TORONTO — Kostuch Media Limited, publisher of industry magazines Foodservice and Hospitality and Hotelier, has unveiled the 2018 winners of its prestigious Pinnacle Awards. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the “Oscars of the industry”.
Quebec-based MTY Group is F&H’s Company of the Year, while Group Germain, also based in Quebec, has been named Hotelier’s Company of the Year.
Other category winners for Foodservice and Hospitality include Pizza Nova for Regional Company of the Year; Liberty Entertainment Group’s Nick Di Donato for Independent Restaurateur of the Year; and Grant van Gameren for Chef of the Year. SkipTheDishes has been named Technology Company of the Year.
On the hotel side, this year’s winner of the Regional Company of the Year is Mississauga, Ont.-based Manga Hotels. Hotelier of the Year honours go to Robert Housez, GM at The Chelsea Hotel, Toronto. Supplier of the Year honours go to Destination Canada.
Over the past year, Company of the Year, MTY Group, has been a growth powerhouse in Canadian foodservice, logging $276 million in sales in 2017. The company has more than 5,700 units under 75 brands in its QSR portfolio and, in early 2018, it acquired Imvescor Restaurant Group Inc., including its five restaurant brands, as well as Gabbagreen, Timothy’s World Coffee and Mmmuffins.
This year’s Regional Company of the Year, Pizza Nova, operates 152 units in Ontario, logging $139 million in sales last year. The Toronto-based company lives and breathes what it believes in — great customer service, quality, community and family. For the 19th year in a row, Pizza Nova partnered with Variety Village for its “That’s Amore Pizza for Kids Day” to raise $118,000 — bringing its total to date to $1.5 million.
The Independent Restaurateur of the Year award is presented to Nick Di Donato, president and CEO of Toronto-based Liberty Entertainment Group. Renowned for creating venues of magnitude, originality and diversity, Di Donato’s vision and commitment is the driving force that fuels the Liberty Entertainment Group to continuously strive to achieve greater heights and higher standards far beyond the competition.
This year’s Chef of the Year award is being presented to Grant van Gameren. The Toronto chef is an equal partner in Victor Dries Catering with Chris Brown, as well as eight successful one-off restaurants including Bar Isabel, Bar Raval, Harry’s, Tennessee Tavern, Pretty Ugly, El Rey Mezcal Bar Quetzal and Rosalinda.
SkipTheDishes is the winner of the Technology Company of the Year award. The Winnipeg-based technology company is changing the Canadian foodservice landscape by connecting customers to local restaurants and food couriers.
On the hotel side, Group Germain has had a huge year with its three brands — Alt, Alt+ and Le Germain. A private, family-run company that began in the boutique-hotel segment, Group Germain has grown to 14 properties and more than $130 million in sales in 2017. This year also marked the launch of the company’s Alt+ brand, with the opening of its first property in Brossard, Que.
This year’s Regional Company of the Year, Manga Hotels, owns, develops and manages 15 properties in Canada (as well as two internationally). The private, Canadian-owned company added five properties to its portfolio last year and recorded gross sales of $110 million.
Robert Housez, GM at The Chelsea Hotel, Toronto is a well-known personality in the hotel industry. With more than 30 years’ experience, Housez has served as a board member for the Mississauga Tourism Advisory Council and Tourism Toronto — including the marketing and audit committee. He’s also an executive board member and former chairman of the Greater Toronto Hotel Association (GTHA).
Destination Canada is this year’s Supplier of the Year in recognition of the work the organization has done over the last year to help dramatically increase the number of tourists looking to Canada as a destination of choice.
In addition to its regular slate of Pinnacle Awards, this year, the Rosanna Caira Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Bus Fuller, the legendary restaurateur behind three of Western Canada’s leading chains, Earls, Joey Restaurants and the Cactus Club.
“This year’s winning companies are transforming and altering the foodservice and hospitality landscape one concept at a time, through creativity, innovation and entrepreneurialism,” says Rosanna Caira, editor and publisher, Kostuch Media Limited.
Since launching the first award in 1988, Foodservice and Hospitality has honoured a diverse group of leaders for their continued success and achievements, representing every facet of the industry, from upscale restaurants to quick-service chains. Each of this year’s winners are distinguished for their contributions to the image of the industry through civic, educational and community involvement, as well as their efforts in establishing innovative concepts in foodservice or hotel management. Past winners include George Cohon of McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Ltd., The TDL Group, Starbucks Canada and Four Seasons Hotels founder, Isadore Sharp. Hotelier magazine’s first annual Hotelier of the Year award, representing similar achievement in the hotel industry, was presented in 1994 to hotel executives Robert DeMone, Canadian Pacific Hotels & Resorts; Michael Beckley, Commonwealth Hospitality; and Simon Cooper, Delta Hotels & Resorts.
For more information please contact: Rosanna Caira at (416) 447-0888, ext. 224 or [email protected]