An independent panel of foodservice operator experts has selected finalists for the third annual 2014 Operator Innovation Awards. These finalists were chosen in five categories - Health and Nutrition, Marketing, Menu Development, Sustainability and Technology.
The winners in each category, in addition to the Innovator of the Year, will be announced live in Chicago at the Destination: Celebration gala on May 17, during the 2014 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, according to a news release.
Among this year's finalists are Subway, Captain D's and Boston Pizza.
Captain D's "It's a Brand New D's" menu revamp is a finalist in the Menu Development category. According to the release, this menu overhaul "high-end creative and signage to feature new categories, premium sides, new kid's meals and a high-quality, fresh-grilled seafood menu."
Subway'sProject Subway is a finalist in the Marketing category. The release said, "To enter the NY Fashion Week conversation, this project challenged designers to craft dresses entirely out of recyclable Subway packaging, including subwrap, straws and salad bowls — wowing attendees and media on the runway while reaching a new demographic of customers."
Boston Pizza International is another Marketing category finalist for its BP All Stars Kids & Family Engagement Program. Designed to engage kids and parents together, this program features an activity kit, branded tattoos and crayons that integrate with a 3D augmented reality mobile app, featuring interactive games that encourage playful competition and generate frequency, the release said.
The other Operator Innovations Awards finalists include:
Health & Nutrition
- UCSF Medical Center, Smart Choice Smart U
- Kennesaw State University, "Farm-to-Fit" Program
- Aramark, Healthy For Life Health & Wellness Program
- Orange County Public Schools, OCPS Truck Of The Month (T.O.M.)
- UNC Health Care, Restaurant Delivery Program
- Potawatomi Bingo Casino, Menu Development Initiative
- Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, GreenPath
- HMSHost, startsomewhere
- Chumash Casino Resort, Whole Systems Approach to Waste Management Program
- Indiana University Health, Hand Hygiene - Vision Safety Solutions
- Dickie Brennan Restaurants, RAIL Payment Platform
- FIG & OLIVE, Guest Management System (FOGMS)
"The Operator Innovations Awards finalists demonstrate the business case for innovation by connecting with consumers in new and interesting ways that produce measurable results for their businesses," said Sam Facchini, Convention Chair for NRA Show 2014 and co-founder and co-owner of Metro Pizza. "These finalists were selected by a panel of fellow operators who have firsthand knowledge of how innovation drives success in the foodservice industry."