case study

Restaurant Association of Ireland Awards

Project details

  • Client —  Restaurant Association of Ireland
  • Project —  Food Oscars
  • URL —

What was required

Very simply, build a form allowing a reader to nominate their favourite restaurant, chef, manager, etc., that disallowed multiple entries.


Project insight

One of the primary requirements was accurate nominations. Readers could enter their favourite restaurant, use incorrect spelling, miss out on a hyphen, etc. This could lead to variations in entries for the same establishment, which could prove challenging to audit. Second of all, the form had to be mobile-friendly.

To prevent this from happening, the Google Places API was implemented. A reader would start typing their restaurant, and the API would display the name, which was then selected. Next, the category ranging from Best Restaurant through 14 other categories would be chosen. Some personal information for competition entry was then asked for. Once the form was submitted, the reader was allowed to share on social media their nomination in a bid to increase engagement. The remaining categories were also displayed to improve the process, but crucially any previous ones were not shown.

JQuery was used to implement a countdown encouraged the reader to vote in a timely fashion, validate the form and prevent multiple entries.

Nominations were saved in to an Active Campaign list which allowed easy segmentation and export for the auditor BDO. From 2018 to 2022, the awards consistently gathered over 75,000 entries over two weeks; it was by far the most successful competition run by the newspaper. It equated to 3.4 entries per second, 24 hours a day. It also led to 85% unique nominations; the process was deemed fair and transparent. Because of this, these annual awards, the ‘Food Oscars’, garnered a wealth of attention in the food and drink industry.

Since this was created and published The Irish Times has replaced the content management system that was used for this project and is longer available in the original guise.

Thankfully the WayBackMachine Internet Archive has a version which can be viewed here.

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