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Hospitality Technology Reveals 2014 Restaurant Breakthrough Award Winners

Hospitality Technology (HT) magazine has named the winners of the 2014 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 2014 Breakthrough Awards go to: Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems and Truluck’s Restaurant Group.
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, November 4, 2014. The Summit, held November 3-5 at The Ritz-Carlton in Ft. Lauderdale, 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.
“The hospitality space has been in a period of rapid advancement throughout the last decade. The restaurant industry in particular has embraced both emerging technology and next-generation operation strategies in order to drive business and we’re thrilled to recognize two companies – Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems and Truluck’s Restaurant Group – for their achievements in both enterprise operations and customer service,” says Abigail A. Lorden, group editor-in-chief of Hospitality Technology magazine. “These companies exemplify the modern mindset of utilizing technology to improve and streamline services and functionalities while still finding ways to maintain the human connections inherent in hospitality.”
The 2014 Breakthrough Winners
First-time Breakthrough Award winner, Truluck’s Restaurant Group has been recognized for innovation in customer engagement for its implementation of a customer feedback platform that uses the tenets of psychology in order to pinpoint  customers’ emotional peaks. Utilizing customizable Humm Systems technology, Truluck’s is able to gather feedback in real-time enabling managers to react and respond to comments immediately if necessary. Having this valuable data has enabled Truluck’s to make changes to improve operations and customer service and reduced negative online reviews by 32 percent across the entire organization.
“We are always looking for opportunities to improve customer service. Being recognized as a customer-centric leader is an honor. It is what we work very hard with all of our people to accomplish,” says David Tripoli, operating partner, Truluck’s Restaurant Group. “Humm provided us an opportunity to receive real-time customer feedback and this information has been invaluable in assisting us to coach and direct our staff with opportunities for improvement. Simply put, using the information from Humm has made us a better restaurant group.” 
The winner for Enterprise Innovation, Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems, last won a Breakthrough Award in 2012. Since then, Jersey Mike’s has nearly doubled in size, with 140 new locations in 2013 alone. With such fast growth, Jersey Mike’s realized it needed a back-office system to monitor supply chain and provide purchasing compliance, contract price validation and recipe control. The company also recognized the need for granular corporate level reporting.  Integrating the CrunchTime! system to its proprietary POS, Jersey Mike’s achieved its ultimate goal of helping franchisees increase top line sales and decrease costs while ensuring quality service and product across all brand locations.
“All of us at Jersey Mike’s are honored to receive the Breakthrough Award,” said Brian Loughran, Director, Field Training, Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems.  “Our franchisees asked for a system to lower food and labor costs so we worked with CrunchTime! to create and implement, in a very short amount of time, a standardized system for our 800 locations which would enhance product quality and give franchisees the information at their fingertips to manage their cost of goods better. This award is a tribute to all our team members and franchisees who were involved with this major undertaking.”
Past Breakthrough Award Winners Include:
  • Tony Roma’s (2013)
  • Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Bar (2013)
  • Legal Sea Foods (2012)
  • Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems (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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