to the 2015 awards opens today, 8th June, and closes on 28th August. Entry forms are all to be found on the awards site here.
A shortlist will be published on 7th October. The presentation of the awards by awards’ patron, Antony Worrall Thompson, will take place at the Food Matters Live event at Excel on 17th November where there will also be a ‘cook off’ between some of the winners of last year’s awards!!