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Chicago, Ill. - The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), along with Nation’s Restaurant News, today announced the winners of the 2005 SPIRIT Awards, a program honoring those restaurant and foodservice establishments that have practices and policies in place to improve guest satisfaction by improving employee satisfaction. The program, sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company, awards organizations that fall into one of five categories: fine dining, full service- casual theme/dinnerhouse, full service - family; cafeteria, onsite and quick service.

“Our 2005 Spirit Award winners have developed outstanding recruitment and retention programs that can serve as a model for operators in every segment as restaurateurs throughout the industry constantly seek ways to enhance employee satisfaction,” said Mary M. Adolf, president and chief operating officer, NRAEF. “We commend these restaurant companies for their inspiring commitment to their people.”

The 2005 SPIRIT Awards were presented to the following organizations:

  • Fine Dining: Panzano (Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group, LLC)
  • Full Service- Casual theme/Dinnerhouse: Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
  • Full Service – Family; Cafeteria: Golden Corral Corporation
  • OnSite: Boston College
  • Quick Service: Jack in the Box Inc

“It is a privilege to honor companies who are working so hard and being so creative in recruiting, training and retaining their employees,” said Alan Gould, publisher of Nation’s Restaurant News. “We are pleased to work with the NRAEF and Coca-Cola to recognize the innovative efforts of these operators.”

The 2005 SPIRIT Award winners will be honored at the Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators (MUFSO) conference, to be held September 18-21, 2005 in Kissimmee, Fla., where they will participate in a panel session and receive a prestigious plaque to display in their restaurant. All winners will also be honored at the 2006 SPIRIT Awards breakfast, held on Monday, May 22, 2006, during the 2006 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago, Ill.

These outstanding SPIRIT Award winners join past NRAEF Winning Workforce and Nation’s Restaurant News PAPA award recipients as the premier companies dedicated to advanced employee recognition and retention programs in the restaurant and foodservice industry. This year’s winners have demonstrated the importance of employee satisfaction, how they achieve this and how it results in greater guest satisfaction. The winners were chosen based on the innovation and creativity of their program, the professionalism of their program presentation, the in-unit communication they demonstrated and the measured effectiveness of the program.

For a printable version of this release, our news release archive or more information about the SPIRIT Awards, Resource Center for Workforce Solutions or the restaurant industry, please click on the link below:

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fulfilling the educational mission of the National Restaurant Association. As the nation's largest private sector employer, the restaurant and foodservice industry is the cornerstone of the American economy, of career-and-employment opportunities, and of local communities. Focusing on three key strategies of risk management, recruitment, and retention, the NRAEF is the premier provider of educational resources, materials, and programs, which address attracting, developing and retaining the industry’s workforce. For more information on the NRAEF, visit