May 20—Kennesaw State University, in Georgia, took home the Innovator of the Year award at the National Restaurant association’s second annual Operator Innovations Awards.
The awards were presented at a reception at the NRA Show, being held this weekend in Chicago. The winners were selected, by an independent panel of judges, in five categories: Food Safety, Health & Nutrition, Menu Development, Sustainability, and Technology.
The 2013 Operator Innovations Awards winners are:
Sustainability: Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Ga.
The university’s dining operation includes closed-loop waste management program, which features a Farm-to-Campus program, water reclamation, aerobic digestion, composting/recycling programs, oil-to-biodiesel conversion and a gold LEED-certified facility.
Health & Nutrition: United States Air Force, San Antonio
The Food Transformation Initiative (FTI) guides customers toward healthy choices through its food selections, cooking methods, meal availability and merchandising. Performance metrics show that FTI improves the health and energy of customers without diminishing satisfaction.
Commercial winners were:
Food Safety: Ninety Nine Restaurants, Woburn, Mass.
Menu Development: HMSHost, Bethesda, Md.
Technology: Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
“These restaurant operators have found solutions for their businesses with programs and initiatives that combine creativity and hard work,” Jeffrey Davis, convention chair for NRA Show 2013 and IWSB and CEO of the United States Beef Corp., said in a press release. “The 2013 Operator Innovations Awards winners redefine how the industry views innovation, and will serve as the benchmark for other operators to apply the same innovative spirit within their own operations.”