This edition of MRM’s News Bites features The National Restaurant Association Education Foundation, US Foods, Coca-Cola North America and Omnivore, Ordermark, Upserve, UNO Pizzeria & Grill, Dishcraft, Nectar, Good Burger, Foodnome, Food Made Good, Fischer Paper Products and The World’s 50 Best Restaurants ​​​​​ and GS1 US.

Gifford Named NRAEF President 

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF)  promoted Rob Gifford to President, effective July 1.  As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the NRAEF is dedicated to enhancing the industry’s training and education, career opportunity, and community engagement efforts. 

“Rob’s passion and dedication for cultivating the next generation of restaurant leaders is unparalleled,” said Dawn Sweeney, President & CEO of the National Restaurant Association.  “This promotion reflects Rob’s commitment to excellence and his contributions to the ongoing success of the industry.”      

During Gifford’s tenure at the Foundation, its ProStartTM high school culinary and restaurant management program has grown by more than 50 percent, now reaching 150,000 students nationwide annually.  The Foundation also has introduced a growing array of new programs designed to attract, empower, and advance the industry’s workforce.  These include:  Restaurant Ready, a work readiness training program offered to opportunity youth and ex-offenders in cities throughout the nation; and the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship program, which provides existing industry employees with apprenticeships to become certified restaurant or lodging managers.  The Foundation also has developed training partnerships with all branches of our nation’s Armed Forces and annually offers hundreds of scholarships and grants to students, employees and educators.

National Restaurant Association President & CEO Dawn Sweeney will remain CEO of the foundation. 

Getting the Scoop on Summer

US Foods Holding Corp. launched Summer Scoop 2019 (Summer Scoop), showcasing 21 innovative products designed to help independent restaurant operators keep up with today’s busy diners. The fast-paced growth of the convenience-dining market is reshaping the restaurant industry, with 38 percent of U.S. adults – including 50 percent of millennials – saying they are more likely to have restaurant food delivered than they were two years ago.

“We recently surveyed more than 500 independent restaurant operators and found that only 53 percent felt confident in their ability to utilize delivery services,” said Stacey Kinkaid, vice president, product development and innovation, US Foods. “Right now, we know that delivery and on-the-go dining is causing major shifts in the restaurant world. In fact, more than 80 percent of consumers report using services that let them enjoy restaurant food outside of the restaurant, at least monthly.2 This Summer Scoop lineup gives our customers the tools, the products and the confidence they need to provide delivery, take-out, grab-and-go and retail solutions for anytime, anywhere dining.”

Summer Scoop also highlights the intersection of customer convenience and environmentally conscious practices for restaurant operators. It delivers on-trend menu offerings, services and disposables to reach new customers and create additional opportunities with regular diners.

Convenience Meets Environmentally Conscious

While customers continue to eat off-premises at a higher frequency, 65 percent are concerned with the environmental impact of the take-out containers and to-go packaging.3 Summer Scoop features an assortment of sustainable options, including bowls, which appear on one-third of U.S. menus and have grown at a 16 percent rate over the past four years.4 Highlights include:

  • Monogram Molded Fiber Bowl: This bowl is 100 percent compostable and Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) certified, sustainably made from molded wheat fiber and can be used for hot and cold meals. It’s also a Serve Good product, meeting rigorous criteria set by US Foods for responsible sourcing or waste reduction.
    MGM Fiber Bowl
  • Monogram Wheat Fiber Soufflé Cup: This Serve Good item is used for sauces, dips, dressings and other condiments. It is 100 percent compostable, made from molded wheat fiber as well as BPI certified.
  • Monogram Pulp Folding Container: This item is 100 percent compostable, BPI-certified and is designed with a double-locking system that requires no lid. This Serve Good product comes in a 32-ounce size.

On-the-Go Proteins and Greens

With delivery and on-the-go ordering making a big impact on the dining landscape, bowls – touted for being customer-friendly and versatile – are a fast-growing trend on menus that make it easy for operators to adapt their on-premises menu to go. Summer Scoop offers many labor-saving and on-trend items perfect for delivery, including fully cooked and pre-sliced meats, and pre-washed produce options.  Top photo is of the Pork Belly. 

