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Hospitality Technology Reveals 2013 Restaurant Breakthrough Award Winners

Hospitality Technology (HT) magazine has named the winners of the 2013 Restaurant Breakthrough Awards.  Every year, HT presents its Breakthrough Awards to a select few foodservice companies for outstanding vision and achievement in operational and guest-facing technologies. 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 2013 Breakthrough Awards go to: Tony Roma’s and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar.
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 Thursday, October 3, 2013. The Summit, held October 2-4 at the Four Seasons in Dallas, TX, 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.
Hospitality Technology has been charting the course of IT in the restaurant and hotel industries for seventeen years. The level of IT innovation going on in the restaurant industry outpaces anything we’ve seen before, and we’re thrilled to recognize these two companies—Tony Roma’s and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar—for their efforts,” says Abigail A. Lorden, editor-in-chief of Hospitality Technology. “This year’s Breakthrough Awards go to two companies that have worked in-house to develop customized solutions to reach new heights in operational and service-delivery excellence — a true sign that restaurants are embracing technology more than ever before.
The 2013 Breakthrough Winners
A second-time Breakthrough Award winner, Flemings’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar was previously honored in 2010 for innovation in workforce management with its use of videoconference technology. In 2013, Fleming’s has been chosen as Customer Engagement Innovator for a next-generation, customized wine list solution. The Fleming’s WiNEPADTM is a proprietary web-based application that makes it easy for guests to sift through the restaurant’s comprehensive wine list on an iPad. The software also offers diners a fun and engaging way to sort the list by mood, receive recommendations, access expert wine pairings and even share information via email.  Fleming’s has rolled out the technology across its 65 locations, with each restaurant having 30 WiNEPADS that are made available either tableside or at the bar.
“We developed the WiNEPAD to enhance the dining experience for our guests and to provide an interactive experience with wine, which is one of our passions,” says National Director of Wine, Maeve Pesquera. “Being a recipient of the Breakthrough Award validates our spirit of service and innovation and is the next natural evolution for the Fleming’s 100®.”
With more than 160 locations worldwide, Tony Roma’s was awarded for achievement as an Enterprise Innovator for its rollout of a digital recipe book that replaced bulky binders with tablets and streamlined kitchen operations. The updated technology allows kitchen staff to have information right at their fingertips in addition to supporting videos, pictures, plus allergy and caloric information. To streamline operations, a live recipe book site enables staff to find and access just the piece of data needed in a timely and efficient manner. Ultimately, the rollout has resulted in a reduction in waste and labor costs at all 12 locations that have implemented the technology.
“Tony Roma's is extremely honored to be recognized by HT magazine,” Justin Andrews, director of IT, Tony Roma’s states. “We believe the program that we developed will have positive implications to the future of restaurants. Tony Roma's will continue to be innovative, finding new ways to make business more efficient.”
Past Breakthrough Award Winners Include:

  • Legal Sea Foods (2012)
  • Jersey Mike’s Subs (2012)
  • 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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