Best Bites


The Best Bites program celebrates excellence in food businesses across the areas of nutrition, accessibility, waste management, water and energy saving, along with going smoke free and alcohol management.

There are three elements to the current Best Bites program: The Best Bites Food Guide, the Best Bites Food Awards, and the Best Bites People's Choice Awards. These are managed by the Best Bites Advisory Committee.

Click on the tabs below to find out more.

The Best Bites Advisory Committee

The Best Bites program is coordinated by the Best Bites Advisory Committee. Members are drawn from Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Peninsula Health, the Disability Advisory Committee, and other relevant organisations with knowledge and experience in the program areas of access and inclusion, nutrition, tobacco control, and sustainability. The committee are guided by Terms of Reference(PDF, 123KB) .

Community members and organisation representatives interested in joining the Best Bites Advisory Committee, can express their interest by  emailing us.

You can contact the program via email, or phone 1300 850 600 for more information.

Best Bites Food Guide

The Best Bites Food Guide features the most outstanding food businesses on the Mornington Peninsula in the five areas of nutrition, tobacco and alcohol, waste and recycling, energy and water efficiency and access for all.

To qualify for the Best Bites program, food businesses must attain 95% compliance with their annual Shire Food Safety Assessment.

It's free to be involved, and simply requires a short on site assessment to be carried out.

Once assessed across one or more of the five areas, businesses are included in the Best Bites Food Guide - in print and online.

The Guide, which lists more than 100 local food businesses serving safe, healthy and sustainable food, is available for free from Shire customer service centres, local food businesses, visitor information centres, libraries and the most up-to-date version is maintained online.

Download: Best Bites Food Guide 2020
Download Microsoft Word version: Best Bites Food Guide 2020 Accessible Version

Businesses can nominate to be included in the next edition of the Best Bites Food Guide by completing a nomination form to arrange an assessment.

There are lots of resources to help businesses achieve excellence across the five areas of the Best Bites program. More information about the Best Bites Food Guide and the Best Bites program can be found at

Best Bites Food Awards

As part of the Best Bites program, the Best Bites Food Awards showcase excellence in local food businesses.

Businesses that are in the Best Bites Food Guide can nominate for the awards, and are assessed on how well they are achieving the following:

  • Providing of safe and healthy food;
  • Using environmentally sustainable business practices;
  • Providing accessible and inclusive premises; and
  • Minimising harm associated with alcohol consumption and tobacco use

There are different nine business categories including :

  • Café
  • Restaurant
  • Takeaway outlet
  • Tourist Accommodation (for example, bed and breakfast, accommodation with a dining room)
  • Health & Education (includes child care, school canteen, aged care, etc)
  • Farm gate: includes primary producers with a retail frontage
  • Food manufacturer (for example, bakers, cheese makers, home based businesses, etc)
  • Retail (for example, butchers, supermarket, delicatessens, etc)
  • Community Group (for example, sporting clubs with canteens)

Nominees in each of these categories are judged by an independent panel to determine the award finalists, highly commended and winners.

Judging takes place over winter and spring, with the Awards announced in late Spring.

See our previous Best Bites Food Awards results or find out more about entering the Best Bites Food Awards and the Best Bites program.

Best Bites Judges

An independent judging panel drawn from Peninsula Health, Disability Advisory Committee, Mornington Peninsula Shire and relevant industry associations/groups assesses the entrants across a wide ranging criteria. Judges are drawn from organisations such as

The judges for each Best Bites business category have great knowledge and experience in the program areas of access and inclusion, nutrition, tobacco control, and sustainability. All of the judges are volunteers who kindly donate their time and expertise to support Best Bites. Without their support the Best Bites Awards would not be possible.

You can contact the program via email, or phone 1300 850 600 for more information.

Best Bites People's Choice Awards

Businesses listed in the Best Bites Food guide can be nominated for the Best Bites People's Choice Awards. Consumers simply nominate their favourite Mornington Peninsula food businesses in the Best Bites areas of food safety, access, healthy eating, smoke free dining and sustainability. There are three business categories to choose from: cafe, restaurant or take away food outlet.

To nominate, simply tell us in 50 words or less how your nominated food business delivers Best Bites excellence across either:

  • Nutrition & healthy eating
  • Access & inclusion
  • Tobacco & alcohol compliance
  • Recycling & waste management
  • Energy & water efficiency 
  • Or all of the above! 

Businesses must be featured in the free online Best Bites Food Guide to be nominated. The guide lists local food businesses that have scored over 95% in their food safety assessment and are providing excellent allergen management for customers. 

How to nominate

By nominating your favourite Best Bites food business, you will go into the draw to win a box of fresh, local produce to the value of $100! There are three to be won - one for each category. Nominations for the 2023 Best Bites People’s Choice Awards open on November 2022 and close March 2023Terms and conditions apply

The Best Bites People's Choice Awards are a great opportunity for community members to champion their favourite local businesses and provide them with some well deserved recognition, whether they’re a hidden gem or a well-known name. 

See the results from the 2022 Best Bites People’s Choice Awards or find out more about the Best Bites program

Find out more about the 2022 People's Choice award winners or the Best Bites program 

Useful links for businesses

There are a large number of great online resources available to businesses to help them learn more about the Best Bites program. Be inspired by other local businesses delivering excellence across the Best Bites categories, find new resources to upskill staff, and give your business a higher community profile using the Best Bites program.