The Restaurant Neighbor Award is an awards program of the Washington Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association to honor restaurants for outstanding community involvement and innovative community programs.
There are four national winners; one small business, one mid-size business, one large business/national chain and one humanitarian of the year.
How winners are honored
Each state winner will receive a plaque to display in their restaurant and their community service program will be highlighted on the National Restaurant Association’s website in a section dedicated to community service case studies to help demonstrate the impact restaurants have in their community.
State winners are honored locally in their communities and national winners receive $5,000 to support their favorite charity or community project and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, DC to receive the award during a gala awards dinner.
Applicants should be involved in a community program or have their own project that has a strong impact in their community, either through funds raised or direct volunteer involvement. Factors that will be taken into consideration include:
Commitment/Involvement — How long has the restaurant been involved in community activities? How did the program evolve? How is the staff involved in the project?
Impact — What impact has the restaurant’s involvement has had or will have on the community (i.e. dollars raised, people fed, volunteer hours)
Membership — While the award is open to members and non-members, membership in good standing will be one of the factors the judges will consider as it shows commitment to the industry overall.
About the cornerstone humanitarian
The Humanitarian of the Year is awarded specifically to an individual, not a restaurant, for his or her personal commitment to community service. A person can apply for the award or they can be nominated by another individual or organization. To apply online or to download the application, go to www.restaurant.org/community