2007 SPIRIT Awards winners show best practices in HR

2007 SPIRIT Awards winners show best practices in HR

Union Square Hospitality Group [2], Famous Dave’s of America [3], Royal Caribbean International [4] and Bruegger’s Enterprises Inc. [5] have been named winners of the 2007 SPIRIT Awards for innovative workforce programs that lead to high employee satisfaction.

The winning companies will be honored during the 48th annual Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators Conference Oct. 1-3 at the Hyatt Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles. The awards are presented by the MUFSO conference’s producer, Nation’s Restaurant News, and the National Restaurant Association [6] Educational Foundation and are sponsored by the Coca-Cola Co.

The honorees were judged on the basis of programs that demonstrated excellence in recruitment, hiring, retention, education and training in four foodservice categories: fine dining, full service, on-site and quick service. They were selected by the SPIRIT Advisory Board and NRN’s editorial staff on the basis of innovation, creativity, program presentation, in-unit communications and measured results.

The winners in their respective categories are:

Fine dining: Union Square Restaurant Group, a nine-unit, multi-concept company founded by New York restaurateur and author Danny Meyer, whose operations include Gramercy Tavern [7] and Union Square Cafe.

Full service: Barbecue chain operator Famous Dave’s of America, based in Minnetonka, Minn., which owns 40 Famous Dave’s locations and franchises 112 additional units to others in 35 states.

On-site: Royal Caribbean, a Miami-based fleet of 21 ships with a total capacity of 51,432 guests.

Quick service: Bruegger’s Bagels, located in Burlington, Vt., whose franchised system encompasses 259 bakery-cafes in 21 states.

The SPIRIT Advisory Board members this year were Deborah Collins, executive director of the Distinguished Restaurants of North America in New York; Dina Berta, human resources editor of Nation’s Restaurant News; Jessica Wion, director of corporate communications and marketing for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation [8] in Chicago; NRN columnist Jim Sullivan, chief executive of Sullivision in Appleton, Wis.; Tara Davey, executive director of the Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers in Westfield, N.J.; Julie Jones, director of nutrition service for the Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus; Frank Kawecki, general manger of Bambara restaurant in Cambridge, Mass.; Mike Serchia, former human resources director for the Coffee Been & Tea Leaf chain in Los Angeles; and Anne Varano, senior vice president of human resources and communications for Carlson Restaurants Worldwide in Carrollton, Texas.