Nation’s Restaurant News has tapped four emerging restaurant concepts for its annual Hot Concepts Awards, which honor young, fast-growing brands with the potential to make a big impact on the industry.
This year’s winners — which run the gamut from a breakfast taco joint to two plant-based concepts to an experiential wine and small plates concept — will be featured on NRN.com later this month and will be honored in September at the second annual CREATE Experience in Denver.
The 2022 Hot Concepts Award winners are:
- HomeState, a Texas-style taco concept with five locations in Los Angeles
- PLNT Burger, a 11-unit plant-based concept founded by chef Spike Mendelsohn
- Project Pollo, an 11-unit plant-based brand focused on plant-based chicken and sustainable practices
- Sixty Vines, a five-unit concept from FB Society, featuring wines on tap and shared plates, sandwiches, salads and pizzas
“Identifying and celebrating the next wave of restaurant leaders is a key part of the mission of Nation’s Restaurant News and CREATE,” Oches added. “We are proud to highlight these four concepts, which each bring a unique approach that is allowing them to connect with consumers and set a foundation for ambitious growth.”
The Hot Concepts Awards have been given out by Nation’s Restaurant News for more than 25 years to exciting emerging restaurant brands, many of which have gone on to national prominence. Past winners include The Cheesecake Factory, Panda Express, Noodles & Company, Jamba Juice, True Food Kitchen, CAVA and Bareburger.
The leaders of the Hot Concept Award-winning brands will be featured on a mainstage panel discussion on the opening day of the CREATE Experience, which will be held Sept. 19-21 in Denver.
In addition to the opening day panel with the Hot Concepts Award winners, CREATE also will feature a growing lineup of nearly 50 speakers from such restaurant brands as Wendy’s, Smokey Bones, Capriott’s and Wing Zone, P.F Chang’s, Coffee Bean + Tea Leaf, Big Chicken, Duck Donuts, Torchy’s Tacos, Another Broken Egg, Modern Restaurant Concepts, Zalat Pizza, PINCHO, Rasa and many more.