Nation’s Restaurant News Announces New CREATORS Awards

8/11, 4:00 PM (Source: GlobeNewswire)

NEW YORK, Aug. 11, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nation’s Restaurant News, the leading source for news and business intelligence for restaurant and foodservice professionals, is excited to announce the launch of new annual awards recognizing innovation in the restaurant industry.

The CREATORS, launching this fall in conjunction with NRN’s CREATE in-person event (Oct. 4-6 in Denver), will honor the restaurant companies and leaders that best embodied a spirit of innovation in the past year.

“Whether they wanted to or not, restaurant companies were forced into innovation through the COVID-19 pandemic as they responded to the myriad challenges that it presented,” said Sam Oches, editor-in-chief of Nation’s Restaurant News. “Some leaders saw this as an opportunity and doubled down on creative strategies, products and platforms that helped to advance their businesses beyond survival mode. With The CREATORS, we will recognize those innovators and hopefully encourage others to pursue a similar mindset.”

In its inaugural year, The CREATORS will feature five individual awards and one CREATOR of the Year chosen from those five. Winners will be chosen based on innovation, creativity, scale and impact. The individual awards are:

  • Brand CREATOR (201 units and more): A large brand that took a holistic approach to innovation in the past year, pushing the boundaries throughout their operation.
  • Brand CREATOR (200 units and less): A small or mid-sized brand that took a holistic approach to innovation in the past year, pushing the boundaries throughout their operation.
  • Marketing CREATOR: The brand or marketing chief who spearheaded the most innovative marketing campaign or community initiative in the past year.
  • Operations CREATOR: The brand or operations chief who had the most innovative approach to restaurant operations, whether in the kitchen, technology solutions, labor, design or strategy.
  • Leadership CREATOR: The brand or leader who best epitomizes leadership as it relates to culture, employee relations, franchise relations, philanthropy and sustainability.

“The CREATE platform was designed to think outside the box with programmatic content — an innovative way to deliver valuable insights virtually and in person,” Oches said. “The CREATORS are the perfect opportunity to likewise recognize those professionals thinking outside the box as they set their brands up for success during the pandemic and beyond.”

Know an innovative person or brand that is worthy of this recognition? Please e-mail Sam Oches at with the award category you think they’re worthy of in the subject line and your pitch for why they’re innovative in the body of the e-mail.

CREATE, which will be held at the newly renovated Sheraton Denver Downtown, is a unique festival-style event where restaurant leaders from the largest chains to innovative independents come to learn, discover and advance their careers and businesses. CREATE attendees will have access to interactive discussions with industry leaders, lightning keynotes, tech demo kiosks, pop-up food stations and plenty of opportunities for meaningful connections with industry peers.

Nearly two-dozen speakers have already been lined up for CREATE, including: Monty Moran, former co-CEO of Chipotle; Sheilina Henry, Group Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion, for Bloomin’ Brands; Michael Lastoria, CEO and cofounder of &pizza; Bill Phelps, CEO of Dave’s Hot Chicken; Damola Adamolekun, CEO of P.F. Chang’s; and more.

Visit the CREATE event website to learn more and register to attend.

Nation's Restaurant News (NRN) is the No. 1 source of business information for the foodservice industry. For more than 50 years, NRN has served the information and engagement needs of foodservice professionals, offering award-winning content across all mediums with the goal of driving businesses forward. NRN was named Best Media Brand by the Jesse H. Neal Awards in 2019. NRN is part of the Restaurant & Food Group by Informa Connect, the leading B2B integrated media group connecting products, solutions and thought leadership with the largest, most engaged and highly qualified audience in foodservice and food retail. The group connects the entire food and foodservice ecosystem of operators, chefs, retailers, manufacturers, vendors and solutions providers through traditional, digital, social and custom media as well as digital and live events. To learn more about NRN, visit

CREATE: The Future of Foodservice is the only digital and in-person experience of its kind, where restaurant leaders from the largest chains to the most innovative independents come together to learn from leading thinkers and change makers, discover products and services that will transform foodservice, and connect with like-minded peers forging new paths to advance the restaurant industry. Powered by NRN, CREATE provides on-demand content from restaurant thought leaders and industry experts; live sessions for Q&A and community interaction; small, curated virtual gatherings to tackle the most relevant topics; and a new festival-style, live event in October. To learn more about our CREATE digital experience, visit To learn more about our CREATE in-person event, visit

Informa Connect, a division of Informa plc, is a specialist in content-driven events and digital communities that allow professionals to meet, connect, learn and share knowledge. We operate major branded events in Global Finance, Life Sciences, Construction & Real Estate, Restaurant & Hospitality, and in a number of other specialist markets and connect communities online year-round. Learn more at

Jesse Yeung
Nation’s Restaurant News
605 Third Avenue, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10158


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