Pitfalls of being 'best new restaurant'

Scott Pickett (right) and Joe Grbac of Saint Crispin.
Scott Pickett (right) and Joe Grbac of Saint Crispin. Photo: Eddie Jim
  • Saint Crispin reviewed here

As the dust settled after last week's Good Food Guide awards, some of the winners were learning to manage the new attention winning an award brings. 

Scott Pickett, the chef and co-owner of Saint Crispin, which won New Restaurant of the Year, arrived at the resturant on Tuesday (the day it's closed) at noon to find 198 voicemails and 78 emails inquiring about bookings. ''By the time we got through them all at 3pm, we had another 138 messages to address,'' he says.

By Wednesday, Pickett had employed a second staff member ''to manage calls and bookings''. Other winners on the night also saw a peak in phone and email activity when they arrived for work on Tuesday. 

Banjo Harris Plane, manager of Ripponlea's Attica (Resturant of the Year), says: ''Our phones were busier than normal and we received lots of emails, something like 200 as opposed to the 100 normal daily.'' 

Jason Lui, of three-hat recipient Flower Drum, says, ''Email and Dimmi, in particular, went a bit crazy; the phone was busier than usual.''

The winners of New Regional Restaurant of the Year, Hamish Nugent and Rachel Reed, of Tani Eat & Drink in Bright, returned home to ''a lot of encouraging support and the odd person trying to sell us something'', Nugent says. Tani shuts during winter so the couple can run Tsubo, their sister restaurant in Dinner Plain, but Tani's email was packed with booking requests for its reopening on September 13.