FARE Announces 5th Annual Leaders in Foodservice Award Honorees

Span QSR, noncommercial, convenience, hospitality channels

FARE 2014 (CSP Daily News Convenience Store Petroleum)

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. -- FARE 2014, produced by CSP Business Media, has announced the honorees of its fifth annual Leaders in Foodservice awards. The award winners represent the leading innovation and best-in-class practices found in the foodservice segment.

This year's Leaders in Foodservice are Kennesaw State University, Marriott International, Subway and Tedeschi Food Shops.

Attending FARE to accept the awards and participate in a general-session panel discussion are Gary Coltek, senior director of culinary and hospitality services at Kennesaw State University; Lon Southerland, senior director of global food and beverage at Marriott International; Don Fertman, chief development officer at Subway; and Peter Tedeschi, president and CEO of Tedeschi Food Shops.

"The Leaders in Foodservice awards began as a way to celebrate the cross-segment networking and idea exchange that happens at FARE," said CSP's Abbie Westra, who worked with FARE Advisory Board members to determine this year's winners. "It has evolved into a showcase for some of the most forward-thinking operators in the industry who are always focused on delivering a meaningful experience in every foodservice interaction and in every channel."

Leaders in Foodservice honorees balance culinary creativity with a greater business plan, exemplify the evolution of foodservice to meet changing consumer needs, and are already seen as leaders within their respective channels.

Subway's game-changing marketing, nonstop menu development, early focus on nutrition, operational nimbleness and aggressive activity in nontraditional channels have had a remarkable influence on the entire foodservice industry. Perhaps most impressive is the company's sheer reach, with more than 41,000 units in more than 100 countries today. Many locations are found in unlikely places--from a church that uses the franchise to teach job skills to local residents in need, to the Subway shop that rose alongside the Freedom Tower in New York to feed busy construction workers.

When Marriott set out to remodel the lobby of its Courtyard brand, it learned that most guests were skipping the traditional buffet in search of something quicker and more modern. The resulting remodel changed the entire Courtyard experience—how guests interacted with staff members and each other and made the most of their stay. It all centers on the BISTRO Eat.Drink.Connect., a fast-casual concept offering meals, snacks, adult beverages and a complete coffee menu. Considered the fastest-growing fast-casual concept, the Bistro has opened nearly 800 locations internationally since 2007.

Under Gary Coltek, Kennesaw State University's dining department has created a program that upstages many others, especially when it comes to sustainability. Dining services' efforts have been so impressive that the department was honored last year with the National Restaurant Association's Innovator of the Year Award. Program highlights include making sustainability the program's backbone, from a closed-loop waste-management system to using product from three campus farms, and spearheading the creation of a new culinary sustainability and hospitality academic program at the university.

Tedeschi Food Shops' investment in foodservice has been bold, helping elevate the entire convenience-store industry by emphasizing freshness and quality while also luring in new consumer demographics such as females and millennials. With produce, ethnic cuisine and a menu of meals under 400 calories, it is establishing itself as a valid option for both fill-in grocery foods and meals to go. Its operational sophistication--from a company-owned commissary to in-store delis--further makes Tedeschi a leader in not just c-store foodservice, but also the foodservice industry as a whole.