Why is it that the arrival of December always seems to catch us off guard? And why does the time between Labour Day and the holiday season seem to elapse before our eyes? How could another year have already passed, when it seems as if we were just lamenting the end of summer?
As 2018 winds down and the anticipation of the holidays firmly takes hold, the foodservice-and-hospitality industry readies itself for its busiest season, filled to the brim with luncheons, holiday parties and seasonal rituals.
Ironically, while many of us mark the season with myriad social gatherings and look forward to winding down after a busy year, for the foodservice-and-hospitality industry, it’s a time when employees and managers work tirelessly, around the clock, to help create special moments and memories for consumers.
At KML, the holiday season is heralded by the arrival of the Pinnacle Awards, which this year celebrates its special 30th-anniversary edition. What began as a small intimate luncheon at the Windsor Arms Hotel in Toronto for 25 industry executives has blossomed and evolved into a celebration for 500 guests held at the Fairmont Royal York. During that time, we’ve fêted close to 180 individuals and companies in categories that include Company of the Year, Regional Company of the Year, Independent Restaurateur of the Year, Chef of the Year and Supplier of the Year.
I like to think of the awards program as our gift of the season to the industry — a way for us to celebrate excellence and thank the countless individuals for all they do to make this industry vibrant, dynamic and successful. As operators, restaurateurs, chefs and suppliers, your journeys have been punctuated by hard work, perseverance and passion. What started as a germ of an idea — fuelled by passion and a multi-layered collaboration of efforts — has turned the dream into reality.
And, regardless of the challenges, the frustrations and sometimes the limitations that are part and parcel of every business endeavour, when the doors open, the show begins anew. As a collective, you deliver great food, provide top-notch service and help create incredible experiences for your guests — in the process, helping them create cherished memories that last a lifetime. Along with your teams, you strive to refine, adapt and innovate — all in the pursuit of excellence.
While our winners don’t set out to garner awards, the recognition is validation for the long hours they’ve invested in the industry and the hard work they’ve put into their careers. As an industry, we’re stronger for it. Congratulations to this year’s winners. And, on behalf of the entire KML team, may the holiday season be filled with health, happiness and, as always, a touch of magic.