DALLAS Nation's Restaurant News honored five decades of restaurant achievements and paid tribute to an industry legend Monday night during its 50th annual Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators conference.
At the Golden Anniversary Celebration, NRN gave out its annual Golden Chain awards to six restaurant executives and named James Greco, chief executive of Bruegger's Bagels, Operator of the Year. The five other Golden Chain winners included Chuck Fallon of Burger King, Phil Friedman of McAlister's Deli, Jeffrey Harvey of Burgerville, Randy Kibler of Bojangles' Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits, and Cameron Mitchell of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants.
Also at the event, Richard Melman, founder and chief executive of Chicago's Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, was given NRN's 2009 Pioneer Award.
In addition, five decades of Golden Chain and Operator of the Year winners gathered together on stage to be recognized for their contributions to the restaurant industry.
The celebration also included a special tribute to the late Norman Brinker, an industry pioneer who passed away earlier this year. Nation's Restaurant News announced it had created a special leadership award, called The Norman, in his honor. Beginning next year, the annual award will be given to an industry leader who is helping to develop the next generation of leadership.
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