Kostuch Media Announces 2012 Pinnacle Winners

TORONTO, Nov. 27, 2012 /CNW/ - Kostuch Media Limited, publisher of industry magazines Foodservice and Hospitality and Hotelier, is proud to announce the 2012 winners of its prestigious Pinnacle Awards.

"This year's winners prove innovation is the hallmark of success in today's competitive operating environment. They've carved out success in 2012 by thinking outside the box, while focusing on quality," said Rosanna Caira, editor and publisher of Kostuch Media, saluting the 11 winners from both magazines.

On the foodservice side, Toronto's Smoke Poutinerie nabbed the Company of the Year (National) prize. The empire has grown from 10 units in 2010 to 36+ units in 2012, with a chain-wide sales increase of 65 per cent between 2011 and 2012. Future plans include further growth of its food-truck business and the launch of a Sports & Entertainment division.

Brown's Socialhouse is this year's winner in the Company of the Year (Regional) category. Since opening eight years ago, the Vancouver-based company has grown to include 15 franchised locations in Western Canada, with sales of $27 million. It recently expanded into the U.S. market with two units named 'Scotty Browns.'

This year's Independent Restaurateurs of the Year are John Jackson, Carrie Jackson, Connie De Sousa and Jean Francois Beeroo of Calgary's Charcut Roast House. After opening in 2010, the quartet has increased sales by 112 per cent. The owners also co-pilot the city's food-truck program.

David Hawksworth of Hawksworth Restaurant in Vancouver has earned this year's Chef of the Year accolade. Hawksworth earns critical acclaim from the press, his peers and diners for his inventive meals served in an opulent setting.

Saputo Dairy, winner of the Supplier of the Year prize, has 47 plants and distribution facilities in more than 50 countries. It generated $6.9 billion in revenue in fiscal 2012, up 15.4 per cent from fiscal 2011.

As Franchise Excellence winner, Pizza Nova has cultivated a strong franchisee bond by focusing on quality and innovation. With 125 units in Ontario, the company has achieved seven-per-cent growth in the past year. It celebrates its 50th birthday in 2012.

John Bishop, of Vancouver's Bishop's restaurant, rounds out this year's list of F&H winners, earning a Lifetime Achievement Award for his 40+ years of industry influence. The local-food champion has inspired a generation of cooks.

On the hotel side, the largest investor-owned distribution utility firm in Canada, with 23 hotels in eight provinces, has taken Company of the Year honours. St. John's, N.L.'s Fortis Properties achieved RevPAR growth of 2.5 per cent with this year's RevPAR projected to hit $79. Under Nora Duke's leadership, the company has found the formula for success: robust fiscal management, customer service excellence and employee development.

Meanwhile, Pomeroy Inns and Suites Inc. is Hotelier's Company of the Year (Regional) winner. The Grande Prairie, Alta.-based company realized sales increases of between 40 and 50 per cent in 2012. Its four core values of honesty, quality, industry and family extend to the community.

This year's Hotelier of the Year is Heather McCrory, regional vice-president, Fairmont Hotels and GM of the iconic Fairmont Royal York. Under McCrory's leadership, occupancy levels are expected to reach an all-time high of 75 per cent this year, representing a 1.5-per-cent increase over 2011.

And, just as the Hotel Association of Canada prepares to celebrate 100 years, Hotelier will present its president, Tony Pollard, with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Pollard has been instrumental in building the profile of the hotel industry in Canada and abroad.

The winners will be celebrated at the Pinnacle Awards luncheon, Friday, Dec. 7, at Toronto's Fairmont Royal York Hotel.

About the Pinnacle Awards:
Since introducing the first industry award in 1988, Foodservice and Hospitality has honoured a diverse group of leaders for their continued success, 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; Donald Ziraldo and Karl Kaiser of Inniskillin Wines Inc.; and Four Seasons Hotels founder, Isadore Sharp. Hotelier magazine's first annual Hotelier of the Year award, representing 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.

SOURCE: Kostuch Media Ltd.

For further information:

Contact: Rosanna Caira at (416) 447-0888, ext. 224 or rcaira@kostuchmedia.com.