1. Who organises the ranking of Lithuania’s top 30 restaurants?
The project is organised by the Good Food Academy in cooperation with the Lithuanian Hotel and Restaurant Association, the Lithuanian Association of Restaurant Chefs and Confectioners and the magazine Geras Skonis.
2. What is the Good Food Academy?
It is a legal entity which unites food industry representatives in Lithuania and is open for new membership every year. The chair of the Council of the Good Food Academy is Ms. Evalda Šiškauskienė, the president of the Lithuanian Hotel and Restaurant Association.
3. Who are the members of the Good Food Academy?
Different food industry representatives in Lithuania are invited to become the members of the Good Food Academy. These are chefs, restaurant owners, bloggers and journalists who write about the industry, sommeliers and other representatives of the industry. Every member must sign the Pledge of Honest Voting which prohibits the members from evaluating their own restaurants or restaurants of related persons and to rate places which have not been visited yet.
4. What is the Council of the Good Food Academy Council? What are its functions?
The Council of experts is the core body of the Good Food Academy. It is necessary to ensure orderly and honest functioning of the Academy, to develop its activities and improve the principles of rating the restaurants. The Council is comprised of professionals in their field who set the criteria for rating and compile a list of 60 restaurants that meet the established criteria in Lithuania and submit it for further rating by all members of the Good Food Academy. The Council is chaired by Ms. Evalda Šiškauskienė, the president of the Lithuanian Hotel and Restaurant Association.
Chefs and their interests in the Council are represented by Mrs. Darius Dabrovolskas, president of the Lithuanian Association of Restaurant Chefs and Confectioners. The Lithuanian Sommelier Association is represented by its president Arminas Darasevičius.
Media is represented by Beatričė Laurinavičienė, editor of the supplement Savaitgalis to the Verslo Žinios, and Rasa Ščeponienė, chief editor of the magazine Geras Skonis who is also the member of the Board of Gourmet Guild of the global Chaine des Rotisseurs as well as the chancellor of its Lithuanian branch, and Arūnas Starkus, chief editor of the magazine Vyno Žurnalas and the founder of the Lithuanian Sommelier Association and is engaged in a number of other activities related to the industry. The expert council also has a coffee expert Vytautas Kratulis in its composition.
5. How to join the Good Food Academy?
To become a member of the Good Food Academy a candidate needs to receive recommendations of the existing Academy members and an official invitation from the Good Food Academy.
6. What is the rating (voting) procedure for ranking top 30 Lithuanian restaurants?
Members of the Good Food Academy are provided with a list of 60 restaurants that was compiled by the Council of this project. Based on the food evaluation criteria, every member chooses 10 restaurants that, in his/her opinion, is the best in Lithuania. To calculate the total result, rates given for every position (ranking) are then converted into points from 1 to 12 (the best restaurant):
1st place – 12 points
2nd place – 10 points
3rd place – 8 points
4th place – 7 points
5th place – 6 points
6th place – 5 points
7th place – 4 points
8th place – 3 points
9th place – 2 points
10th place – 1 point
Having compiled a top 10 list, the Academy members give individual evaluation for the beverage menu of each nominee rating from 1 (poor) point to 10 (excellent) points, they also evaluate service giving from 1 (poor) point to 10 (impeccable) points, and the environment rating it from 1 (poor) to 10 (excellent).
The score of the food and its presentation evaluation constitutes 70% of the total rate of the voter, meanwhile, the evaluation of the beverages’ choice, the quality of service and the environment comprise 10% each accordingly. After all points given to a restaurant are aggregated and divided by the number of the Academy members who have visited the restaurant, the average of the restaurant’s evaluation is received. The Academy members who mark in the questionnaire that they have not been to a specific restaurant have no effect to the evaluation. The final list of the 30 best restaurants in Lithuania is compiled according to the average evaluation. All members of the Academy have equal number of voting rights (rating).
7. What criteria experts refer to while rating?
When rating the restaurants of the country so as to choose the best ones, food and its presentation have the determinant value. This constitutes 70% of the total score given to a restaurant. When evaluating food and its presentation experts take into consideration the following: – specificity of the cuisine (type of cuisine, its style, genuiness and complexity); – the range of choice on the menu (types of dishes, variations, compatibility, price and quality ratio); – ingredients (their quality, origin and freshness); – complexity of dishes (number of ingredients, garnishes, evaluation of preparation technique); – taste (harmony, creativity when combining ingredients, balance, exclusiveness); – presentation (style, aesthetics, food plating, tableware, plates)
10% of the total rating are given to the evaluation of the menu: – choice (assortment and dynamics of the menu (number of types of beverages, their compatibility with dishes, frequency of menu renewal); – quality and distinctness (specialty beverages found in a facility, quality of offered beverages, exclusive choice);
10% of the total rating are given to the evaluation of the restaurant environment: – concept integrity (whether the restaurant environment is close to food in terms of aesthetics); – whether it is clean, orderly and cosy in a restaurant
10% of the total rating are given to the evaluation of service quality: – general impression (possibility to book a table, reception (welcoming), cloakroom, air quality in a restaurant) – restaurant staff’s behaviour with clients (helpfulness, anticipation, balance between the immediacy and healthy distance)
8. Based on what 60 restaurants are selected whose list is provided to the members of the Good Food Academy for final voting when rating the 30 best restaurants in Lithuania?
Based on its competence and extensive experience in this industry the Council compiles a list of restaurants according to the aforementioned criteria. This list is later provided to all members of the Academy who choose top 30 of the Lithuanian restaurants.
9. Where and when the rating of the best restaurants is announced?
The list of the 30 best restaurants in Lithuania is announced on the website of the project www.30geriausiurestoranu.lt, in the news flow of the information partner of the project www.15min.lt and in the magazine Geras Skonis. Five best restaurants in Lithuania are announced during a special ceremony.
10. What is the award of the 30 best restaurants in Lithuania?
It is an event during which top 5 Lithuanian restaurants are announced. The purpose of the award is to attract media attention and popularise the initiative of Lithuania’s top 30 restaurants both in Lithuania and abroad.
11. Is expert voting audited?
Yes, it is. Voting of all members of the Good Food Academy is supervised and audited by FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT GROUP, UAB (FMG), a bookkeeping, business and tax consultation company.
12. So how can a restaurant find itself among the thirty best restaurants in Lithuania?
First it has to be included in the shortlist of restaurants which is compiled by the Council based on the aforementioned criteria. Restaurants in this list are rated by the members of the Good Food Academy who in this way select thirty best restaurants in Lithuania. Every member of the Academy can vote once only, i.e. to give its points from 1 to 12 to those ten restaurants in Lithuania which, in their opinion, are the best.
All votes of the Academy members carry the same weight. No representative of a restaurant can vote for his/her restaurant. A list of thirty best restaurants in Lithuania is compiled after the aggregation of all votes of the Academy members. In the event where a few restaurants receive the same number of votes, they share a corresponding place (e.g., two restaurants that will receive the same number of votes will take the third place, and the fourth place will remain vacant, then a restaurant that received votes to take the fifth place will be named the fifth in the list).