Does it help restaurants to keep mentioning old accolades?

There is a pizza shop down the street from me. In the window are banners given out for winning competitions i.e., “Best Pizza in the Midwest”. The problem is that the newest banner dates from 2004. Every time I see it I think, “So what have you done lately”?

!!! Michelin One Star Restaurant !!! (18 years ago).

I might take brief notice if the “honor” was bestowed this year or last, but beyond that, no. Who cares? And I don’t trust reviews on Yelp or sites like that. What I do pay attention to, however, is a restaurant’s most recent health inspections conducted by the state health department. I don’t mind one or two minor violations, but I’ve found some places with a dozen or more. Having had food poisoning twice from bad restaurant food, I’m pretty careful.

18 years? That’s like 3 owners ago.

Are there really even “pizza competitions,” and even if there are, do you really care?

Personally, I do not.

I’ve been involved in situations where “awards” like this are offered. The business buys the plaque/banner/sign for an inflated amount.

The first few years the business pays the fee and basks in the accolades. Soon it’s old hat and you don’t pay for new awards. You have an established clientele, why bother?

I mean, Campbell’s soup still apparently considers it worth bragging about on the label that it won an award at the 1900 Paris Exposition, and ISTR seeing a brand of vodka awhile back that boasted of its royal warrant from Czar Nicholas II.

I don’t think keeping the award in the window counts as ‘mentioning.’ Including a 15 year old “Voted Best in the Tri-County Area” in a current ad might be a bit much. And those old awards are sort of neat if there’s an entire wall of them along with signed celebrity closeups and newspaper clippings with favorable reviews. I think it’s seen more as pride of the owner than driving business.

I still have my college diploma on the wall, after all.

Yeah, if it’s just an award in the window, it might function as much as a “We’ve been here this long” statement than a “Remember 18 years ago when someone liked our pizza?” one. Gives the place a sense of being part of the community and maybe “well, they gotta be decent if they last this long”

I once worked at a company that had some awards on the wall for excellence in their field but the most recent one was from 8-10 years before I started. I always thought it was a little weird for the same reason as the OP – “Sure, but what have you done lately?” – and asked about it. Guy I asked explained that when the company was newer and you were trying to make a name, you’d submit your work to all these award nomination things. Once people knew who you were and you were busy with real work, you just kind of stopped caring and it wasn’t worth your time. But no one actually went around taking the old award plaques off the walls.

I would have won but some guy named Perry beat me. Curse you Perry the person!

Somewhat related but a local restaurant kept up their GRAND OPENING banner for the entire 5 years of existence. I knew something was wrong when I passed by and it was gone, apparently the whole restaurant has shut down and they were finally forced to take down all signage.

There are. In a former life I managed a pizza place, and went to this every year:

There are competitions that take place at the convention. Not that I expect you to c… er, wait a minute… :slight_smile:

I don’t know about applications for restaurants, but the applications for best engineering project are full-on reports. Even if you’re familiar with the project and have access to the computer files, it’s going to take a couple of days. And then usually your boss has to review it (and ask for edits) and his boss has to review it (and ask for edits).

So, yeah, there’s a cost.

My firm (and people in it) get these awards. We stop referencing them once they are a few years old. In our judgment there’s a certain balance point between them being a net positive (“we won an award recently”) and a net negative (“it’s ages since we were good enough to win an award”).

The only exception is where we have won an award persistently ie “best in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019 etc” because in the context of the whole chain, mentioning a decade old award shows consistency not datedness.

There is a Chinese restaurant in our town, owned and operated by the one extended Chinese family in our town (population 1490). Very nice family, great food, etc.

A few years ago they received an award and placed ads in local area papers talking about it. They reprinted their menus to mention the award. I saw their trophy, a beautiful glass, chrome, gold thing proudly on display. A plaque named their restaurant “best healthy menu”, along with the name of the presenter.

I googled the presenting company and researched the situation. It’s a company that sells to Chinese restaurants things like wall hangings, chandeliers, chopsticks, etc. They created hundreds of awards and offered a unique award to each of their customer restaurants. The restaurant pays some $$$ amount for the trophy and press releases.

Especially since Michelin stars are annual awards - it’s only the current rating that counts in the food world.

It’s tough to run a restaurant. And old restaurants are rarely reviewed. If the accolades were deserved or significant, who cares if the owner took pride in providing great food? Such places tend to be busy, with reason, for decades.

I don’t know why Five Guys does it. But praise in a difficult business is music to their ears. Let them enjoy that while not reading too deeply. One restaurant in town has a paper showing the twelve best restaurants in town - years later, they are the only one of them left. Another won a World’s Best competition in Las Vegas - but never became that popular AFAIK, could be wrong, but I think they still closed.

In my case, it was in the construction field so you’d take a bunch of photos of the project and submit a portfolio, etc. Probably less work than yours but still enough that no one felt it was worth the effort for a “Gold Key Award” to hand on the office hallway walls. But I suppose that sort of company doesn’t rely on walk-by traffic or ads in the Penny Saver to draw business either like a small casual restaurant would.

A recent or few-years-old award from a newspaper survey of restaurant diners would have a minor positive impression on me, an old one much less so (though maybe they stopped giving out the award long ago). It’s a lot more meaningful than when a supplement company bellows that its products are “FDA Approved” or the slightly more honest “FDA Cleared”.

I’ve consistently missed out on a terrific self-promotion activity. Every year I get a come-on from an outfit that proclaims I am one of “America’s Top Physicians”, and eligible to display an impressive plaque in my office. Of course you’d have to shell out $$ for the plaque and an attractive leather-bound volume showing your Top Physician status. I imagine there are docs out there who pay up so that they can have a nifty plaque on their office wall to impress patients.

There’s a set of awards in my area that I pay absolutely no attention to. The recipients do not actually pay money for the awards and the awards are not just for restaurants. Anyone can make a nomination and between the way the categories are chopped up , and the voting rules ( theoretically each person can vote once a day per category) a Catholic school can win for “Best Private School” or “Best Parochial School” and not win for “Best Catholic School”. So when I go to a restaurant and see that they’ve won " Best German Restaurant" for five years in a row, I don’t care for two reasons. First, many of the entities that win these awards have an organized effort to get people ( including non-customers) to vote for them daily. Second, because of the way the categories are chopped up, the “Best X Restaurant” may be the only X restaurant in the area.

I do look at Yelp (and take the reviews with a grain of salt – hehe), but I always search by “most recent.” And I read them carefully. Reviews older than a year aren’t meaningful IMHO.