Snacking On-the-Go

Consumers are on the go more than ever before, which means they want food items that match their active lifestyles. Summer Scoop features several snack and dessert grab-and-go products, which also reduce labor and preparation costs, and offer retail solutions that can grow a restaurant operator’s business. 

To further help restaurant operators take advantage of delivery and to-go trends, Summer Scoop also features ChowNow, a part of US Foods’ CHECK Business Tools.

Coca-Cola Launching Digital Marketplace with Omnivore

Coca-Cola North America is launching a digital marketplace this fall that connects its foodservice customers to pre-vetted, industry-best restaurant technologies with competitive pricing. The marketplace of solutions for front of house, back of house and outside of house is powered by Omnivore and is the result of a year-long collaboration between Coca-Cola and Omnivore and one output of Coca-Cola’s investment in Omnivore, announced in late 2018.

Today, restaurant consumers’ expectations and use of digital technology are evolving at a record pace, creating growth opportunities for restaurants.

Today, restaurant consumers’ expectations and use of digital technology are evolving at a record pace, creating growth opportunities for restaurants. While third-party technology companies are innovating to provide game-changing solutions for the restaurant industry, it is challenging and costly for restaurant operators to research, test, integrate and deploy the right technologies to capitalize on this growth opportunity.

Coca-Cola’s digital marketplace addresses these concerns. Experts at Coca-Cola and Omnivore have partnered to vet today’s leading foodservice technologies, taking the guesswork out of finding the best-in-class digital solutions for restaurant operators. Coca-Cola’s strategic partnership with Omnivore allows for easy and affordable integration between any of the technologies in the marketplace and a restaurants’ POS system. This seamless connection capability reduces the time, money and resources restaurants currently expend on technology integration. 

The curated marketplace will include restaurant technologies to improve consumer engagement and optimize all aspects of restaurant operations, including:

  • front-of-house technologies (tableside ordering and payment, guest engagement, kiosk, digital menus);
  • back-of-house technologies (inventory, labor, analytics); and
  • outside-of-house technologies (online ordering, third-party delivery, loyalty and more).

“For 133 years, Coca-Cola has been focused on adding value beyond the beverage for our customers,” said Billy Koehler, Director of Digital & Payment Platforms for National Foodservice & On-Premise Marketing at Coca-Cola North America. “Decades ago, we provided customers with value-adds like Coca-Cola-branded cash registers and static Coca-Cola signage. In the 21st century, combining our expertise in foodservice and digital to offer tangible technology solutions provides the most value for our restaurant partners who always welcome an edge to increase their revenue. The marketplace is just one example of the digital solutions we’ll be rolling out for customers in the months to come.”

Coca-Cola and Omnivore are collaborating with today’s leading technology providers for inclusion in the marketplace, which is set to launch in September 2019. Access to the marketplace and technology integration through Omnivore is free for Coca-Cola customers. Cost to a restaurant for technologies in the marketplace will vary by technology, but more competitive rates will be available for Coca-Cola customers.

Coca-Cola has been focused on providing digital solutions for their customers the last few years. After forging a partnership in 2018, this spring Coca-Cola and Omnivore launched the Menu Management Solution (MMS) app, a single source of truth software that allows restaurants to own their digital menu content and control their brand across any digital platform.

“Our year-long collaboration with Coca-Cola and select restaurant operators has helped us validate and develop additional digital solutions that contribute to profitable growth for restaurants,” said Shane Wheatland, Chief Marketing Officer at Omnivore. “These solutions align well to consumer needs as well as common barriers experienced by restaurant operators as they digitize and build a competitive advantage for their brand. We look forward to the launch of Coca-Cola’s marketplace, and continuing to foster agile and affordable access to meaningful third-party solutions.

