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Hospitality Technology Reveals 2012 Restaurant Breakthrough Award Winners

Hospitality Technology (HT) magazine has named the winners of the 2012 Restaurant Breakthrough Awards. Every year, HT presents its Breakthrough Awards to a select group of foodservice companies for outstanding vision and achievement in delivering technological excellence to the operation and the guest experience. Winning companies are chosen based on their vision and execution; consideration is given to size, resources and individual market segment benchmarks to ensure that companies from across the industry are recognized for their efforts. The 2012 Breakthrough Awards go to: Jersey Mike’s Subs and Legal Sea Foods.
Breakthrough Awards were presented in two categories: Enterprise Innovator and Customer Engagement Innovator. Winners were judged by HT editorial staff and Advisory Board on a basis of innovation, thought leadership, execution, and forward-thinking vision, and announced at the Restaurant Executive Summit on Tuesday, October 9, 2012. The Summit, held October 8-10 at Charleston Place in Charleston, S.C., is an invitation-only event that brings senior-level executives from high-growth restaurant companies together to exchange powerful insights for preserving financial health at their companies, and positioning their brands for growth.
“Restaurants are shedding their slow-to-innovate reputation, and are really starting to embrace technologies that can have a positive impact on their operations, and on the experience of their guests,” says Abigail A. Lorden, editor in chief of Hospitality Technology. “Through our Breakthrough Awards, we seek to acknowledge the industry’s progress, and are thrilled to honor Legal Sea Foods and Jersey Mike’s Subs for their efforts.”
The 2012 Breakthrough Winners
With 32 restaurant locations and an expanding concept, Legal Sea Foods is a second-time Breakthrough Award recipient, having been honored in 2007. In 2012, Legal Sea Foods was chosen as Customer Engagement Innovator for its revolutionary rethinking of the point of service. The company implemented a secure method of payment where credit cards never have to leave their hands and a new option for ordering with a handheld device. The wireless strategy has streamlined operations and allows servers to spend more time with customers. Added benefits of the rollout have been reduced server errors, increased beverage sales and enabling servers to handle more guests during peak hours.
“Legal Sea Foods is honored to have won a Breakthrough Award,” Chris Incorvati, director of information technology, states. “The Award is a testament to our focus on innovative technology and strong operational leadership to enhance the guest (customer) experience. Information technology and restaurant management teams collaborated to successfully implement wireless tableside ordering and payment solutions in our restaurants, allowing us to provide an elevated level of service and hospitality. Legal Sea Foods is proud to be recognized for this accomplishment.”
Jersey Mike’s Subs, with 560 franchised locations nationwide, was awarded for achievement as an Enterprise Innovator for its rollout of a rewards program that increased brand awareness and loyalty while replacing antiquated paper punch methods and cutting down on fraud. Named Shore Points Rewards, the program, in place at 551 locations, integrates with the company’s proprietary POS technology. The program leverages the latest in NFC technology with mobile marketing and messaging services including a smart phone application and local text messaging to Shore Points members.
“Jersey Mike's Subs is proud to receive this award which validates our innovative Shore Points RewardsTM,” reveals Scott Scherer, Jersey Mike’s Chief Information Officer. “At Jersey Mike’s we work and play as a team. The success of this program speaks to the outstanding collaboration of our executive, operations, marketing and IT teams. This teamwork enabled us to seamlessly integrate our own bar code based loyalty program with the SkyPop NFC mobile marketing platform to create a truly superior customer loyalty and retention product without impacting in-store operations."
Past Breakthrough Award Winners Include:

·         Domino's Pizza LLC (2011)
·         Subway Restaurants (2011)
·         Tasti D-Lite (2011)
·         Jack in the Box (2010)
·         ERJ Dining, LLC (2010)
·         Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar (2010)
·         Morton's Restaurant Group (2009)
·         T.G.I. Friday's (2009)
·         Hard Rock International (2009)
·         Cara Operations (2008)
·         uWink (2008)
·         Marco's Pizza (2008)
·         Legal Sea Foods (2007)
·         Ruth's Chris Steakhouse (2007)
·         Kahala - Cold Stone Creamery (2007)
·         Jason's Deli (2006)
·         Noodles & Co (2006)
·         Buca, Inc. (2006)


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