Nomination Submissions

Nominations are submitted online only through the nomination’s website, and are available to the general public. The Foodist Awards Panel may also submit nominations, if restaurants they would like to be considered are not already entered by other sources. Submissions are reviewed by the Arizona Restaurant Association for eligibility and those submissions that are deemed eligible are approved for judging.

In 2018, Foodist Awards received over 1,100 collective nominations.

Fees: There is no fee to submit.

2022 submissions are open for a period of 2 weeks during the month of February. The call for nominations is sent out to Arizona Restaurant Association membership and general public electronically.

The Panel

The Panel is responsible for considering and choosing the winners for all awards with exception of the Employee of the Year and Manager of the Year award. These two awards are selected by a second panel developed by the Arizona Restaurant Association.

The Panel, administered by the Arizona Restaurant Association, shall include no fewer than 7 and a maximum of 17 individuals.


It is expected that participating judges have and maintain expertise on dining trends, beverage trends, food innovations, beverage innovations, food service operations, front of house service, and F&B excellence. Eligible judges are well-versed on past, present, and upcoming restaurant industry chefs, restaurateurs, mixologists, sommeliers, projects and businesses. It is expected that judges dine out at restaurants across the region with frequent vigor.


The Panel members are required to pledge their confidentiality during and after their service, and they are anonymous to the public.


The Panel members participate in the Foodist Awards Panel as unpaid, invited volunteers.