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Restaurant Industry Awards: Recognizing the Role of Restaurants in Their Communities

October 8, 2015

One of the key roles of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) is to enhance the stature of the industry through awards and recognition programs. The NRAEF has the following awards and recognition programs to help raise awareness for the positive impact restaurants have in their communities and the role the industry plays in improving the quality of life for all we serve. These programs are a great way to gain recognition for member restaurants and to help promote the restaurant industry. The SRA Marketing Hub has turn-key marketing materials to help promote these programs in newsletters, on the web and through social media.  

Restaurant Neighbor Award: Seventeen years ago, the National Restaurant Association, together with the award’s founding partner American Express, created the Restaurant Neighbor Award to help honor restaurants in the field of outstanding community service and involvement.  Ninety percent of restaurants are actively involved in community activities and this award highlights the positive contributions restaurants make in their local neighborhoods each and every day.  Four national winners receive $5,000 each to support their community efforts, an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC to receive their award during a gala awards dinner and a video highlighting their restaurant.

Participating State Restaurant Associations select state winners to compete for the national award. Each state winner receives a plaque to display in his/her restaurant. His/her community service program also is highlighted on the NRAEF’s website in a section dedicated to community service case studies to help demonstrate the impact restaurants have in their community.


Faces of Diversity: Seven years ago, the National Restaurant Association and PepsiCo Foodservice created the Faces of Diversity award. These awards promote the importance of diversity and inclusion by raising awareness about the important role restaurants play in providing a ladder of opportunity for millions of Americans who have realized the American Dream through hard work and determination. Each year, three winners are selected for this prestigious award. Winners are flown to Washington, DC for an awards dinner during the National Restaurant Association Public Affairs Conference in the spring.  A $2,500 scholarship is also made in the name of each winner to a student pursuing a career in the hospitality industry.


Deadline to apply is October 30th, 2015.

Click here to apply online.