Ordermark Giving Back to CORE

Ordermark has begun providing  meals to families of food and beverage service employees navigating life-altering circumstances, through a partnership with CORE(Children of Restaurant Employees).Ordermark, which helps restaurants generate new revenue and profits by adding all available delivery services in a single dashboard and kitchen printer, will donate and/or deliver free  restaurant meals to families identified by CORE, through OrdermarkCares.

There are 15.1 million restaurant workers — 10 percent of the US workforce — who serve as the backbone of an industry and economy; yet many workers do not have either insurance or a financial cushion to help them through an unexpected crisis like a serious illness. This partnership aims to help in one small way, with hopes for even greater help as it adds partners and donors.

“Growing up in the restaurant industry, I’ve seen the impact that kindness and hospitality can have on those in need,” said Alex Canter, CEO and co-founder of Ordermark. “Part of the reason we built Ordermark was to help restaurants add new profit streams that help them compete and grow revenue in this digital era, so that they can take better care of the people who take care of their customers.

“But the reality is, for many restaurant workers, the margin between getting by comfortably and crisis can be razor thin: a life-altering event can wipe out savings in an instant. So we created OrdermarkCares to find a way to give back to our industry in a tangible way. The work that CORE is doing is a perfect fit,” Canter added.

With CORE, OrdermarkCares has identified families of restaurant workers with children or parents in and out of hospitals and is providing meals from restaurants to either the hospital or the home, to offer moments of deliciousness, respite, and even delight — and give families one less thing to worry about, financially.

“For 15 years, CORE has been the nationally-recognized community of support for all food and beverage service families in need, ensuring they feel cared for and valued. In times of strain brought on by family death, injury or diagnosed medical condition, or other sudden or extreme circumstances, food and beverage families can become overwhelmed — financially and emotionally,” said Lauren LaViola, CORE Executive Director. “So partnering with OrdermarkCares is ideal: offering a nice restaurant meal to a family that makes its own living in restaurants is perfect — putting them on the receiving end of others’ work and kindness.”

Both OrdermarkCares and CoreGives welcome partners nationwide who want to help. Restaurants, online ordering services, hospitals, doctors, and other potential sponsors can get involved by visiting COREgives.org or OrderMarkCares.org.

Grade Your Marketing

Upserve released a free Restaurant Marketing Grader. You simply put any restaurant name into the search bar, and it pulls info from Google, Yelp, and Facebook to grade a restaurant’s digital marketing strategy. It has a fun interface, some great statistics, and actionable tips for restaurateurs to improve their marketing.

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Changing the World One Straw at a Time

A fourth grade class from Wallingford Elementary School recently demonstrated it doesn’t take big people – only big voices – to spark change. This was proven true as UNO Pizzeria & Grill changed its corporate drinking straw policy for all of its 100 restaurants after its CEO, Jim Ilaria, received personal and persuasive essays from various students and their teacher, Mrs. Susan Knight.

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In hopes that executives would use their positions to bring about positive change for the environment (and just in time for National Ocean Month), the children delivered thoughtfully researched arguments to corporate leaders about the harm plastic causes to our ocean and its marine life, accompanied by requests to reduce the use of plastic straws.

Impressed, and in agreement with the fourth graders, Ilaria responded enthusiastically by immediately rolling out a new, companywide “by request only” drinking straw policy. Additionally, to celebrate the efforts of the students who share his concern for the environment, he planned a pizza party for the children like only UNO – inventor of deep-dish pizza – can. The UNO restaurant that organized the special pizza delivery is a franchise location in the nearby city of Chester.

“I was impressed by the logic of their arguments and how they appealed to both my heart and my business mind,” said Mr. Ilaria. “As an avid SCUBA diver who has seen the plastic debris in our ocean and as a former member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, I understand and appreciate the importance of source reduction, recycling and waste minimization. I am proud that I have the ability to make this change and I’m excited to recognize the significant actions of these young students.”

