TORONTO — Kostuch Media Ltd., publisher of industry magazines Foodservice and Hospitality and Hotelier, has unveiled the 2022 winners of its prestigious Pinnacle Awards. This year marks the 33rd edition of the “Oscars of the industry.”
This year’s winners represent a cross-section of Canadian companies who embody longevity in the hospitality industry, emerging from the pandemic stronger than ever. Whether through launching new concepts, implementing innovative technology solutions or championing employees and the industry, these companies proved that experience matters when it comes to overcoming obstacles.
F&H’s Company of the Year honours go to Mary Brown’s Chicken, while Realstar Hospitality has been named Hotelier’s Company of the Year.
Other category winners for Foodservice and Hospitality include Vancouver-based White Spot for Regional Company of the Year; Calgary-based Teatro Restaurant Group for Independent Restaurateur of the Year; Michael Smith for Chef of the Year; and Lactalis Canada for Supplier of the Year.
On the hotel side, Regional Company of the Year is Vancouver-based Coast Hotels Canada. Hotelier of the Year honours go to the St. Regis Hotel, Toronto GM Tim Terceira, while the Supplier of the Year award for Hotelier magazine is being presented to Tony Elenis/Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association (ORHMA).
Company of the Year, Mary Brown’s Chicken, based in Markham, Ont., is the largest Canadian quick-serve chicken restaurant and one of Canada’s fastest-growing QSRs. The brand was founded in St. John’s, N.L. in 1969 and today has locations right across Canada, opening stores at an exponential rate coast-to-coast. If fact, Mary Brown’s has tripled its store count in the last decade. The brand also marked 17 consecutive years of same-store-sales growth in 2022.
Our Regional Company of the Year, White Spot, is Canada’s longest-running restaurant chain. Founded in 1928, when Nat Bailey launched Canada’s first drive-in restaurant, this year the company celebrated 94 years in business. With annual sales of more than $250 million, two brands — White Spot Restaurants with its 55 casual family-style locations and Triple O’s with its 77 premium quick-service locations — and a mix of corporate and franchise locations, the chain serves more than 15 million guests annually.
When Dario Berloni opened Teatro Restaurant in a historic building in Calgary in 1992, little did he realize that he was creating a legacy. The Italian fine-dining establishment continues to thrive today, along with a host of other eateries that now comprise the Teatro Restaurant Group, the 2022 Pinnacle Award winner for Independent Restaurateur of the Year.
Chef Michael Smith, F+H’s 2022 Chef of the Year, is a visionary and a leader — both by example and through his advocating for the industry over the last 30 years across Canada. As a chef, he understands hospitality, and being a great employer, is not just about cooking. Along with hosting many of the early and impactful Food Network cooking shows, he has remained an active restauranteur and chef during this time period and has inspired many young people to enter the industry, acting as a role model for chefs and advocating for better work environments by challenging some of the systems that are broken in our industry.
Our suppler of the year, Lactalis Canada, made headlines this year when it announced the company — the Canadian dairy leader behind iconic brands such as Cracker Barrel, Black Diamond, Balderson, Astro and Lactantia and a subsidiary of France-based Lactalis Group — would be expanding its plant-based product offering with the conversion of its existing Sudbury, Ont. plant to a modern, dedicated plant-based production facility, signalling that the 140-year-old company isn’t afraid to innovate to stay relevant.
On the hotel side, Toronto-based Company of the Year Realstar Hospitality, a full-service franchisor of the Days Inn by Wyndham, Motel 6 and Studio 6 brands, is a unique player in Canada’s hotel industry. Over the course of the pandemic, its franchisees benefitted from extensive support packages, ramped-up communications and new policy direction. Through reinforcing the value of its relationships with franchisees, Realstar Hospitality is well-positioned to thrive in the post-pandemic landscape.
Hotelier’s Regional Company. Of the Year, Coast Hotels, had a big year in 2022, celebrating its 50th anniversary and setting the stage for the chain’s post-pandemic recovery plan and ultimately its future direction for the next 50 years and beyond. In the first half of 2022, Coast Hotels added five hotels to its portfolio with the goal of adding 10,000 guestrooms in North America in the next five years.
Overseeing a staff of 346 and a room count of 258, this year’s Hotelier of the Year, Tim Terceira, has his hands full at the luxurious St. Regis Hotel, Toronto, where he’s held the role of general manager since 2018, when Marriott opened its first St. Regis property in Canada. With a hospitality career spanning 26 years, Terceira has also led teams at the Ritz-Carlton Toronto and Ritz-Carlton, Boston.
With a career in hospitality spanning over 35 years, Tony Elenis has certainly been able to make his mark on the industry. Throughout the course of the pandemic, Tony led the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association (ORHMA) in its ability to influence the government to implement and extend various support programs to keep the doors open during the height of the pandemic as well introduce several items that would support industry long term post-pandemic.
After a two-year hiatus from presenting the Pinnacle Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award during the pandemic, Kostuch Media has announced that Simon Cooper is this year’s recipient of Rosanna Caira Lifetime Achievement Award. Cooper, president of Simon Cooper and Associates, is a hospitality veteran of more than 40 years and has held various posts through his renowned career, including roles as president and COO of Ritz Carlton, president and managing director, Marriott Asia Pacific, president of Marriott Lodging Canada, and president of Delta Hotels.
Cooper began his hospitality career when he immigrated to Canada in 1972 and worked for Canadian Pacific Hotels, precursor to Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. During his illustrious career, Cooper was influential in the hotel industry. He was instrumental in building a Canadian office from the ground up for the Marriott brand in the late 1990s, fulfilling the company’s goal of rapid hotel development.
He was also the president of Delta Hotels and Resorts for many years, instrumental in turning Delta into one of Canada’s most successful homegrown brands. Along the way, he has been involved in a number of industry initiatives, including his pivotal role in establishing the Canadian Tourism Commission with a mandate to better promote and market Canada as a tourist destination. These days, Cooper runs a consultancy in Maryland called Simon Cooper & Associates, leading hotel development projects in Costa Rica and around the world.
“This year’s Pinnacle Awards winners speak to the power of experience,” says Rosanna Caira, editor/publisher Foodservice and Hospitality and Hotelier magazines. “After a turbulent two years of struggle, many of the companies and individuals chosen this year were able to not only survive through a lingering pandemic but also thrive through excellence and consistency in service and innovation.”
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.
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For more information please contact: Kimone Clunis at [email protected]