IFMA's 61st Annual Gold & Silver Plate Awards

IFMA's 61st Annual Gold & Silver Plate Awards

With presence across the nation, a menu of comfort food, and all-day breakfast available 24/7, Denny’s has become America’s diner. But that certainly doesn’t mean soggy pancakes, stale coffee and smoky booths. Denny’s, like many other successful restaurants over the past decade, has evolved to meet consumer demands. And it has done so gracefully, without losing its voice or brand ethos.

Denny’s evolution has significantly ramped up in the past few years under the strategic direction of Denny’s President and Chief Executive John Miller. Under this management, Denny’s Restaurants has successfully rolled out a Millennial-focused, fast casual branch-off for college campuses called The Den. It has also gone through a significant real estate remodeling and rebranding, has added healthier options to its menus, and has even opened an upscale diner in Manhattan, complete with a full bar.

It’s this spirit of innovation that encapsulates what it means to be deemed an International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) Gold Plate Award Winner, an honor that Miller received at this year’s 61st Annual Gold & Silver Plate Awards celebration.

The Gold & Silver Plate Awards are to foodservice operations what the James Beard Awards are to culinary.

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Celebrating the Women in the Restaurant Industry

As the month of March, also Women's History Month, almost comes to an end– it seems fitting to take look a closer look at how women are shaping the restaurant industry. Often this industry acts as the launching pad for individuals, specifically women, either they start serving tables and continue in the restaurant business or apply this valuable experience in a different field. 

So let's take a look at some of the facts about women in the restaurant space-

  • One in three women get their first job in a restaurant
  • 60% have worked in a restaurant
  • 92% of those woman who have worked in a restaurant believe it is a good place to get a first job.
  • 45% of restaurant managers are women
  • More than 50% of restaurants are owned by women

* all the above is according to the National Restaurant Association

And here are some of the notable leading ladies: 

Kat Cole, Cinnabon President and COO 

Elizabeth Smith, Bloomin' Brands CEO (Parent company of Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill and others)

Sally Smith, Buffalo Wild Wings CEO

Julia Stewart, Dine Equity CEO (Applebee's & IHOP)

Peggy Cherng, Panda Express CEO

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If You're Not Running Your Food Brand Like a Tech Startup, Take Notes from Cinnabon's Kat Cole

Photo Credit: Twitter// @Cinnabon

Photo Credit: Twitter//@Cinnabon

As Millennials — and those that sandwich between generations, on the cusp of Millennialhood — flood in to the top rungs of the so-called corporate ladder, helming startups or large corporations, business as we once knew it will inevitably continue to change.

As far as large food brands go, Cinnabon President Kat Cole is a perfect example, with outsiders comparing the workings of the company to a tech startup (Hackathons, anyone?). This aesthetic is, in part, why we dubbed her a Magnificent 12 Top Digital Executive of the Year in 2013. Between taking risks and envisioning the larger picture of a brand, rather than a product, and making personal connections through social media a company priority, Cole is not only keeping up with the shifting landscape — she’s helping to redefine what it means to be successful in the modern-day playing field. Read More