“My students have been energized to make a positive change in this world, especially after learning about the damage caused by single-use plastic straws,” said Mrs. Knight. “It has been such a joy to teach this passionate group of fourth graders, and I am so very grateful to UNO and Mr. Ilaria for recognizing their efforts by changing to a “request only” straw policy AND by hosting a pizza party. It just doesn’t get better than that for a bunch of remarkable ten year olds!”

The Automated Dishroom

Dishcraft unveiled the first automated dishroom designe to make dishrooms reliable, safe, and sustainable by using robotics, process innovation, and machine learning to sort, scrub, inspect, and rack dishes.

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Dishwashing is the hardest job to fill in commercial kitchens, with the average dishwasher’s tenure spanning just over a month. Unfilled jobs result in low morale in the kitchen, as everyone from the executive chef to the server is required to clean dishes, which impacts food service.  

“After learning about the problem created by a high dishwasher turnover rate, I worked in commercial dishrooms to experience their environment, culture, and operations firsthand. I saw an opportunity to solve the issues at hand through the use of robotic technology,” said Linda Pouliot, CEO and co-founder of Dishcraft. “The high employee churn is an indicator that these jobs are unpleasant and not desirable. By automating the dishroom, we are able to clean dishes shift over shift while transforming the role of the dishwasher into one that is simpler, easier, and has more growth opportunity.”

The Dishcraft solution cleans each dish individually using grey water and energy-efficient cleaning mechanisms, resulting in more sustainable operations. Each dish is inspected in a fraction of a second for remaining food residue using computer vision and machine learning to achieve a consistent level of quality unmatched in dishrooms today. The work environment created by the Dishcraft solution leads to fewer slips, better ergonomics, and no use of additional chemicals.

“One of my first jobs was as a dishwasher so I’ve seen first-hand how outdated and inefficient dishrooms are today and how important they are to the overall operations in a kitchen,” said Steve Anderson, founder of Baseline Ventures. “Dishcraft is bringing entirely new thinking, technology, and processes to tackle this problem, and it is long overdue.”

Dishcraft is led by co-founders Linda Pouliot and Paul Birkmeyer. Prior to Dishcraft, Pouliot co-founded Neato Robotics, where she helped build the company to become the world’s second-largest consumer robotic vacuum company. Birkmeyer, the company’s CTO, was previously co-founder of Dash Robotics, which focused on making low-cost, build-it-yourself, bio-inspired robots promoting STEM engagement for kids. He holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley and has led projects ranging from wearable robotics to humanoid robots to autonomous motorcycle-racing robots. 

The company has raised $25 million from leading venture capital firms including Baseline Ventures, First Round Capital, and Lemnos. 

“We are really excited about Dishcraft and the team behind the company,” said Rob Hayes, Partner at First Round Capital and Dishcraft board member. “Building a hardware company from the ground up is a unique challenge, and Linda and Paul bring an incredible amount of expertise and experience in both robotics and business that will take Dishcraft far.” 

The Connected Beer Cap 

Nectar announced a series of strategic products and leadership steps.

Nectar, led by Chegg co-founder Aayush Phumbhra, is unveiling an expanded lineup of its pioneering connected pourers and stoppers that enable real-time pour data, with minimal cost and disruption to bartender behavior. Its hardware and software platform generates valuable and previously unavailable insights, like average pour size, off-hour pours, and rate of pour, all of which are immediately actionable, and can increase revenue and boost profits. To date, the company has digitized over two million pours, resulting in a nearly 20% reduction in average pour size.

Driven by strong demand for the current offering and growing customers 200% quarter over quarter, Nectar is now launching:

SnapTap Beer Spacer
– Each day, thousands of gallons of beer are poured around the world, with no ability to track what’s happening. 
– With Nectar, beer tap finally meets real-time measurement with an elegant IoT device that seamlessly integrates into existing taps, and – with simple calibration – can immediately offer data about real-time pours.
– This product is aligned with Nectar’s mission to deliver economic benefits with minimum infrastructure change and without changing bartender behavior. 

