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Food Service Industry Updates

These Companies Embraced Necessity, Which Led to Plenty of Innovation

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Chipotle Mexican Grill was cited by the National Restaurant Association for its sustainability efforts in the Innovation Awards for Foodservice.

There’s an old saying that “necessity is the mother of invention.” Larry Lynch, senior vice president of science and industry for the National Restaurant Association, mentioned the saying recently when announcing the recipients of the association’s inaugural “Innovation Awards for Foodservice.”

“This has certainly been a year of necessity, no doubt, and with that comes a lot of invention,” said Lynch, who was also an Innovation Awards judge. “The awards provide another level of assessment to help operators cut through the noise of so many products to find the ones that can add value in their daily operations.”  

The National Restaurant Association and SmartBrief, which publishes the association’s e-newsletters, said the honorees “represent innovative new or updated products and services that exemplify adaptability and resilience in three categories: sustainability, technology, and safety and health.”

A panel of judges composed of restaurant industry executives, association experts and SmartBrief editors evaluated each entrant on uniqueness in the market, ability to solve a problem and suitability for use. The winners are:

Sustainability Solutions

• Chipotle Mexican Grill: Real Foodprint

• EZ-Flo Technologies: EZ-Flo Sauce Dispensing System

• PepsiCo: SodaStream Professional

• T&S Brass: T&S WaterWatch

• White Tiger Organic Solutions: White Tiger Fridge Doctor

• WinCup: phade Straws

Technology Solutions

• Alto-Shaam, Inc.: Vector Multi-Cook Ovens

• Coca-Cola Freestyle Equipment Innovation Center: Coca-Cola Freestyle Contactless Pour

• Dexai Robotics: Alfred Sous-Chef

• GET Group NA: GET Mobile Verify

• MySingleLink: MSL Smart Lockers (Drive-Thru, Store-Front & In-Store)

• NSF EyeSucceed: NSF EyeSucceed Wearable Technology Solutions

• Perfect Company: Perfect Kitchen Workflow

• Perfect Company: Perfect Pickup

• UBIR Technology: UBIR Service

Safety and Health Solutions

• CASPR GROUP: CASPR Pro-Induct Unit

• Georgia-Pacific: GP PRO Automated Sealing Machine

• Optimatx: Automated Restaurant Monitoring Device A.R.M.D.

• Server Products: Touchless Express Dispensers

• Worcester Industrial Products/The Shortening Shuttle: SS-645 “Mini Pump” Simplicity Series Shortening Shuttle

“Following a difficult year for the foodservice industry, we are delighted to see that innovation flourished in response to the many challenges restaurant operators faced,” Chris Warne, industry vice president and group publisher of Food & Travel for SmartBrief. “From reviewing all the great product entries, foodservice operators and professionals are well-equipped to meet the demands of an evolving industry. We look forward to building upon this awards program and elevating innovative products with our partners at the National Restaurant Association.”

View the awards program guide here, which includes more product information about all the honorees and nominees.

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