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Brighton Journal | 3rd April 2020

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February 2020: The BRAVOs Are Back In Brighton

February 2020: The BRAVOs Are Back In Brighton
Georgia Hansen

The BRAVOs, which stands for Brighton Restaurant Awards Vote Online, are returning to Brighton for their fourth year in February 2020.

This is the only food and drink award that is entirely publicly voted for. Last year saw 29,874 votes cast for 450 venues across 16 categories. This was a 10% increase from the year before.

This award is meant to help small businesses in the city thrive by encouraging the public to shout out their favourite venues on social media, which plays a major role in marketing and brand awareness.

The BRAVOs also provide a situation where small local businesses have just as much of a chance to bag the top spot as bigger companies with advanced marketing strategies.

Nick Harvey, owner of restaurantsbrighton.co.uk and founder of the BRAVOs, said:

“The BRAVOs have proven themselves to be popular with the public and great for local business and we are excited to be back for our fourth year.”

2019 saw the categories Most Sustainable and Best International added to the roster. The new category being added in 2020 is Good To Go. This is to celebrate the city’s best takeaways, and is reflective of the trend of owners opting for facilities that are solely meant to cook food, not host guests. Examples of these include street vendors, who are able spend their budget on high quality food rather than rent, and restaurants that are exclusively for takeaway orders.

Another change this year is the Best Team category replacing Best Welcome. This is meant to draw focus to collaborative efforts in small businesses where the actions of every team member contribute towards a successful outcome.

This year’s headline sponsor of the BRAVOs is Woods Food Service, a London food service which has recently set up an operation in Sussex.

Nick said:

“We are delighted to have such a prestigious food service company as this year’s headline sponsor. Our local and independent food scene continues to go from strength to strength and offers incredible diversity and quality that really is comparable to that of London and other capital cities. The presence of Woods Food Service, whose customer base hold no less than 31 Michelin Stars, is a very positive sign for the local industry.”

Gemma Heath of Woods Food Service said:

“We are delighted to be part of the BRAVO 2020. The food scene in Brighton is championed by quality independent restaurants. As a family-run organisation, we are proud to be on the ground supporting the best talent in the city. With the various developments planned across the city, the new decade promises that Brighton’s food scene is only going to get stronger and we are excited to be part of the journey.”

The vote is open for six weeks, at the end of which one voter will receive a £200 prize to spend at their favourite venue for food and drinks in Brighton. Prizes will also be given out throughout the six week voting process, some of which are donated by sponsors.

The winners of each category have, in previous years, enjoyed free promotion through Restaurants Brighton.

The 2019 winner of the Best Budget Bites category, The Real Junkfood Project, which works out of pop-ups and uses food that would otherwise end up in a landfill, said:

“[The BRAVOs] certainly improved our profile in the city. We find many more people have heard about us and that was a massive benefit during our recent fundraising efforts. The folk at BRAVO awards are great at publicising all the winners and to be frank, it’s a valuable marketing resource for which we’re thankful.”

Following their win, the company has been able to successfully crowd-fund to open the first pay-as-you-feel café in Brighton. This venue is set to open in Brighton’s North Laine this year. On top of this, Restaurants Brighton has generously pledged to offer a life-long media partnership to the café.

To support your favourite local food and drink venues, vote for them at www.BrightonRestaurantAwards.co.uk  between Monday 3 February and Sunday 15 March. The 16 winners will be announced Monday 30 March.

These winners will each be awarded a BRAVO trophy, which are created by The Wood Store using reclaimed timber in an effort to keep them sustainable. The trophies will be engraved with a laser by Heritage Inlay Design.

If you own a local pub, café, restaurant, bar, or any other food/drink venue, and would like to be nominated, this process is free and all you have to do is contact hello@brightonrestaurantawards.co.uk. If you know of a venue you believe deserves a nomination, you can also get in contact with the team as the process is open to all.

To view the 16 BRAVO categories for 2020, visit: https://restaurantsbrighton.co.uk/bravo-awards/

Featured image: © Nick Harvey

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