The National Restaurant Association announced a partnership with the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) and their upcoming 62nd Gold & Silver Plate Awards event on May 21 at Revel Fulton Market at 6:30 p.m. As part of the annual event ceremony, which takes place during the week of the NRA Show, operators from all segments of the industry will be recognized for excellence by their partner supplier members of IFMA and their operator peer members of NRA.

This marks the beginning of a long-term partnership between the two organizations, kicking off with this collaboration in 2016 and extending into the addition of the NRA “Legends” Award, which will be inaugurated in 2017.

“The Gold and Silver Plate Awards Event is a signature event during NRA Show week,” says Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “By bringing these prestigious awards into the fold of NRA Show week and partnering with the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association, we solidify the commitment to excellence in foodservice operations across both Associations.”

“I am delighted by this partnership between our two prestigious foodservice associations, both of which are dedicated to celebrating excellence in the foodservice community,” adds Larry Oberkfell, president and CEO of IFMA. “The combined recognition of industry greats by our two groups will bring enhanced prestige to the 62-year old event and program, and further solidify it as a cornerstone of NRA Show week in Chicago.”

The Gold & Silver Plate Awards

Considered the industry's most prestigious honors since its creation in 1954, the Gold & Silver Plate Awards celebrate operators in the following nine categories:

  • Independent Restaurants/Multi-Concept
  • Chain Full Service/Multi-Concept
  • Chain Limited Service
  • Business and Industry/Foodservice Management
  • Health Care
  • Elementary and Secondary Schools
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Specialty Foodservice
  • Hotels and Lodging

One category winner receives the IFMA Gold Plate Award.

A distinguished jury, including national trade press editors, foodservice experts, past award winners and the chairperson of the International Gold & Silver Plate Society, weigh the merits of hundreds of candidates nominated by IFMA Members. The jury's secret ballot is kept confidential until the Gold & Silver Plate Celebration. A sample of criteria used in deciding the winners for the Silver Plate Awards, as well as Gold Plate Award, includes:

  • Years in foodservice operation management
  • Hands-on experience/knowledge
  • Commitment to foodservice as a lifetime career
  • Demonstration of outstanding leadership and innovation, and more.

The NRA Legends Award

Beginning in 2017, the National Restaurant Association “Legends” Award will honor an individual who has left an indelible and unique mark on the foodservice industry and on society.

The Gold & Silver Plate Awards Event

The celebration features a welcome reception, live music, gourmet meal, and exciting after-party. Attendees include leaders from every operator segment, manufacturers, and industry partners, along with industry legends, including members of the Gold and Silver Plate Society.

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