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Best Special Event Concept
Parent Night at the Nutrition Center St. Paul (MN) Public Schools

St. Paul Schools has an extremely diverse student population with many children coming from immigrant families who are suspicious of food served outside the home and anxious about how their children eat. Parent Night is designed to allay those fears by giving parents an opportunity for a behind-the-scenes look at the school nutrition operation, complete with the serving of a typical school meal. Tour guides are aided by translators to make sure the message is conveyed effectively.

Best Station Concept
Paninoteca developed by Restaurant Associates

The humble meatball gets the upscale treatment with this gourmet panini concept, which offers four exotic meatball choices, six toppings and four breads for customers to mix and match. The meatballs themselves are the star attraction with selections like one combining pork shoulder, prosciutto, hot cherry pepper and cippolinni. Another has Angus beef, ricotta, parsley and black pepper. Toppings include saffron aioli, olive-caper tapenade and spicy pepper relish while the breads include ciabatta, rosemary focaccia and seminola hero.

Best Convenience Retailing Concept
Procrastination Station at University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Located in a high-rise library sitting in the middle of campus that had no previous onsite foodservice, Procrastination Station is a 24-hour service concept offering a menu of salads, hot and cold sandwiches (including breakfast sandwiches served round the clock), baked goods and gourmet hot and cold beverages, all made with natural and organic ingredients. There are also organic hand and cut fruit selections as well as organic bars and vegan/vegetarian packaged meals.

Best Customer Service Concept
Restaurant Delivery at University of North Carolina Hospitals

Restaurant Delivery takes the menu choices available from UNC Hospitals’ popular house brand retail concepts and puts them on the room service patient menu. This not only provides patients with a large array of high-quality dining choices (the brands are displayed on the patient menu) but allows the dining department to achieve operational and purchasing efficiencies by having a common menu across both the retail and patient dining platforms.

Best Wellness Concept
Simple Servings developed by Sodexo

Simple Servings approaches the food allergy problem with a comprehensive approach. Rather than designing different menus for different allergy sufferers, the concept simply eliminates all use of seven of the eight most common food allergens. Designed to be part of an all-you-care-to-eat station mix in a college dining hall, Simple Servings has its own cookware and utensils to prevent any cross-contamination, while an extensive menu database provides plenty of daily and day-to-day choice for diners.

Best Menu
Café 17, operated by Bon Appètit at eBay/PayPal

Like many Silicon Valley companies, eBay/PayPal employs a highly diverse workforce that includes many who prefer vegetarian and Indian cuisine. Café 17 includes several concepts geared to these tastes, from its Bombay Corner Grill and a Tandoor station to its Noodle Bar, Wok station and Asian Grill. Among other specialties, it features a made-to-order dosa menu and highly-regarded sushi bar. Some examples of recent menu items included Hot Chili Uthappam, Curried Trout, Lima Bean Mulli Masala, Mumbai Murgh, Navarthina Korma and Rogan Gosht, all prepared in authentic fashion.