The National Restaurant Association (NRA) encourages the nation’s nearly one million restaurants to apply or nominate a fellow operator for its 2013 Operator Innovations Awards. The Operator Innovations Awards celebrate restaurant operators who are transforming the industry with extraordinary creativity and commitment to innovation and excellence in execution.
Commercial and non-commercial operators may self-nominate. The NRA also invites nominations from individuals throughout the industry – including manufacturers, dealers and distributors, media and other restaurant and foodservice industry professionals – who have seen first-hand how restaurants are driving progress in the restaurant and foodservice industry, fueling customer satisfaction and profitability.
Nominations will be accepted online through February 4, 2013.
“Restaurant operators are coming up with new and better ways to run their businesses every day. It’s important to recognize their ingenuity with the Operator Innovations Awards,” says Dawn Sweeney, National Restaurant Association president and CEO. “Continued innovation in core areas of food safety, menus, nutrition, sustainability, and technology is an important driver in the future success of our industry.”
Selected by an independent panel of experts, the Operator Innovations Awards are presented in each of five categories: Food Safety, Health & Nutrition, Menu Development, Sustainability and Technology. Winners in each category will be announced, and one of the category winners will also be named Innovator of the Year, during the marquee event Destination: Celebration on Saturday, May 18 at the 2013 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show (held May 18-21 at Chicago’s McCormick Place).
The judging panel for the Operator Innovations Awards represents the major segments of the foodservice industry. All nominations are reviewed by the panel of industry leaders consisting of Joe Alouf (president and chief financial officer, Guckenheimer), Patricia Bando (associate vice president, auxiliary services, Boston College), Scott Barton pPresident, fine dining division, Lettuce Entertain You), Jeff Broadhurst (president & CEO, Eat’n Park Hospitality Group), Jean-Marie Clement (Director Food & Beverage Concept Development Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Worldwide), Douglas Davis (sr. director, global food safety, Marriott International), Chris Demery (vice president, applications, Bloomin’ Brands, Inc.), James Houser (vice president of administration, Delaware North),John Metz, Jr. (executive chef, president and co-founder, Sterling Hospitality), Christopher Pappas (CEO, Pappas Restaurants Inc.), and C.W. Craig Reed (director of food & beverage, Broadmoor Hotel).