Kostuch Publications announces 2009 Pinnacle winners

TORONTO, Nov. 12 /CNW/ - Kostuch Publications Limited, publishers of industry magazines Foodservice and Hospitality and Hotelier, has announced the 2009 winners of the Pinnacle Awards. Toronto-based McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Ltd. is this year's Company of the Year (National) recipient for Foodservice and Hospitality magazine, while Hotelier magazine has chosen Montreal-based Atlific Hotels as its Company of the Year (National).

Other category winners for Foodservice and Hospitality include: Oliver & Bonacini as Regional Company of the Year; restaurateurs Yannick Bigourdan, David Lee and Franco Prevedello of Nota Bene as Independent Restaurateurs of the Year; and Ocean Wise as Supplier of the Year. Vancouver-based Keg Restaurants is the winner in the category of Franchise Excellence.

On the hotel side, in addition to the Company of the Year (National) category, other winners include: Monte Carlo Hotel Motel Innternational as Regional Company of the Year; David Mounteer, GM of the Auberge Saint-Antoine in Quebec City as Hotelier of the Year and HCA Architecture as Supplier of the Year.

With 2009 sales projected to hit $3 billion, McDonald's Canada is coming off one of its most successful years in recent memory. In addition to being the industry's leading hamburger chain, the company has successfully reinvented itself as more than just a place for burgers and fries.

This year's Regional Company of the Year is a well-known name in hospitality circles. Oliver & Bonacini is celebrating a successful year becoming the only foodservice provider to the Toronto Board of Trade, as well as building a commissary bakery that will supply all of its restaurants. Under its umbrella are such well-known concepts as Canoe, Auberge du Pommier, Jump and Biffs, as well as Oliver & Bonacini Cafe. In 2009, the company posted total annual sales of $35 million.

Since opening its doors in 2008, Nota Bene restaurant has quickly established itself as one of Toronto's most popular and leading restaurants. With a trio of celebrated names helming the concept (Yannick Bigourdan, David Lee and Franco Prevedello) the restaurant has quickly found its niche by focusing on great food and service, served at reasonable prices.

At a time when sustainability has become the buzz word of the day, this year's Supplier of the Year is Ocean Wise, an arm of the Vancouver Aquarium. It is making a big splash across the country by promoting the responsible use of fish and seafood. The non-profit group works in unison with restaurants and suppliers to promote sustainable choices.

Rounding out the foodservice winners is Keg Restaurants, in the category of Franchise Excellence. The iconic brand is approximately 50 per cent franchised, 50 per cent corporate. At the core of its success is the company's recognition that its restaurants would only flourish once they operators had a greater share in their own success.

On the hotel side, Atlific Hotels is one of the industry's most respected and trusted management firms. Since opening its doors in 1959 with the first Holiday Inn franchise in Canada, the company has grown its portfolio to include 43 properties coast to coast, representing 6,834 rooms across 12 brands. Sales in 2009 are projected to hit $310 million. The company is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with the opening of Le Westin Montreal in 2009, its biggest project to date.

This year's Regional Company of the Year is Monte Carlo Hotel & Motel Innternational. Started in 1984 by entrepreneur Domenic Meffe, who opened his first motel at Dundas and Highway 427 in Toronto, Monte Carlo has carved out an enviable niche in the GTA with smaller scaled hotels that feature meeting rooms and a restaurant. Over the past two years the company has opened three new properties in Vaughan, Barrie, and Markham.

David Mounteer, GM of the popular Auberge Saint-Antoine is this year's Hotelier of the Year. Since joining Saint-Antoine in March 2006, Mounteer has implemented his "WOW" training program to teach everyone from the concierge desk to the maintenance room how to find unexpected and creative ways to impress guests. Whether it's the hotel's unusual heritage or the staff's personal approach to the guest experience, Auberge Saint-Antoine has become a destination, receiving numerous accolades and international recognition.

HCA Architecture, Hotelier's Supplier of the Year, has also had a fruitful 2009. Started in 1981 by Harry Christakis, the firm has achieved success through Christakis' ability to listen to what customers want. His eye for detail, flexibility and in-depth understanding of the market have helped him achieve success on such projects as the recent renovation of the Westin Prince, the Fairmont Royal York Toronto and the Hilton in Windsor, Ont.

The achievements of all the winners will be celebrated at the Pinnacle Awards luncheon, to be held on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009, in the Canadian Room of Toronto's Fairmont Royal York Hotel.

Since introducing the first industry award in 1988, Foodservice and Hospitality has honoured a diverse group of industry leaders for their continued success and achievements, each representing the full spectrum of the industry, from upscale restaurants to quick-service chains. Each of this year's award-winners are distinguished for their contributions to the public image of the industry through civic, educational and community involvement, as well as their efforts in establishing innovative concepts in the area of 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 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. In 2009, Hotelier magazine is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

SOURCE KOSTUCH PUBLICATIONS LIMITED

For further information: For further information: on the Pinnacle Awards or for media interested in attending the Pinnacle Awards, please contact: Rosanna Caira at (416) 447-0888, ext. 224 or email rcaira@foodservice.ca

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