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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.

2018 entries now closed

Entries for this year's competition are now closed.

15 college restaurants have been invited to the next stage of judging on 20 June at The Principal Hotel in London.

Teams (consisting of two learners and a lecturer) will have the opportunity to ‘sell their college restaurant’ to the judges as well as experience life behind the scenes of the hotel. Teams will also hear from a special guest - due to be announced shortly!

The judges will shortlist three college restaurants for the award, who will be invited to join People 1st and members of the employer panel at the AA Hospitality Awards on 24 September where the winner of AA College Restaurant of the Year 2018 will be announced.

How to enter next year´s competition

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

What previous winners say:

“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 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.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

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

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

Read the blog