Four restaurant chains earn recognition for marketing, service and culinary/operations expertise.
The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) announced the winners of the 2014 COEX Innovation Awards, which recognize regional and national chain companies that are shaping the industry through innovation in culinary, operations, marketing and service.
Following are the 2014 winners and a brief description as to why they won supplied by IFMA.
- Marketing/Service, National Chain: Buffalo Wild Wings: Key initiatives from this chain include a store redesign that captures the stadium experience to the front-of-house greeters, the setting and staff create an inviting, warm and fun ambiance that keeps customers coming back.
- Marketing/Service, Regional Chain: Culver's: Culver's sparks creativity through an inclusive company culture and by listening to their customers, particularly through their Deliciousness Council panel, which gathers input from guests. Some say Culver's use of Twitter is hard to match. They also have a memorable and distinct marketing approach, leveraging the popularity of the company's owner, Craig Culver, and its Wisconsin roots.
- Culinary/Operations, National Chain: Taco Bell: Taco Bell is a brand of firsts, always innovating and actively listening to its consumers to turn their "wants" into tangible "must haves." In 2013, they continued to bring on trend flavors to the market with the introduction of two unique flavors of Doritos Locos Tacos, Cool Ranch and Fiery. The new flavors and other menu items added over the past year have helped same-store sales performances and the buzz continues to grow amongst consumers looking for something new.
- Culinary/Operations, Regional Chain: Maggiano's Little Italy: At Maggiano's, innovation begins with asking guests what they want and then determining how the chain can meet or exceed that need with food and beverage origination. Their chefs and restaurant teams are critical in providing fresh ideas, recipes and photos to improve upon their already very popular menu.