Three restaurant companies were presented with Hospitality Technology's third annual Breakthrough Awards at last month's annual Restaurant Executive Summit. The awards recognize those companies that have made significant strides and growth advancements over the last year, and plan to expand their successes through technology and visionary leadership.
The winners are: Legal Sea Foods for Overall Technology Innovation; Ruth's Chris Steakhouse for Excellence in Guest Services; and Kahala-Cold Stone for Brand Growth
"The three award categories are designed to recognize growth-oriented restaurant companies, with each category highlighting a particular area that speaks to a company's overall innovation, thought leadership, current growth results and future growth potential," remarks Abigail Lorden, editor of Hospitality Technology and presenter of the awards. "Hospitality Technology is thrilled to have such deserving companies to honor with this year's Breakthrough Awards."
The publication's editorial staff selected the winning companies from a highly competitive pool of nominees. Legal Sea Foods, which owns and operates 34 restaurants and a conference center along the Eastern seaboard, was selected for Overall Technology Innovation based on its forward-thinking use of IT systems, including: handheld ordering and table-side wireless credit card processing; consumer-facing touch screens that offer access to the restaurant's menu, Wi-Fi Internet and community trivia; iPod docking stations; and an innovative Web site, recently ranked number one in HT's Web Site study. Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, awarded for Excellence in Guest Services, places an unyielding commitment on quality customer service, directly affecting the restaurant's current and future growth potential. The company successfully blends a white-linen environment and black-tie service into its growth-oriented business model, making it the largest fine-dining company in the U.S., with 109 company-and franchise-owned restaurants worldwide.
Kahala-Cold Stone was awarded for Brand Growth based on the company's continued expansion through its 14 franchised brands. Its recently-acquired flagship brand, Cold Stone Creamery, has brought the company to more than 1,400 locations, with a goal of becoming the number one selling ice cream brand in America.