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Inventory and Precise Audit Software
– With this patented software inventory innovation – no Nectar hardware is required here – any establishment can simply mark the bottle level on the image in the app and PreciseAudit helps users track the remaining volume with an extremely high degree of accuracy.
– The industry today uses pen and paper – or primitive image-based software – to track inventory. These methods are woefully inaccurate and leave a wide margin of error. Nectar uses a proprietary system for bottle-by-bottle accuracy at the highest level – accounting for various factors.
– We are offering the software starting today and for the first 1000 orders, it will only be $29.99/month when paid annually.

Self-Serve Online SmartCap Ordering
Nectar is launching a direct-sales version of the hardware and software platform. For those establishments that don’t require the Company’s technical or sales support can go online and pick from the standard packages and order. With this introduction, Nectar is offering pre-paired caps that can be activated with a single click once they are placed on the bottle, making it super simple to get access to real-time pour data. 

Nectar is welcoming Gerard Ruvo, Chairman – Campari America, to its Board of Directors, as well as James Thompson, ex-Diageo CMO, to its Advisory Board. Thompson and Ruvo are two of the industry’s most respective executives, with extensive experience in distribution as well as brand-building.

“PJ and I are thrilled by our team’s progress, as evidenced by our three new products and our continued traction with our core business, having measured over 2.2 million pours and saving customers almost 20% on pour cost, said Aayush Phumbhra, co-founder and CEO of Nectar. We are tackling a long-ignored and massive global problem that is damaging the economic model for both the giants of the hospitality industry and the thousands of entrepreneurs who own bars and restaurants in the U.S. and globally. We are honored that leaders of the stature of Gerard and James recognize that we are the industry’s only solution to the problem and are joining the team.”

Good Burger Pop Up

Ahead of the highly anticipated return of Nickelodeon’s iconic All That series Nickelodeon and the duo behind viral pop-up phenomenon Saved by the Max are teaming up to open Good Burger, a brand-new restaurant inspired by the ‘90s fan-favorite All That sketch. The new pop up is set to open Wednesday, July 10, located at 7100 W Santa Monica Blvd (in the former home of Saved by The Max), in Los Angeles and will remain open through 2019.

“The opportunity to turn this cult Nick favorite into our next themed pop up is such a dream come true,” says Derek Berry, one of the partners. “Immersive nostalgic experiences continue to be something fans really clamor for; and we know our execution with The Max spoke for itself. When the timing aligned to bring Good Burger to life, it was something we just couldn’t pass up.”

“Nickelodeon’s iconic All That series and the Good Burger feature film were comedic touchstones for an entire generation of kids,” said Sharon Cohen, Executive Vice President, Nickelodeon Experience. “With the return of All That to our air, this is the perfect time to give ‘90s Nick kids and a whole new fan base an opportunity to settle in for a fast food culinary adventure, which will of course include Ed’s special sauce!”

Fans of All That and Good Burger can feast on real-life Good Burgers, Good Chunks, and of course Good Shakes. The diner will also include an assortment of fan-favorite, insta-worthy moments, Good Burger-themed service experiences, merchandise, games, secret sauce and more. It wouldn’t be a trip to Good Burger without expecting a few comedic mishaps and surprises along the way.

Home Cooking Restaurant

Meghan McConaghy Chane of Riverside County, California is the first Home Cook to be granted a permit to open a home restaurant in the United States. Chane found her passion for cooking after working full time as a therapist. She quickly came to love cooking but was unsure how to profit from her passion.

“I was too afraid to work on a food venture before this,” said Chane. “We’d talked about a food truck, catering, or a restaurant. The fear of the financial risk and the money you need up front, as well as all of the regulation and hoop jumping, felt really overwhelming.”

Chane learned about the opportunity to open a Home Restaurant, when she received support from the food-focused startup, Foodnome. Their platform brings Home Cooks and Diners together and allows them to easily explore diverse cuisines in their local community. Foodnome is also dedicated to helping Home Cooks navigate the legal waters to become permitted.

