TRA Acknowledges the Generosity and Creativity of Restaurateurs with Texas Restaurant Awards: COVID-19

Aug 18

(AUSTIN, TX) Even when faced with the worst catastrophe the restaurant industry has ever seen, some restaurant owners have gone above and beyond to take care of their businesses, their teams, and their community.

On Thursday, August 20 at 7:00 p.m., the Texas Restaurant Association will acknowledge these efforts with the first Texas Restaurant Awards: COVID-19. They will also share the winner of the second annual Texas Restaurant Awards: Photography.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us all one important lesson; with or without a crisis, restaurants step-up to help,” said Dr. Emily Williams Knight, President and CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association. “No matter the pain they were experiencing themselves, restaurants across Texas and the nation led the way in feeding first responders, caring for their teams, and serving as the light for their communities in need. As we reflected on our annual awards, we didn’t want to miss celebrating the leaders who went above and beyond. The individuals nominated for our three COVID-19 award categories innovated, put their teams first, and served their communities in a meaningful way. They were in the greatest fight of their professional lives and instead of retreating, they stepped up and delivered – in a big way.”

Innovator Award, sponsored by Coca-Cola

The innovator award will be given to a restauranteur that is creative and found ways to pivot their business during the pandemic, whether that’s selling retail or creating a drive-thru in a parking lot. This person is the first one to try something new and is always forward-thinking.

Finalists: Mi Familia (San Antonio), EVO Cinemas (Kyle, San Marcos, New Braunfels, Austin), and Devil May Care (Austin)

People Award

The people award will be given to a restauranteur that has gone above and beyond for their employees. They likely already had a great company culture and have managed to keep that spark alive during this crisis.

Finalists: Old Hickory Inn Barbecue (Houston), Maple Leaf Diner (Dallas), and El Toro (Universal City)

Service Award, sponsored by Ben E. Keith

The service award will be given to a restauranteur that has a service heart and is always there with a helping hand for their community. This business is always willing to help the community and neighbors in times of need.

Finalists: Marty B’s (Bartonville), Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen (Houston), and Bonnell’s (Fort Worth)

The Texas Restaurant Awards will be streamed live on Zoom and Facebook Live on Thursday, August 20 starting at 7:00 p.m. Central. Anyone can join via this link.


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