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NRA Announces Winners of 2nd Annual Operator Innovations Awards

Kennesaw State University honored with coveted Innovator of the Year Award. 

The National Restaurant Association announced the winners of its second annual Operator Innovations Awards, with Kennesaw State University taking home the prestigious Innovator of the Year award. Selected by an independent panel of expert judges, the winners were recognized for their achievements in driving advancement in the foodservice industry in the following categories: food safety, health and nutrition, menu development, sustainability, and technology.

The 2013 Operator Innovations Awards winners are:

  • Food Safety: Ninety Nine Restaurants of Woburn, Mass. An allergy alert system that combines staff training and involvement with clear communications via ordering, display systems and tracking, ensuring awareness and proper preparation for everyone who touches a guest's food, minimizing risk for all.
  • Health and Nutrition: United States Air Force of San Antonio, Texas. Food Transformation Initiative (FTI) revolutionizes Air Force food selections, cooking methods, meal availability, and merchandising to guide customers to healthier choices.
  • Menu Development: HMSHost of Bethesda, Md. The Freedom to Choose Web portal is an internally developed, custom online tool for the company's 100+ airport operations and is designed to give local operators access to hundreds of menu items, allowing them to quickly and easily tailor menus to keep up with traveler preferences and regional trends.
  • Sustainability: Kennesaw State University of Kennesaw, Ga. The University's 5,000 guest/day dining operation incorporates a comprehensive, closed-loop waste management program through a variety of efforts including an organic "Farm-to-Campus-to-Farm" program, water reclamation, aerobic digestion, composting/recycling programs, oil-to-biodiesel conversion and more to significantly reduce costs, minimize environmental impact and qualify the facility for a LEED Gold certification.
  • Technology: Walt Disney Parks and Resorts of Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The Be Our Guest Restaurant utilizes a unique fast-casual restaurant system capable of automating elements throughout the operation, including RF table locators, ordering, checkout, back-of-the-house workflow and more to deliver a personalized, streamlined experience for guests that allows the operation to serve more than 3,000 meals at lunch each day.