In 2014, Food News Media, publisher of FSR and QSR magazines, posed a simple question to the industry: Can chain restaurant food be healthy? The response that flooded in from operators, chefs, and industry experts was, overwhelmingly, yes.

To that end, Food News Media debuted the HALO Awards last year to honor chains making meaningful contributions toward consumers’ health, and also to spur further innovation in the field. More than 120 restaurants submitted entries to the HALO Awards last year, each enthusiastic about the initiative and its goals.

This year, Food News Media will build on the positive response by hosting the second-annual HALO Awards. The Awards further underscore FSR’s commitment to continued coverage of healthy developments in the full-service restaurant sector.

“There’s no question that trends start in the independent restaurant segment, but independents can similarly look to chains for what’s possible, what’s resonating with consumers, and what’s not,” says Greg Sanders, group publisher of Food News Media.

Food News Media will begin accepting entries in the spring for the 2015 HALO Awards, with plans to recognize the winners during an awards gala in the autumn that will be open to all members of the industry. Like last year, a panel of restaurant and nutrition experts will judge the entries and select the winners.

The 2014 winners were recognized at a reception in October in Atlanta. In the full-service category, Maryland-based Silver Diner, which has 15 locations on the East Coast, earned an award for its revamped adult and kids’ menu. Applebee’s also took home an honorable mention for its kids’ menu revamp. The other 2014 winners were quick-service restaurants: Bean Sprouts, Boston Market, Chick-fil-A, and LYFE Kitchen.

We look forward to seeing how chains in 2015 make even greater strides toward improving consumers’ well-being,” Sanders says.

Feature, Health & Nutrition