By Derrek J. Hull, Blogger-in-Chief
The National Restaurant Association is calling on individuals from throughout the industry to nominate commercial and non-commercial operators – operators are encouraged to self-nominate - for the National Restaurant Association's inaugural Operator Innovations Awards. In addition, manufacturers, dealers and distributors, media and other restaurant and foodservice industry professionals are invited to submit nominations for operators. The nominations deadline is March 7, 2012.
Selected by an independent panel of judges, the winners will be announced during the 2012 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, held at its new dates, May 5-8 at Chicago's McCormick Place.
The industry-first awards will celebrate the best the industry has to offer in innovation in five distinct categories:
- Technology Applications
- Menu Development
- Food Safety
- and Health & Nutrition
"Innovation and excellence in execution drive growth in the restaurant industry," said Jack Crawford, Convention Chair for NRA Show 2012 and President and CEO of Ground Round Independent Owners Cooperative, LLC. "Recognizing this, the National Restaurant Association is launching the new Operator Innovations Awards to celebrate and encourage continued advancement, while shining a spotlight on industry-leading innovators who inspire other restaurant operators to new heights."
The judges panel consists of Patricia Bando (Associate Vice President, Auxiliary Services, Boston College), Scott Barton (President, Fine Dining Division, Lettuce Entertain You), Jeff Broadhurst (President & CEO, Eat'n Park Hospitality Group), Marc Buehler (President, O'Charleys), Jean-Marie Clement (Director, Global Food & Beverage Line of Business, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide), Douglas Davis (Director, Global Food Safety, Marriott International), Chris Demery (Vice President, Applications, OSI Restaurant Partners, LLC), 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.), C.W. Craig Reed (Director of Food & Beverage, Broadmoor Hotel), and Ron Serluco (Senior Vice President of Operators, Guckenheimer).
For more information and the nomination form, visit www.restaurant.org/show/oiawards.
To register for NRA Show 2012 or the International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event, visit www.restaurant.org/show or www.winespiritsbeer.org.