Taste Durham Awards
Taste Durham Awards

Taste Durham Awards

Taste Durham, is the destination food brand for the county which showcases and celebrates the area’s food and drink to people who live here and those who are just visiting.   


37% of total visitor spend is spent on food and drink during their visit, the highest of all categories.   


The Taste Durham Awards help businesses identify themselves to their customers as a quality business. It helps businesses stand out from the crowd, attract more customers and can make a real difference to the bottom line.


All participating businesses receive a range of marketing and business support opportunities.


The assessment is a business development tool that involves an experienced assessor from Quality in Tourism, visiting and scoring the business against a range of criteria including: physical features such as the condition of the establishment, the food on offer, cleanliness, comfort and ease of use of the facilities. It also looks at the warmth of the welcome, and the atmosphere for customers. 


A commitment to local sourcing of produce is also evaluated, if this is relevant.  The assessment does not include looking at health and safety or food hygiene standards in food preparation areas. There areas are covered by the relevant statutory bodies and are not part of the Taste Durham Award assessment. However a minimum score of 3 in the scores on the doors rating is required to participate.


The assessment visits take the form of a mystery shopper so businesses are not alerted in advance. However the assessor will introduce themselves on completion of the assessment and offer a personal debrief of the visit. A short while later the business receives a detailed report highlighting areas of excellence and outlining areas for improvement. The report also indicates which award has been given.  The award will last for a year and will run from 1 April 2020 until 31 March 2021.  


Businesses can achieve one of two awards: 
1.    Taste Durham Quality Assured award is for businesses that meet between 60 - 79% of the assessment criteria
2.    Taste Durham Highest Quality Assured award is for businesses that meet 80% or more of the assessment criteria


In addition, businesses can achieve the additional citation of Local Produce Champion if the local produce and local sourcing criteria are met (a score of 60% and over).


The cost of the assessment is £130 +VAT payable to Visit County Durham as outlined on the application form.  The cost of the food and drink sampled by the assessor during their visit is waived by the business on the day.  


The payment for the Taste Durham Award includes the assessment visit, a business development report, a certificate and a window sticker relating your award.  



For more information please contact:
Lucy Wearne on lucy.wearne@visitcountydurham.org or 03000 261225