Restaurant serves up winning recipe for success
  • Wednesday 14 July 2010

For many businesses, the start of a new financial year can be the motivation to review the business plan and look at new ways to increase profile and profits. Winning a Sunshine Coast Excellence in Business Award may assist on both counts.

Someone who knows a thing or two about winning awards is Craig Mitchell of the Terrace of Maleny restaurant. Craig won a Sunshine Coast Excellence in Business Award in the Hospitality Small Business category three times running from 1998 - 2000 earning him a spot in the prestigious awards’ Hall of Fame. After selling the business in 2005, three months ago he decided to buy it back and is already in winning form again having increased business by over 40% in that short time.

As a Hall of Fame winner, Craig is unable to enter the awards again this year but encouraged all other hinterland businesses to “definitely give it a go”.

“As far as awards go I think that the Sunshine Coast Excellence in Business Awards are one of the easiest to enter and of course it’s free to do so.

“If you’re serious about your business the questions are straight forward and the whole entry process doesn’t take up too much time.

Craig said that he was sure that the awards helped to raise his business profile as part of his overall marketing strategy.

“As well as the awards themselves, the awards night is also worth attending. There are hundreds of other business people there so it’s a great networking opportunity and of course if you win on the night there’s another few hundred potential customers that might give your business a try,” Craig said.

With entries closing on Friday July 30, Sunshine Coast businesses are encouraged to enter the awards by completing a nomination form, or being nominated by a third party, and then submitting the answers to nine - 12 questions that make up the final entry submission. There are 13 award categories to choose from and with entry content limited to no more than six, A4 pages even the busiest of businesses should be able to find the time to enter.

The awards boast a range of quality, high profile sponsors including the Sunshine Coast Council as a Platinum Sponsor and a host of others including Suncorp Bank, Sunshine Coast TAFE, University of the Sunshine Coast, Telstra Country Wide and more.

Sunshine Coast Council’s Chair of Economic Development and Entrepreneurship, Councillor Lew Brennan said he believed that by entering the awards and attending the award presentation ceremony in November, businesses received the perfect opportunity to celebrate their successes and to network with some of the biggest names in business on the Sunshine Coast.

“Regardless of the outcome the whole entry process is an excellent way of reviewing your business. It gives you a chance to analyse your strengths and weaknesses, makes sure you’re on track and provides the opportunity to promote your business to a broader network of customers and captains of industry.”


  • Nominations for the 16th Sunshine Coast Excellence in Business Awards close at 5pm on Friday 30 July.
  • Nomination forms and information is available at or by phoning 5443 5661.
  • Categories include: Building/Manufacturing, Business Services, Creative/Knowledge Industries, Environmental Industries, Export, Food and Beverage Production, Innovation, Lifestyle Services, Professional Services, Retail, Tourism, Outstanding Business Person of the Year and Outstanding Employee of the Year.
  • All entries require a nomination and the completion of nine business submission questions (plus an additional three questions for the Special Awards - Innovation and Export).
  • The judges will evaluate entrants by way of the written entry submission, demonstration of best management practices, an onsite interview, a ‘mystery shop/visit’, and referee attestations.
  • The final Sunshine Coast Excellence in Business Awards ceremony will be held in November. It is the largest regional business award event to be held outside of a metropolitan city in Australia.