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Frequently Asked Questions

Q.    What is the Restaurant Neighbor Award?
The Restaurant Neighbor Award is an awards program from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and American Express to honor restaurants for outstanding community involvement and innovative community programs. 

Q.     How many winners are there?
There are three national winners — one small business, one mid-size business and one large business/national chain.  Each national winner will receive up to $10,000 to support their  favorite charity or community project and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC to receive the award during a gala awards dinner in March 2019.
Q.    How are the winners chosen?
Participating State Restaurant Associations select winners to represent their state as the state winner. The state winners compete for the national award. The NRAEF convenes an in-person panel of judges representing the restaurant industry, the award-founding partner, NRAEF trustees, an SRA partner and the media and select the national winners.

Q.  What are the criteria for the Restaurant Neighbor Award?
Applicants should be involved in a community program or have their own project that has a strong impact in their community, either through funds raised or direct volunteer involvement. Factors that will be taken into consideration include: 

  • Commitment/Involvement
    • How long has the restaurant been involved in the project or program?
    • How did the program evolve? 
    • How is the staff involved? 
  • Impact
    • What impact has the restaurant’s involvement had or will have on the community (i.e. dollars raised, people fed, volunteer hours)?
  • Reputation
    • Is this restaurant in good standing in the community?

Q.  Does the restaurant need to be a member of the NRA to apply?
No. The award is open to members and non-members, but membership will be one of the factors the judges will consider as it shows commitment to the industry overall.

Q.  Is there a fee to apply?
There is no entry fee for the award 

Q.  How does a restaurant apply for the award?
Applications are on the NRAEF website at www.chooserestaurants.org/awards

Q.  What is the Faces of Diversity Awards Program?
The National Restaurant Association (NRA), together with Pepsico Foodservice, launched the first annual National Restaurant Association Faces of Diversity American Dream Award program in the spring of 2006 to raise awareness about the important role restaurants play in providing a ladder of opportunity for millions of Americans to achieve the American Dream.

Q.  Who is being honored?
The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation will award three individuals with the American Dream award. This award honors individuals from diverse backgrounds who have realized the American dream through hard work and determination. 

Q.  Who is eligible?
Any restaurant or foodservice company is eligible to apply or be nominated. Industry suppliers are not eligible for the award.

Q.  What are the award criteria?
Applications will be judged using the following criteria:

  • Background:
    • What does the “American Dream” mean to this person and how did he/she eventually achieve the American Dream?
  • Achievements:  
    • What obstacles, adversities and/or challenges has this person had to overcome in order to achieve the American Dream?
  • Impact on others:  
    • In what ways has this person helped or is helping others to achieve the American Dream?
    • How has this person been a leader in his/her community?
  • Standing in the community.
    • Is this restaurant in good standing in the community?

Q.  How does an individual apply for the award?
Individuals can apply for the award at NRAEF.org/Awards. They can also be nominated for the award.

Q.  How are the winners chosen?
The NRAEF will convene a judging panel in January 2019 to choose the winners. 

Q.  When will the winners be announced?
National winners will be honored at the National Restaurant Association’s Public Affairs Conference Gala Awards Dinner on March 26, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Q.  What do the winners receive?
The winners will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC where they will be honored at an awards ceremony. In addition to the ceremony, a $2,500 scholarship will be made in the name of each winner to an aspiring student pursuing a career in the restaurant and hospitality industry and a $2,500 grant will be made to their state restaurant association in their name. A video is also produced of each winner to showcase his/her achievements.

Q.  How are the scholarships awarded?
Each state restaurant association educational foundation that has a national winner from their state selects a deserving student to receive a $2,500 scholarship in the name of their winner.

Q.  Is there a fee to apply?
There is no entry fee for the Faces of Diversity Award.

Q.  Do you have to be a member to apply of the NRA?
No. Any foodservice professional can apply for the award.

Q.  What is the Ambassador of Hospitality?
The Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award, sponsored by Ecolab, is the premiere award bestowed by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation to an individual who has shown extraordinary achievement and exemplary leadership in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Consideration will be given to a nominee who serves as a company Chairperson, CEO, President or Senior Executive for his or her lifetime achievement in the hospitality industry. Individuals will meet the following criteria.

Q. What is the criteria for the Ambassador Award?
Individuals eligible for this award should demonstrate the following:

  1. Possesses high stature and recognition in the hospitality industry.
  2. Shown extraordinary leadership and advocacy on behalf of the industry
  3. Is a respected spokesperson and a positive role model to young people considering careers in the restaurant/foodservice/hospitality industry.  
  4. Is an advocate of the NRAEF mission and uses his/her leadership in the industry to enhance the stature of the industry through community service and philanthropy.

Q.  How are the winners for the Ambassador Award selected?
The NRAEF governance committee selects the winner.