Last week, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced the opening of nominations for their national awards highlighting the stars of the restaurant industry. The awards recognize the restaurant industry’s impact on diversity, community service and hospitality in local communities across the country.

The awards include the Restaurant Neighbor Award (RNA), the Faces of Diversity Award (FOD) and the Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award (AOH). The winners will be recognized at a gala awards dinner in Washington, D.C. during the National Restaurant Association’s Public Affairs Conference in March 2019.

“It’s incredibly important for the Foundation to recognize those making our industry a better place for everyone,” says Rob Gifford, executive vice president of the NRAEF. “By including those of us from all backgrounds, giving selflessly through community service and showcasing exemplary leadership, these individuals help us move the restaurant and foodservice industry forward.”

Now in its 20th year, the Restaurant Neighbor Award, founded in partnership with American Express, honors restaurants and restaurateurs for their philanthropic efforts and dedication to their communities. Three winning restaurants will receive $10,000 to support a charity or community project.

Now in its 11th year, the Faces of Diversity Award partners with PepsiCo Foodservice to honor individuals in the restaurant industry who have achieved the American dream through hard work, dedication, and supporting others to do the same. Three winning individuals will receive a $2,500 scholarship in their name.

For 32 years, the Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award, sponsored by Ecolab, has celebrated individuals who have shown extraordinary achievement and leadership in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

Applicants and nominees have until November 5, 2018 to submit applications for the restaurant industry awards. Visit to apply or nominate award winners for 2019.