CHICAGO, Jan. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA), which provides leaders in the $600 billion foodservice industry with connections, insights and best practices, announced four chain operators have been named IFMA COEX 2016 Innovation Award recipients. Representatives from Buffalo Wild Wings, Chili's, Mellow Mushroom and Whataburger will each receive their awards at the IFMA Chain Operators EXchange (COEX) conference taking place in Las Vegas March 6-8.
"Winners of the IFMA COEX Innovation Awards are trendsetters who best exemplify how to bring highly-valued new business processes or consumer offerings to market," said IFMA President & CEO Larry Oberkfell. "These celebrated innovators help fulfill IFMA's vision of enhancing the consumer's enjoyment of the foodservice choice. I extend my congratulations to all of this year's winners."
The IFMA COEX 2016 Innovation Awards are sponsored by Sargento Foods and Surlean Foods, which are presented to four operators in the following categories:
Culinary/Operations Innovation Award—recognizes companies that demonstrate true innovation in one or more of such back-of-house areas as food preparation, quality and/or presentation; introduction of new menu items, addressing trends that drive consumer behavior (health/wellness, flavor/nutrition, and demographics) and operational systems.
- CHILI's – IFMA COEX 2016 Innovation Award Winner, Culinary/Operations, National Chain Category, nominated by Sargento Foods.
- Mellow Mushroom – IFMA COEX 2016 Innovation Award Winner, Culinary/Operations, Regional Chain Category, nominated by Unilever.
Marketing/Service Innovation Award—recognizes companies that demonstrate true innovation in one or more of such front-of-house areas as communications/advertising/promotions to drive customer attraction and retention; use of social media wait staff training and incentive programs and ambience and décor.
- Buffalo Wild Wings – IFMA COEX 2016 Innovation Award Winner, Marketing/Service, National Chain Category, nominated by Anheuser-Busch and Sargento Foods.
- Whataburger – IFMA COEX 2016 Innovation Award Winner, Marketing/Service, Regional Chain Category, nominated by Surlean Foods.
About International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA)
IFMA is the leading trade association comprised of the world's most prestigious food, equipment and supply manufacturers in the $600 billion foodservice industry, as well as related marketing service organizations, trade publications, distributors and brokers. IFMA's Vision is to provide our member community and industry partners the opportunity to enhance the consumer's enjoyment of the foodservice choice. For more information, visit ifmaworld.com. Follow IFMA on Twitter: @IFMAWORLD and Facebook or join our group on LinkedIn.