The Voting System

The Voting System

Organised by William Reed, the people behind The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and The World's 50 Best Hotels, The World's 50 Best Bars is a snapshot of the opinions and experiences of 680 bar industry experts across the globe. None of the employees of the organiser or any of the sponsors associated with the awards, including the main sponsor, has any influence over the results.

What constitutes ‘best’ is left to the judgment of these trusted and well-travelled experts. The list is the result of a simple computation of votes. Given that the ranking is based on personal experiences, it can never be definitive, but we believe it is an honourable survey of current tastes and a credible indicator of the best places to drink across the world.

How the voting works

The list is compiled by votes from The World’s 50 Best Bars Academy, which comprises 680 drinks experts, including renowned bartenders and consultants, drinks writers and cocktail specialists from around the world, with 50/50 gender balance. 

Each voter casts seven votes based on their best bar experiences of the previous 18 months. For the last few editions, to reflect the reduced travel opportunities afforded to panellists due to the pandemic, there was no requirement for voters to cast any international votes (while in previous years, voters would be asked for at least three votes outside their home country, or home state in the US). Voters are required to remain anonymous and voting is confidential and secure.

The main rules of voting are:

  • Voting is strictly confidential
  • Panellists vote for seven bars, in order of preference
  • Voters must have visited the bars they nominate within the voting window
  • Voters are not permitted to vote for bars they own or have a financial interest in
  • Nominations must be made for the bar and not for the bar owner or bartender (except in the case of special individual awards)
  • Panellists cannot vote for a temporary bar, ‘pop-up’, or ‘guest shift’, or for a bar based on an experience that does not take place at the bar itself

These criteria are designed to allow panellists to vote far and wide. They could vote for a small, unknown bar in a remote area of Asia, or select the best-known venue in their own country or region – it is their opinion and the experiences they have had that matter.

This method means that bars cannot apply to be on the list, and cannot be nominated, and no external influences (from William Reed or our sponsors) can influence the list. It also means that every bar in the world is eligible, unless it is closed at the time that the list is announced, or we receive notice that it will be closing in the near future.

There are no criteria that a bar has to meet. They certainly do not have to sell a certain product. They do not need to have been open a certain number of years and they do not need to have won any other accolades.

Learn more about The World's 50 Best Bars Academy

Independent Adjudication

Since 2020, professional services consultancy Deloitte is the official independent adjudicator of The World’s 50 Best Bars. Deloitte has been granted full and independent access to The World’s 50 Best Bars voting process and data and has performed certain procedures to confirm the integrity and authenticity of the voting process and the resulting list.

In order to guarantee a fair relationship between the percentage of votes a region receives and their proportionate representation in The World’s 50 Best Bars list, in the event of a significant variance, Deloitte will apply a normalisation process to the voting data.

About Deloitte

Founded in 1845, Deloitte has grown to become one of the world’s pre-eminent and most trusted professional services consultancies. As part of its wide-ranging portfolio, Deloitte works with companies in all areas of the licensed retail industry and has considerable experience in providing bespoke adjudication services for a number of internationally recognised awards.

It has a dedicated team devoted to the hospitality sector that specialises in a comprehensive range of audit and advisory services, complemented by industry-specific knowledge and the leverage of a network of specialist expertise across the UK, Europe, the US and Asia. In the sector Deloitte works with businesses spanning one-site start-ups through to FTSE-listed groups – and it is proud to be acting as independent adjudicator for The World’s 50 Best Bars.