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restaurant awards

FAQs for Restaurant Awards—New Entries and Renewals

How do I apply for Wine Spectator’s 2016 Restaurant Awards program?
If your restaurant earned a Wine Spectator Restaurant Award in 2015, you are considered a renewal applicant and will be contacted directly via email on Dec. 1, 2015 regarding our new online renewal entry process. If you have not received a message by Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, or if you would like to update your contact email address, please notify restaurantawards@mshanken.com.

All other applicants may begin their application process online here, open from Dec. 1, 2015, through Feb. 1, 2016.
Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards Online Application

My restaurant earned an award last year. Do I have to apply again?
Each year, all previous award winners are required to resubmit their current wine list, dinner menu and entry fee, as well as an updated Listing Form and cover letter. All 2015 winners will be emailed on Dec. 1, 2015. This email will contain a unique link to the restaurant's online listing form. From there, restaurants will be able to update their application information and pay their entry fee. Please note that this form will need to be printed, signed and mailed in with the rest of the required submittals.

When is the deadline to submit an application?
All applications must be postmarked by Monday, Feb. 1.

What is the entry fee?
Applications submitted Dec. 1, 2015 through Dec. 31, 2015 will benefit from an “early-bird” entry fee of $325. For applications received Jan. 1, 2016 through Feb. 1, 2016, the entry fee will be $375. You will be able to pay online by credit card, or you can submit a check with your application made payable to M. Shanken Communications.

Are private clubs, cruise lines, and stadiums eligible?
Entrance is limited to restaurants open to the public as of the program’s deadline on Feb. 1; entries from private clubs are not eligible. All-inclusive resorts, cruise lines, and publicly accessible restaurants located in stadiums are eligible.

My restaurant is located outside the United States. Can I apply?
Yes, we currently have award winners from more than 50 different countries.

This email will be sent to the most current contact we have on file. If you did not receive this email by Dec. 4, 2015, please email us at restaurantawards@mshanken.com.

Can I fax or e-mail my application?
No, faxed or e-mailed applications are not accepted. Please mail your complete application to:

Restaurant Wine List Awards
825 Eighth Avenue
Worldwide Plaza, 33rd floor
New York, NY 10019

How can I find out if my application has been received?
With more than 4,000 applications submitted each year, we cannot reply to phone calls or e-mails requesting confirmation of received materials. Please confirm the delivery of your application through your shipper. Once your application has been processed and is complete, we will send a confirmation e-mail.

Do I need to include a cover letter?
Yes, even if you are renewing, you must submit a one-page cover letter on your restaurant letterhead describing your storage conditions, inventory, pricing and any other information you feel is relevant to your wine program. This cover letter must be in English and include a phone number and e-mail.

My wine list is presented on an iPad. How should I submit it for review?
Any restaurant that uses an iPad or other tablet will need to submit a printed copy of all the wines as they appear on the tablet. This printout must include winery and wine names, appellations, vintages and prices. This list does not need to be formatted, but applicants should also include a few screen shots as examples of the device’s presentation.

If my wine list is in a binder, do I need to include that as well?
It is not necessary to include a binder or other cover with your wine list. Sending your list unbound will save on your postage and will help us process your materials more quickly.

I have more than one restaurant with the same wine list. Do I need to enter them separately?
Yes, entries for each restaurant must be submitted under separate cover letters, with their own set of materials and an entry fee for each. One set of materials submitted for several restaurants will not be accepted.

Should I include copies of my lunch menu, press clippings or anything else?
No, only your wine list, dinner menu, cover letter, listing form and entry fee are required. Other materials are not reviewed by the judges and should not be sent.

Can I submit a headshot?
Yes. After your application is complete, we will invite you to submit one headshot of your sommelier or wine director for possible inclusion in the magazine.

If my restaurant wins an award, how will I be notified?
All award winners will be notified by e-mail in May, and then listed in the Aug. 31 issue of Wine Spectator. Our website's Restaurant Search database, at www.winespectator.com/restaurants, will be updated with the new winners when the Aug. 31 issue is made public. Award certificates are mailed in July.

How do I get extra copies of the August 31 issue of Wine Spectator that includes the complete listing of all the Restaurant Awards winners?
You can always order back copies of recent issues online. Order copies or digital editions of the Aug. 31, 2015 issue of Wine Spectator here.

Or for bulk orders of five or more copies of any August 31 issues of Wine Spectator, available back through 2006, email retailsales@mshanken.com or call 800-344-0763.

Still have questions?
E-mail restaurantawards@mshanken.com.

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