Industry News | April 1, 2008

Spirit Awards Nominations Now Open

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) along with founding sponsor, The Coca-Cola Company, today announced that nominations are now being accepted for the 2008 SPIRIT Awards program. Now in its fourth year, the SPIRIT Awards honor restaurant and foodservice companies that have proven their dedication to their workforce through exceptional recruitment, training, retention and recognition programs. Award winners have demonstrated an understanding that improved guest satisfaction is a direct result of improved employee satisfaction.

"Workforce recruitment and retention continues to be one of the greatest challenges our industry faces, and that is why the SPIRIT Awards are a vital tool for not only recognizing those companies that go to great lengths in ensuring employee satisfaction, but also to emphasize the importance of maintaining the workforce as our industry's greatest asset," said Ruben Villavicencio, chairman of the board of trustees, NRAEF.

The SPIRIT Awards are open to any commercial, on-site, independent, corporate and franchise foodservice/restaurant company, in any service format, regardless of size. One winner will be chosen in each of the following four categories: quick-service, full-service, fine-dining, and on-site

The winners of the 2008 SPIRIT Awards will be recognized during the 49th Annual Multi-unit Foodservice Operators Convention (MUFSO), to be held October 12-15, 2008 Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The winners will also be featured in The Spirit of the Industry 2008, a publication highlighting the organizations and their award-winning practices. Past winners include: Famous Dave's of America, Union Square Hospitality Group, Royal Caribbean International, Bruegger's Enterprises, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Ohio State University Medical Center, Boston College, Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Bambara, Golden Corral Corp., Jack in the Box Inc. and Panzano.

To learn more about this program and to download nomination information and forms, visit The deadline for this year's SPIRIT Awards nominations is June 13, 2008.

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