The National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show will play host to the show’s first-ever “Destination: Celebration” event -- a kick-off party during which the winners of the inaugural Operator Innovations Awards will be announced May 5.

Earlier this year, the National Restaurant Association called on individuals from across the industry to nominate restaurant and foodservice operators who have transformed the industry with extraordinary creativity and commitment. The award has five distinct categories: Technology Applications, Sustainability, Menu Development, Food Safety, and Health & Nutrition. Winners in each category, as well an Innovator of the Year, will be announced during Destination: Celebration.

Destination: Celebration will be held at Chicago’s Harris Theater in Millennium Park, May 5 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online for $125 each, or packs of 10 tickets can be purchased for $1,000.

In addition to celebrating industry thought leaders, guests will be treated to music by solo artist Kenny Loggins.

"As the largest restaurant and foodservice industry event in the nation, the NRA Show delivers the best in both business connections and entertainment, and our new Destination: Celebration event is the perfect example," said Jack Crawford, convention chair for NRA Show 2012 and president and CEO of Ground Round Independent Owners Cooperative LLC. "The event will allow attendees to celebrate some of the most innovative restaurateurs in our industry and network with peers – and have a good time while doing both."

The National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show will be held May 5-8, at McCormick Place in Chicago.

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