“Foodnome really helped me achieve my dream of starting a food business,” said Chane. “They provided a ton of support, guidance and lots of useful information. I’m happy to be a part of their community so I can help bring my neighborhood together.”

Akshay Prabhu, founder of Foodnome is excited for Chane and her accomplishment. “We are proud to support Meghan through her journey and we are eager to open doors to other potential Home Cooks,” said Prabhu. “We believe Home Restaurants will have a large impact on our economy by empowering everyday people to make additional income through their passion.”

Chane’s opportunity to open a Home Restaurant is unique as California is the only state in the country that has legalized Home Restaurants with the passing of bill AB 626 earlier this year.

“We were thrilled when AB 626 went into effect at the state level earlier this year,” said Prabhu. “There is however still a lot of work to be done. Each county’s board of supervisors must opt-in to the bill before Home Cooks can benefit from it, that is why we provide key resources to Home Restaurant advocates.”

Food Made Good Going Global

A membership program for delivering positive change across the foodservice sector is going global and making its technology, tools and knowhow available to any country, city or state that wants to replicate the model and help create a worldwide network committed to creating a better food system.

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Food Made Good was born in the UK in 2010, where it is delivered by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), and today works with a community of more than 10,000 kitchens, influencing the sustainability of more than one billion meals eaten out every year. It is recognised as the crucial interface between chefs and the sustainable food movement and has been embraced by Michelin star restaurants, well-known high-street brands independent cafés, university canteens and in-flight caterers. These pioneers include Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Pizza Hut Restaurants, University of Oxford and Virgin Atlantic.

Raymond Blanc OBE, President of the SRA, said: “The way that the Sustainable Restaurant Association has evolved over the last decade has been truly inspirational. Food Made Good has helped a generation of chefs give voice and substance to their desire for a better food system and created a powerful community. It’s incredibly exciting to think that we are now taking this to the next level, creating a worldwide community of chefs with the potential for real global impact.”  

The need for a common, accessible framework and organised network has never been greater as it becomes increasingly apparent that the way we produce, consume and dispose of food is at the heart of many of the sustainability challenges we face, including plastic pollution, food waste, climate change, deforestation and biodiversity. All these global challenges are captured in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and a healthy food system is increasingly seen as a prerequisite of a sustainable future. 

Foodservice provides an increasing proportion of the world’s food needs and its chefs and operators are also prime influencers of what we eat. Food Made Good takes a proven model that puts chefs at the heart of the challenge, providing them with a way to engage with the issues and collaborate for solutions. From today this model is available to any organisation or entrepreneur, wherever they are in the world, that wants to incentivize action within their territory and join a network of worldwide partners to create a better global food system.

Four territories are already on a pathway towards establishing a thriving sustainable food movement based on practical, business-focused principles, with more due to announce soon.

Food Made Good – Japan is being developed by sustainability consultancy Sustainavision, with chef Takahiro Matsuyama

Food Made Good – Benelux is being developed by Frank Fol, the Vegetable chef

Food Made Good – Greece is being developed by Dr Ioannis Pappas, of sustainable travel experts Axios

Food Made Good – Hong Kong is being developed under the aegis of sustainability champion Heidi Yu Spurrell and local chef, Peggy Chan

Launching Food Made Good Global in Singapore today (24 June), CEO Simon Heppner, said: “There is growing awareness that the decisions we make about the food we eat have an enormous impact; on ourselves, on society and on the planet. Nobody wants to leave their principles at the door when they eat out and chefs are in a unique position to help us use the power of our appetites wisely and make better decisions.

“Food Made Good has been proven to galvanise and coordinate action to realise this potential. Our five-year goal is for our global network to influence the sustainability of 10 billion meals eaten out of home every year, making a huge contribution towards a better food system.”

Fischer Launches TruKraft Line

Fischer Paper Products is launching its TruKraftTM line, the company’s new line of sustainable products that encourages operators to become environmentally conscious about their packaging offerings. 

