Union Square Hospitality Group , Famous Dave’s of America , Royal Caribbean International  and Bruegger’s Enterprises Inc.  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  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  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  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.