The National Restaurant Association today called for the nation’s 935,000 restaurants to apply for its prestigious ninth annual Restaurant Neighbor Award, which recognizes outstanding community service. Applications can be downloaded from the Association’s Web site, Four national winners will be selected to receive $5,000 each for their philanthropic efforts.

“Our nation’s 935,000 restaurants and their 12.8 million employees are well-known for serving great meals, but what many don’t know is that nine out of 10 also serve their communities through community service,” says Peter Kilgore, acting interim president and chief executive officer of the Association. “We want to recognize this fact in the national level with our Restaurant Neighbor Award program.”

More information on the award program, including application forms and instructions, is available on the National Restaurant Association’s Web site, Restaurants may apply on their own behalf, and employees, patrons, and other members of the community may work with a local restaurant to apply for the award. To view last year’s winners, visit the Web site.

Winners will be chosen in each state by the respective state restaurant and/or hospitality association. The state winners will be eligible for national awards in four different categories-small business, mid-size business, large business/national chain and Cornerstone Humanitarian.

Each of the four national winners will receive a $5,000 award to help the company continue its community programs. In addition, the national winners will receive a trip to Washington, D.C., for the awards ceremony during the Association’s Public Affairs Conference, to be held September 25-26, 2007. The national winners and all state winners will be recognized in a booklet and on the National Restaurant Association Web site. The deadline to apply for the award is June 15, 2007.

The National Restaurant Association and founding partner American Express developed the Restaurant Neighbor Award to raise awareness about the restaurant industry’s contributions in local communities across the country and to inspire other restaurant operators and owners to make even greater contributions in their communities.

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