TORONTO — The 38th annual Top Management Night, presented by the CAFP Toronto Branch, honoured the foodservice industry’s top leaders last night, Jan. 30, at the International Centre in Mississauga, Ont., with a keynote address by William Pallett, senior vice-president of People Resources, Delta Hotels & Resorts.
CAFP Industry awards were presented to Dr. Alicia Garcia of Brescia University College, who received the nod for Champion of Education and Training, Educator; Dana Hospitality Inc. and Marek Hospitality Inc. who received the award for Champion of Education and Training, Corporate; and the President’s Award of Recognition was given to Anthony Cooper, who recently announced his retirement. “It’s time to move on and confirm that there is life outside of the hospitality industry,” he said.
Rosanna Caira, editor and publisher of Foodservice & Hospitality magazine, presented the Hans Bueschkens Award of Merit to McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada for its Ronald McDonald House program, which offers shelter to families who travel far so their children can receive hospital care. The award, which has been presented for almost two decades, recognizes a leading foodservice company that champions the well-being of the community. Cathy Loblaw, executive director, accepted the award, telling a touching story about a family who benefited from the Ronald McDonald House in Nova Scotia and developed stronger bonds during their stay. “I often say I’m part of the luckiest charity in the world. We are at an extraordinary time of growth, and, unfortunately, at an extraordinary time of need,” Loblaw said.
Ontario Restaurant News also presented a couple of awards. Chef Michael Stadtländer of Eigensinn Farm was named Restaurateur of the Year, and upon accepting the honour spoke about his involvement with Foodstock, and his next project: SoupStock. Stanley Ma, president and CEO of MTY Group, received the award for Newsmaker of the Year. “I am delighted of this recognition,” he said.
Pallett closed the evening with a keynote address that offered an in-depth look at how businesses can drive profit by developing an engaged workforce. “It’s not about you anymore. You no longer hold all the cards [your employees do],” he said. His talk addressed the changing demographics of the foodservice industry, touching on the impending labour shortages throughout Canada. He emphasized the importance of making employees feel valued, and its relevance to retention rates, summing up the presentation with a final thought: “People … our most important resource … and yet, the one resource you don’t own.”