The 38th Annual RAMMY Awards will return to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Sunday, July 26, 2020. Nominations for 20 categories will be accepted online today, January 9, through February 20, 2020, including four categories for which the general public will select a winner. New in 2020, the awards program’s respected judges panel has amended the timeframe in which a restaurant must be open in order to qualify for the restaurant-specific categories, kicking off a full six months of programs and promotions celebrating the region’s outstanding restaurants and the people who power them.
The amendment updates the eligibility deadline for nominees in five restaurant categories, which previously required restaurants to be open a minimum of two years. In 2020, the following categories will now have an eligibility deadline requiring nominees to be open a minimum of one year by December 31, 2019, including: Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year, Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year, Casual Restaurant of the Year, Favorite Gathering Place of the Year, and Service Program of the Year.
The RAMMYS judges panel requested the eligibility change, following a majority vote by the panel, as they deemed it was crucial to the significance of the awards. The change allows past New Restaurant of the Year nominees and winners to maintain momentum and be nominated for these five categories in the following year, continuing to highlight the overall performance of the restaurant, while maintaining a fair playing field in the judges’ considerations of award finalists.
The RAMMY Awards Gala, produced by Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW), honors the exceptional ability and accomplishments of the hard-working individuals and organizations of the region’s restaurants and foodservice community. RAMW is currently accepting submissions in 20 awards categories, including potential considerations for this year’s Honorary Milestone RAMMY Award, recognizing restaurants in the region that have been open for 25 years or more. To nominate an outstanding operator or professional in the area’s restaurant industry, visit the RAMMYS nominations portal at www.therammys.org through 11:59pm, the evening of February 20, 2020. Only RAMW members are eligible to become finalists. The selection process for nominees and winners involves two esteemed groups: the voting public and an anonymous panel of invited volunteer judges, consisting of food and dining journalists and foodservice industry educators. Finalists in 20 categories will be announced at The RAMMYS Nominations Announcement event in March.
In addition to those eligible for online nominations, RAMW honors two additional members with the Joan Hisaoka Associate Member of the Year, presented to an allied member who best exemplifies commitment to and support of RAMW, and the Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award, given for dedication and leadership that has helped transform Washington’s restaurant scene into today’s vibrant restaurant industry. These awards are determined by RAMW’s Executive Committee.