February 1, 2016
January 25, 2016

grif-awards-2xThe inaugural Global Restaurant Awards have unveiled the judges that will be evaluating the nominations submitted for the awards. Simon Lazarus, Vice President Food & Beverage, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Hilton Worldwide; Angela Hartnett, Michelin Chef; Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive, British Hospitality Association; Aaron Noveshen, President and Founder, The Culinary Edge and Richard Vines, Chief Food Critic, Bloomberg are just some of the experts judging these awards.

Mark Lewis, Managing Director, The Caterer will be chairing the judging panel. These awards mark the first international awards event for The Caterer who operate the leading awards events in hospitality and catering in the UK. Mark commented, “We are thrilled with the support we have received from our international community, our judges have been carefully selected from all different aspects of the global industry from executive Chefs, innovative entrepreneurs, food critics, business leaders and associations all working in our thriving industry”

Award Categories include recognition for Sustainability, Technology, Design, New Concepts, International Growth, Hotel F&B and Marketing Excellence. Darren Tristano, President, Technomic Inc and a member of the awards judging panel commented, “These awards will recognise the innovation, talent and growth our industry has”. Jennifer Pettinger, Managing Director Middle East at Bench Events said, “the Global Restaurant Awards will provide exposure to those operators, franchisors and entrepreneurs that have strived for success in this industry. It will provide a global platform for recognition on a business level.”

The Global Restaurant Awards will take place on 16 March at the prestigious Burj Al Arab, Dubai and is being hosted by the Jumeirah Group. Pascal Aussignac, Executive Chef & Co-Owner, Gascon Connection, will be creating a signature dish for the awards and will also be having a residency with the Jumeirah Group. Robert Swade, Group Chief Operating Officer, Jumeirah Group commented, “We are delighted to be hosting the Global Restaurant Awards and collaborating with Chef Pascal for this prestigious event. Jumeirah proudly champions high quality, innovative concepts and creative cuisine, and we are excited to share our culinary excellence with the industry“.

The awards take place in conjunction with the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) 14 – 16 March at The Address Dubai Mall. The forum brings together the global restaurant investment community for a 2-day conference, with topical sessions which discuss global trends, investment opportunities, new concepts, franchising and internationalising. The programme encompasses culinary tours, masterclasses, roundtable discussions and spectacular networking receptions.

Nominations for the awards: and registration for GRIF: are still open

Global Restaurant Awards (
The Global Restaurant Awards has been developed through partnership with Connecting Travel whose sister business, The Caterer, is responsible for the renowned Cateys awards for UK hospitality. The Global Restaurant Awards will take place during the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) and offer an opportunity for industry leaders to come together and celebrate those businesses that have shown innovation, vision and leadership in their concepts and operations. They will recognise the brands that have best engaged with their consumers through social media, technology, design or sustainability.

The Global Restaurant Awards will provide a platform to acknowledge the brands and concepts that have revolutionised the culinary landscape, bringing a new vibrancy to the industry and above all pushing boundaries to achieve perfection.

Consumers pick top restaurant chains

January 28, 2016
635886546846667948-papam.jpg6 a.m. CST January 19, 2016

Some restaurants with a presence in Sioux Falls were among the winners of the Consumers’ Choice Awards from industry research firm Technomic.

It surveyed consumers about 138 restaurant chains and 60 attributes.

“It’s important to point out that it’s the consumers who rated the chains and selected the winners,” said Darren Tristano, president of Technomic. “In essence, the award is from the customers themselves.”

The winners are:

• Food quality, quick-service category: Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake Pizza

• Food quality, fast-casual category: Firehouse Subs

• Food quality, full-service restaurants: Bonefish Grill

• Intent to return, quick-service: In-N-Out Burger

• Intent to return, fast-casual: Rubio’s

• Intent to return, full-service: Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen

• Provides value through service, quick-service: Chick-fil-A

• Provides value through service, fast-casual: Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches

• Provides value through service, full-service: Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

• Socially responsible, quick-service: Ben & Jerry’s

• Socially responsible, fast-casual, Chipotle Mexican Grill

• Socially responsible, full-service: Seasons 52

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® Wins Chain Restaurant Consumers’ Choice Award

January 27, 2016

Nick Flanagan, a senior vice president for restaurant and retail for Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores®, accepts award from Technomic President Darren Tristano. Cracker Barrel was named a Chain Restaurants Consumers' Choice Award winner for 2016. (Photo: Business Wire)LEBANON, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® was named Chain Restaurant Consumers’ Choice Awards winner in the full service restaurant category for the value it provides through excellent service, marking the restaurant company’s third win since 2013.

Conducted by Technomic Inc., a leading food industry research company, its fourth annual Chain Restaurant Consumers’ Choice Awards identifies the top chain restaurants by asking nearly 100,000 consumers to rate over 120 leading restaurant chains on 60 different attributes ranging from the quality of food to the overall brand reputation. Cracker Barrel was given top marks on its ability to provide value through high-quality service, according to consumers.

“Consumers give Cracker Barrel credit for its friendly and polite servers,” said Technomic Inc. President Darren Tristano. “When we asked why they gave high ratings for their visit, many of our respondents talked about how they always make people feel at home.”

“Cracker Barrel’s commitment to excellence is driven by our mission of Pleasing People,” said Cracker Barrel Senior Vice President of Restaurant and Retail Operations Nick Flanagan, who accepted the award at Technomic’s Consumer Insights Planning Program Conference in Newport Beach, California on Thursday, Jan. 14.

“We promise guests a friendly, home-away-from-home, where they can relax, enjoy real home-style food and be cared for like family,” he continued. “Since 2013, Cracker Barrel has been voted the top full service restaurant in the Consumers’ Choice Awards’ ‘Pleasant, Friendly Service,’ ‘Food and Beverage,’ and ‘Value Through Service’ categories, which is a testament to our 72,000 employees who bring our mission to life every day.”

About Technomic

Only Technomic, A Winsight Company, delivers a 360-degree view of the food industry. We impact growth and profitability for our clients by providing consumer-grounded vision and channel-relevant strategic insights. Our services range from major research studies and management consulting solutions to online databases and simple fact-finding assignments. Our clients include food manufacturers and distributors, restaurants and retailers, other foodservice organizations, and various institutions aligned with the food industry. Visit us

About Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. provides a friendly home-away-from-home in its old country stores and restaurants. Guests are cared for like family while relaxing and enjoying real home-style food and shopping that’s surprisingly unique, genuinely fun and reminiscent of America’s country heritage…all at a fair price. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBRL) was established in 1969 in Lebanon, Tenn. and operates 635 company-owned locations in 42 states. Nation’s Restaurant News’ 2015 Consumer Picks survey named Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® the winner in two Family-Dining Restaurants categories – Menu Variety and Atmosphere. For more information about the company, visit