The restaurant industry was tested like never before in 2020. For the businesses that survived — and even thrived — the common thread was strong leadership and inspiring company culture. Last year’s social justice movement also spurred important conversations about how organizations must do more to increase opportunity and access for all.
That’s why the 2021 Power List celebrates the best in restaurant leadership — those who demonstrate innovation and resilience, who champion diversity and inclusion in their companies, and who strengthen the industry with leadership and knowledge sharing.
But true leadership is never just about one person. It ripples throughout companies and the communities they serve.
So this year, we added a new element to the Power List: inclusion.
To compile this year’s list, the editors of Nation’s Restaurant News selected 25 restaurant leaders whose keen leadership helped their organizations navigate the COVID crisis. We then asked each of those leaders to point to a Power Player on their team who embodies the mission and values of their organization.
The result is a list that features not only familiar names leading some of the biggest restaurant companies in the world but also the members of their teams that they draw inspiration and strength from. You’ll find executives, chefs, entrepreneurs, activists and changemakers at every level of restaurant organizations.
These power pairings represent the far-reaching effects of inclusive leadership and demonstrate the positive impact of building a culture of opportunity for all. We hope you will be inspired.
Get to know all 50 of these game-changing leaders.