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Responding to a growing trend in foodservice and on-the-go eating, Fischer TruKraft is a solution for consumers demanding sustainable options for the packaging that their food is served in. Sustainable and commercially compostable, TruKraft products come in a variety of sizes designed for food items such as sandwiches, pastries, bread and French fries. 

“As our society shifts to an on-the-go mentality, now is the time for operators to reevaluate the type of packaging being used in their establishment,” said Bill Fischer, VP of Marketing & Service for Fischer Paper Products. “We work closely with our customers to ensure that they are meeting the extensive demand for green packaging—helping to set their operation up for success as the food delivery trend continues to rise.” 

All the products are made from paper sourced from certified sustainable forests, and the line features several bags with clear panels made from bio-based PLA film. These are environmentally friendly options that showcase the food within the packaging. French bread, artisan sandwiches and flatbreads can be clearly displayed without using petroleum-based materials. 

Andrés Named Icon

US-based Spanish chef and humanitarian José Andrés has been awarded the American Express Icon Award 2019. This prestigious honor is part of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and celebrates anindividual who has made an outstanding contribution to the restaurant industry worthy of international recognition and who has used the platform that his profile as a chef provides to raise awareness and drive change.

The award reflects his overall career as a pioneering chef and restaurateur as well as his more recent humanitarian work, both of which have brought him to the status of a global culinary icon.

“José Andrés is more than just a superb chef and restaurateur,” says William Drew, Director of Content for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. “Not only has he brought fantastic, authentic, forward-thinking Spanish food to the US, but through his World Central Kitchen project he has helped feed millions of people denied access to nutritious food as a result of natural disasters. Chef Andrés embodies a character that has used his talent in the kitchen and subsequent position of power and access for a wider good, which makes him the perfect winner of the first global American Express Icon Award.”

Jose Andrés says: “I’m very humbled to receive this award, to make sure that I will give voice tothose who are voiceless. I will try to make sure that we bring hope, one plate of food at a time.”

Today, his ThinkFoodGroup includes more than 30 restaurants, including the two Michelin-starred minibar by José Andrés in Washington, DC, which serves some of the most avant-garde cuisine in the world. His array of restaurants ranges from experimental tasting-menu-only counter dining experiences to authentic regional cuisines and fast-casual concepts, which are focused on impeccably sourced ingredients served simply, often in a small-plate or tapas style.

“We are thrilled to recognize the incredible culinary and humanitarian work of our American ExpressGlobal Dining Collection partner and overall visionary, José Andrés, with the American Express IconAward,” said Chris Cracchiolo, Senior Vice President, Global Loyalty and Benefits, American Express.“Chef Andrés truly embodies what this award stands for, as his work both in the kitchen and outsidehave shown the power and impact that food can have in bringing individuals and communities together and helping them thrive and grow together.”

Twice awarded Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influencial People in the World, Andrés’ humanitarian workhas received widespread recognition. In 2016 he was awarded a National Humanities Medal at the White House by President Obama, and in 2018 he was named Humanitarian of the Year by the James Beard Foundation for the role of his non-profit organization, World Central Kitchen, in providing nearly 4 million meals to the people of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. His book recounting his experience in Puerto Rico, We Fed An Island, is a New York Times bestseller.

He has recently broadened his restaurant reach with a new location of Jaleo, his first restaurant, at Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, as well as the 35,000-square foot MercadoLittle Spain in New York’s Hudson Yards development, which combines a variety of Spanishrestaurants, bars and food and retail kiosks under one roof. Described as “a veritable love letter to Spain”, the project, inspired by the mercados central to social life in Spain, was developed withcreative collaboration from brothers Ferran and Albert Adrià, with whom he worked at El Bulli at the start of his career.

GS1 US Excellence Awards

GS1 US® recognized four companies yesterday with GS1 US Excellence Awards for their achievements in implementing GS1 Standards to improve business processes: Procter & Gamble, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System (FMOLHS), Saladino’s Foodservice and Temptime. Additionally, Dick Tracy, president of Dot Foods, was honored with the Roger Milliken Career Achievement Award. The awards were presented during a ceremony at the GS1 Connect® conference taking place June 19-21, 2019 at the Gaylord Rockies, Denver.

