THE eating out industry sustains 60,000 jobs and also helps support the local agriculture industry by sourcing many of its ingredients from the farming sector.
We eat out much more than we once did, and we like to share our experiences, not just by word of mouth, but usually via social media.
And we all like to think we know the difference between good food and great food – whether we’re out for a humble pizza, stopping off for an old fashioned fish ‘n’ chips, or out with a corporate guest or loved-one at a high-end restaurant.
Now it’s time to tell a wider audience just how good those eating experiences were through the Irish News ‘Great Places to Eat’ Awards in association with Food NI and Henderson Food Services.
Between now and the closing date of noon on Monday, October 28, you can vote for your favourite places in these categories:
Casual dining restaurant, Fine dining restaurant; ‘Free from’ restaurant, Café/coffee shop; Pub/gastro pub, Hotel restaurant; Sunday lunch restaurant, Brunch restaurant; Family friendly restaurant, World cuisine restaurant; Social enterprise café; Visitor attraction café and Best place to eat local produce.
Michele Shirlow, of FoodNI/Taste of Ulster, said: “Food in Northern Ireland has evolved dramatically over the past decade, and we have earned the enviable award of World’s Best Food Destination for 2018/19.
“We have always had world class ingredients, and now these have been brought to the fore by talented chefs.
“We’re excited about this opportunity for people to vote in these inaugural Irish News Great Places to Eat Awards, and I hope people get out dining – and then get nominating for their favourites across any of the categories.”
Cathal Geoghegan, managing director of Henderson Food Services, said: “The hospitality sector in Northern Ireland is booming. With so many great flavours, cuisines, cooking techniques and innovation coming into play in the eating out market, it’s an exciting time for the public to highlight the best we’ve got.
“It’s a competitive market with so many places to choose from to eat out; the true value has to come from delivering the overall experience through ambience, friendly service as well as great, tasty food.
Irish News marketing manager John Brolly added: “We’re urging the public to show their passion for food and vote for their favourite places to eat. Here is a fantastic opportunity to show your support for the places you love.”
Simply vote on irishnews.com/restaurant