March 31, 2021

National Restaurant Association and SmartBrief Announce Recipients of Inaugural Foodservice Innovation Awards

Chicago – The National Restaurant Association and SmartBrief today announced the recipients of the inaugural Innovation Awards for Foodservice. The honorees represent innovative new or updated products and services that exemplify adaptability and resilience in three categories: sustainability, technology, and safety and health. 

A panel of judges composed of restaurant industry executives, Association experts, and SmartBrief editors, evaluated each entrant on uniqueness in the market, ability to solve a problem, and suitability for use. Award recipients are:

Sustainability Solutions

Technology Solutions

Safety and Health Solutions

"They say necessity is the mother of invention, and this has certainly been a year of necessity, no doubt; and with that comes a lot of invention,” said Larry Lynch, senior vice president of science and industry for the National Restaurant Association, and Innovation Awards judge. “The awards provide another level of assessment to help operators cut through the noise of so many products to find the ones that can add value in their daily operations."  

"Following a difficult year for the foodservice industry, we are delighted to see that innovation flourished in response to the many challenges restaurant operators faced,” Chris Warne, industry vice president and group publisher, Food & Travel, SmartBrief. “From reviewing all the great product entries, foodservice operators and professionals are well-equipped to meet the demands of an evolving industry. We look forward to building upon this awards program and elevating innovative products with our partners at the National Restaurant Association."

View the Awards Program Guide here, which includes more product information about all the honorees and nominees.

SmartBrief publishes the Association’s daily Restaurant SmartBrief and weekly Restaurant Innovation SmartBrief




About the National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 15.6 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We sponsor the industry's largest trade show (National Restaurant Association Show); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart). For more information, visit and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.

About SmartBrief

SmartBrief is one of the leading digital media publishers of targeted business news and information by industry. By combining technology and editorial expertise, SmartBrief delivers the relevant industry news  curated daily from thousands of sources  in partnership with leading trade associations, professional societies, nonprofits and corporations to nearly 6 million senior executives, thought leaders and industry professionals. For more information, visit