Awards

Honoring Restaurant Professionals in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association work to shine a light on deserving individuals in the restaurant industry who are making a difference in their industry or in their communities.

Katie Reiser

For More Information on WRA's Regional Awards and the NRAEF Awards, Contact:

Katie Reiser | Member Services Director

kreiser@wirestaurant.org

Connie Fedor

For More Information on Celebration Awards, Contact:

Connie Fedor | Executive Director, WRA Education Foundation

cfedor@wirestaurant.org

Wisconsin Restaurant Association Restaurateur of the Year (ROY) Award
Every year, the Restaurateur of the Year award is given to an operator who demonstrates exemplary participation and service to the industry and the restaurant association, impressive success within their own restaurant and committed participation in community activities. This is the Association’s highest honor. The winner is selected at an annual private meeting of past ROY recipients.

Past Winners

Wisconsin Restaurant Association Regional Awards
In 2019, the Wisconsin Restaurant Association created a new awards program to honor restaurant industry professionals around the state. Individuals are able to nominate themselves or may be nominated by a peer or customer.  

Three finalists from each category and in each of the five regions in the state are chosen by popular vote using an online ballot. A selection committee determines the regional winners (one in each award category from each of the five regions).

There are two regional award categories: Champion of Restaurant Entrepreneurship (CORE) and Best of the House: Front of the House and Back of the House.

Applications will be due in December.

MFE Awards Dinner Sponsorship

2019 Award Winners

Champion of Restaurant Entrepreneurship (CORE)

An owner/operator will be recognized for their contributions to Wisconsin’s restaurant industry in the following areas: demonstrated passion for and success in their business, committed community involvement and support of WRA through membership. Nominees should show strong leadership skills, business acumen, a knack for moving the industry forward as innovators and be well-respected employers.

2019 Winners
MFE Awards Gala

2019 Award Winners

Best of the House—Front of the House (FOH)

Nominees in these categories should be inspiring examples of employees who demonstrate professionalism in their jobs and help to further the positive image of the foodservice industry in Wisconsin.

Eligible employees include staff who have regular contact with customers. The award recognizes front of the house staff who exhibit outstanding customer service, strong work ethic, leadership skills and have earned the respect of their colleagues and employer.

2019 Winners
MFE Awards Gala Conversation

2019 Award Winners

Best of the House— Back of the House (BOH)

Nominees in these categories should be inspiring examples of employees who demonstrate professionalism in their jobs and help to further the positive image of the foodservice industry in Wisconsin.

Eligible employees include staff from the back of the house. The award recognizes staff who exhibit attention to detail, calm under pressure, strong work ethic and leadership skills.

2019 Winners
Celebration Program

2019 Award Winners

Wisconsin Restaurant Association Education Foundation Salute to Excellence

Each year a committee of industry leaders selects a College Educator, Chef, High School Educator, ProStart Mentor, Restaurateur and Supplier to be recognized for their dedication to education and the restaurant and hospitality industry.  

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2019 Winners
NRAEF logo

Awards

National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

The restaurant industry is one of the most diverse industries in the country employing more minority managers than any other industry. It is also one of the most charitable industries in the United States. Currently, nine out of ten restaurants are actively involved in charitable activities on a daily basis. To help celebrate these industry stars making a difference each and every day, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation honors individuals with the annual Restaurant Neighbor Award, Faces of Diversity American Dream Award and Ambassador of Hospitality Award. Finalists are submitted from state restaurant associations around the country.

2019 Finalists

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Restaurant Neighbor Award logo

National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

The Restaurant Neighbor Award

The Restaurant Neighbor Award, developed in partnership with American Express, celebrates the outstanding charitable service performed by restaurant operators throughout the U.S. Created 20 years ago, this award recognizes the impact restaurants and entrepreneurs have made on their local communities.

 

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Faces of Diversity logo

National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

Faces of Diversity Award

The Faces of Diversity awards shine a light on the restaurant industry’s diversity and hope to inspire further inclusion through the annual program. In partnership with PepsiCo Foodservice, the Faces of Diversity Awards program honors individuals in the restaurant industry who have realized the American Dream through hard work, determination and enterprise.  Founded in 2006, this program was created to promote the importance of diversity and inclusion by highlighting model companies that have excelled in this area, as well as to raise awareness about the important role restaurants play in providing a ladder of opportunity for millions of Americans to achieve the American Dream.

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Ambassador of Hospitality logo

National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

Thad & Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award

The Ambassador of Hospitality Award, sponsored by Ecolab, is the premiere award bestowed to an individual who has exemplified extraordinary achievement and leadership in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

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Applications for the NRAEF Awards are traditionally due in November every year.