2021 MenuMasters Winners Announced; MenuMasters Awards Celebration in Denver on Oct. 4



Jennifer Jasinski, Wendy’s, Smokey Bones, Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar will be honored as 2021 culinary innovators along with last year's recipients

This is an amazing group of awardees who exemplify the resilience and adaptability that the foodservice industry as a whole has exhibited over the past 18 months”
— Bret Thorn, senior food & beverage editor of Nation's Restaurant News
DENVER, COLORADO, U.S., September 22, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Nation's Restaurant News, the premier source of business information for the foodservice industry, announced the winners of the 2021 MenuMasters Awards, sponsored by Ventura Foods. Innovators and restaurants that have shown adaptability and perseverance in their culinary development during the pandemic will be among those honored at this year’s MenuMasters celebration on Oct. 4 at Mile High Station in Denver. The MenuMasters Awards program is a highly respected competition honoring menu R&D leaders for their personal achievements and contributions to the foodservice industry.

Here are the 2021 MenuMasters winners:

- Hall of Fame Inductee: Jennifer Jasinski
Jasinski is the head of Crafted Concepts, which operates Rioja, Bistro Vendôme, Stoic & Genuine and Ultreia restaurants in Denver as well as Ultreia Paella Catering. She has been instrumental in turning the Mile High City into a culinary destination.

- Best New Menu Item: Wendy’s
The new “item” is the quick-service chain’s entire breakfast platform which, although rolled out at arguably the worst possible time, in early March of 2020, has continued to perform well and contribute to incremental sales.

- Best Limited-Time Offer: Smokey Bones
The casual-dining chain rolled out a comprehensive line of meal kits a month into the pandemic, including raw proteins and sides for guests to prepare at home, adapting to customers’ needs during the crises.

- Best Menu/Line Extension: Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar
The casual-dining chain drew on harried customers’ needs for nostalgia, convenience and value with the introduction of TV Dinners — frozen meals in compartmented trays ready to be heated at home, with options including chicken enchiladas, pot roast and fish & chips, complete with side and desserts. The new line has proven to be so successful that Lazy Dog continues to expand the variety available, including $6 kids’ meals.

“This is an amazing group of awardees who exemplify the resilience and adaptability that the foodservice industry as a whole has exhibited over the past 18 months and I can’t wait to honor them in Denver in October,” NRN senior food & beverage editor Bret Thorn said. “We’ll also finally have the chance to celebrate last year’s winners.”

The 2020 winners, who will also be honored at the party, are Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen for its industry-changing chicken sandwich, Velvet Taco for its constantly evolving Weekly Taco Feature, Buffalo Wild Wings for reconceptualizing its entire menu, Burger King for the launch of its meatless Impossible Whopper nationwide, Chipotle Mexican Grill for its health-oriented Lifestyle Bowls, and Dog Haus for being a trendsetter in menu innovation, collaboration with other chefs and community involvement.

Last year’s “Innovator,” Sarah Grueneberg and Hall of Fame Inductee Thomas Keller will be honored at a later date.

Restaurant operators are welcome to join the MenuMasters celebration on Oct. 4 in Denver. For more information or to register, visit www.informaconnect.com/menumasters.

MenuMasters is an invitation-only event for foodservice executives celebrating excellence in menu research & development. The MenuMasters Awards identify and recognize research and development executives and their respective foodservice companies for outstanding dedication and achievement to the area of research and development, and the product lines that are developed and marketed by their restaurant and foodservice companies. Follow #MenuMasters on social media to join the excitement, and get more information on the gala and how to attend on the MenuMasters website. Learn more at www.informaconnect.com/menumasters

Nation's Restaurant News (NRN) is the No. 1 source of business information for the foodservice industry. For more than 50 years, NRN has served the information and engagement needs of foodservice professionals, offering award-winning content across all mediums with the goal of driving businesses forward. NRN was named Best Media Brand by the Jesse H. Neal Awards in 2019. NRN is part of the Restaurant & Food Group by Informa Connect, the leading B2B integrated media group connecting products, solutions and thought leadership with the largest, most engaged and highly qualified audience in foodservice and food retail. The group connects the entire food and foodservice ecosystem of operators, chefs, retailers, manufacturers, vendors and solutions providers through traditional, digital, social and custom media as well as digital and live events. Learn more at www.nrn.com

Ventura Foods’ mission is to help our customers delight their customers. We continually do so by creating the flavors and custom food solutions that our foodservice, food manufacturing and retail customers value. Ventura Foods fuels your passion for great food. No one keeps ahead of flavor trends and develops delicious dressings, sauces, mayonnaises and other products like we do. Think of Ventura Foods as your secret ingredient for attracting and keeping customers. Learn more at www.venturafoods.com

Jesse Yeung
Nation's Restaurant News
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