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The companies awarded have demonstrated strategic vision and produced positive results in community engagement, customer satisfaction and/or process improvement in four distinct categories: 

GS1 US Innovation Excellence Award: Procter & Gamble 

The Innovation Excellence Award honors a company for its transformative use of GS1 Standards to deliver an enhanced experience for businesses and customers. Procter & Gamble, a pioneer of the GS1 US National Data Quality Program, used GS1 Standards to elevate the company’s ability to provide consistent, complete and accurate product information to consumers, while aligning with partners to improve broader efficiency and visibility. 

 GS1 US Operational Excellence Award: Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System (FMOLHS)

The Operational Excellence Award recognizes a company that successfully applied GS1 Standards to improve business processes, operations, industry collaboration and/or the consumer experience. By establishing an entire separate organization (Office of Data Standards and Interoperability) to drive forward the implementation of GS1 Standards, FMOLHS has produced significant cost savings that allowed the Louisiana-based health system to maintain an optimal focus on patient health and safety. 

 GS1 US Small-Midsized Business Excellence Award: Saladino’s Foodservice  

The Small-Midsized Business Excellence Award recognizes a small or midsized company that has strategically leveraged GS1 Standards to help drive its business forward. Saladino’s Foodservice, a distributor based in Fresno, California, adopted GS1 Standards to support efficient product traceability, improving its recall readiness. Also, by rallying strong internal support for standards use, Saladino’s Foodservice enhanced the quality of data it exchanges with trading partners. 

 GS1 US Partner Excellence Award: Temptime, a Zebra Technologies company

A new category this year, the Partner Excellence Award recognizes a GS1 US partner that advocates for the use of GS1 Standards as part of an innovative application, software or service. Temptime, acquired by Zebra Technologies in February 2019, is known for its temperature-monitoring devices and partnered with GS1® and GS1 US to develop a new identification standard for sensors that will revolutionize the storage and delivery of life-saving vaccines in developing countries.

 “Each of these organizations is rising to the challenge of today’s fast-paced business environment in unique ways.” said Bob Carpenter, president and CEO, GS1 US. “In recognizing these four companies, we are shining a light on the versatility of GS1 Standards as a catalyst for business process innovation.”

Roger Milliken Career Achievement Award

A founding member of the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative and current member of the GS1 US Board of Governors, Dick Tracy has been instrumental in driving effective food traceability and data quality strategies throughout the food industry. Tracy recognized that change was necessary to curb skyrocketing and unnecessary costs due to inaccurate supply chain data. Dot Foods, under Tracy’s leadership, committed to the use of GS1 Standards, specifically pioneering the use of the Global Data Synchronization Network™ (GDSN®) to enhance the consistency and completeness of data exchange across the supply chain. Tracy’s strategic influence is balanced by his inclusive nature and willingness to exchange views with his peers to help make the industry more successful as a whole.

 “Dick’s advocacy for GS1 Standards has not only yielded significant benefits within Dot Foods, but has also served as a blueprint for success for any company seeking to improve data quality and operational efficiencies,” said Carpenter. “His collaborative style has made him a valuable ambassador for GS1 Standards, and we commend him on his openness to share important lessons from Dot Foods’ journey with others to extend industry-wide benefits beyond their implementation.” 

The Roger Milliken Career Achievement Award honors individuals who demonstrate outstanding innovation and leadership in the application of GS1 Standards and industry best practices to improve supply chain collaboration. Roger Milliken was known for being a catalyst for transformational best business practices across multiple industries. Among his many achievements, Milliken revolutionized the design of the textile plant, transformed how businesses controlled their inventories, supported energy efficiency well before the green manufacturing movement and developed quality initiatives that set the standard for modern-day operational excellence. The award program continues in his memory. 

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