OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. -- A staple of the FARE Conference--produced by CSP Business Media--is the celebration of the most progressive foodservice leaders in the industry through its annual Leaders in Foodservice Awards. The sixth annual awards recognize those companies who exemplify the evolution and potential of foodservice in their respective channels.
This year's Leaders in Foodservice Awards go to Delaware North, Michigan State University, Panera Bread and RaceTrac.
Attending the FARE Conference to accept the awards were Rick Abramson, president of parks and resorts for Delaware North, Buffalo, N.Y; Guy Procopio, director of culinary services at Michigan State University, Lansing, Mich.; Dan Kish, senior vice president of food at Panera Bread, St. Louis; and Robby Posener, vice president of merchandising, marketing and design for RaceTrac Petroleum Inc., Atlanta.
"The evolution of consumers' foodservice expectations are travelling at warp speed," said Abbie Westra, executive editor of FARE and foodservice editor of CSP magazine, who worked with FARE Advisory Board members to determine this year's winners. "The Leaders in Foodservice Awards epitomize the cross-channel education and networking that makes FARE the most significant foodservice event in the industry. Operators are constantly seeking that next great idea, and by showcasing these forward-thinking operators, it enhances the experiences and innovative solutions of the industry as a whole."
The recipients from each winning company will accept the award and participate in a panel discussion at the FARE Conference's penultimate general session, where they will share the challenges and opportunities of their respective channels along with their interpretations of some of the hottest foodservice trends. The conference will also present a special video showcasing the operations' strengths, struggles and visions for the future. The panel discussion on Wednesday, June 24, is sponsored by Tyson Foods Inc.
From sports foodservice to travel hospitality to national parks, Delaware North creates incredibly unique experiences for its guests. It has helped revolutionize foodservice at the country's sports arenas, making the food as much of a destination as the game itself. It elevates airport eats, including the latest additions to LAX, and rightfully prioritizes sustainability at national parks. Delaware North's standards for hospitality and culinary excellence resonate across all the industries it serves.
Michigan State University
Inspiring things are afoot at Michigan State University, driven by the ongoing evolution of Culinary Services. It recently completed seven major renovations, revealing dining halls outfitted with cutting-edge food concepts and state-of-the-art areas for students to dine and connect. Culinary Services stays on top of current consumer trends with the Clean Plates at State waste-reduction program, Eat at State Food Truck and better-for-you educational initiatives--all of which connect the department to the underlying campus culture.
Panera is seen as the pinnacle of the bakery-café category--and the greater fast-casual segment--among its peers and consumers alike. It has created a home away from home for its guests through a balance of technology, service and ambiance--all resting on a foundation of culinary quality and craveability. Its menu strikes a chord with various consumer groups without diluting the brand's overall message. Panera has elevated the expectations of today's consumer, in turn elevating the quality of the industry as a whole.
RaceTrac has been undergoing an evolution that extends well beyond foodservice, but certainly puts the category front-and-center in the eyes of the company and its guests. Its new RT6K format is formidable, with strong architectural details and freshness cues throughout. RaceTrac has leveraged the frozen-yogurt trend with its Swirl World pay-by-the-ounce concept, and it is now seeking to further compete with restaurants through made-to-order offerings. RaceTrac exemplifies the ongoing evolution of convenience-store foodservice.
FARE is a conference produced by CSP Business Media that offers a unique conference experience with high-quality, face-to-face relationship-building opportunities bringing you the best, brightest and most progressive foodservice executives from across a plethora of channels. Attendees include operators in convenience-store, college and university, entertainment venues, grocery/drug/mass retail, healthcare, military, QSR/fast casual restaurants and recreation and lodging. The 2015 FARE Conference will be held June 22-24 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit www.fareconference.com.
Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.-based CSP Business Media, publisher of CSP, Convenience Store Products, FoodService Director and Restaurant Business magazines, is a market-dominant, business-to-business, multimedia communication company specializing in the convenience retailing, restaurant and on-the-go food industries. In addition to its print products, CSP Business Media has an extensive portfolio of online products including e-newsletters (including CSP Daily News), websites, web conferences, CSPTV and other video products, mobile applications and custom solutions. And CSP Leadership Conferences & Events produces more than 20 major EduNetworking live conferences and focused meetings.