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Kitchen Innovations Awards

Celebrating its 15th anniversary, the KI Awards program has earned a reputation for defining the gold standard of foodservice equipment innovations. Forward-thinking and cutting-edge, this is the equipment that generates industry growth through a focus on automation, efficiency, safety improvements, sustainability, waste solutions, and more. 

Now accepting applications. Deadline to apply: Wednesday, December 5, 2018.

2019 KI Award Applications

  • Why Apply
  • How to Apply
  • Who Should Apply
  • Application Materials

Benefits of being a KI Award Recipient

Industry-wide Recognition

• Validation and credibility from a panel of expert judges, including operators, consultants, and specifiers

Increased Attendee Awareness

• 8’ x 10’ turnkey exhibit space in the centrally located, highly trafficked KI Showroom (in addition to your main booth)

• High-profile exposure both on and off the Show floor

Increased Visibility through Media and Marketing

• Increased media coverage and visibility with influential dealers and operators

• 280,000+ impressions through attendee marketing (2018)

• 2.5M+ impressions through earned media (2018)

• KI Award logo and custom signage for use in marketing efforts for the life of the product

Recipients benefit from the Show’s significant investments in the Kitchen Innovations Awards.

• We have re-envisioned the KI Showroom to create an inviting floor area that attracts more traffic and encourages attendees to connect with the exhibitors.

• Additionally, KI Fireside Chats draw significant crowds excited to hear experts sharing insights on how investing in innovative kitchen equipment can positively impact operators’ efficiency and bottom line.

How to Apply

In order to apply for the Kitchen Innovations Awards, you must be a current 2019 Show exhibitor. If you do not yet have a booth and would like to secure your booth space, contact our sales team. You will also need to complete an application that includes the application questions and required uploads. Our judges report that the strongest applications include video of the equipment in action as well as photos.

Contact Our Sales TeamApply Now

Who Should Apply?

Manufacturers should submit equipment and technology innovations that have been or will be introduced within 24 months prior to the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show®, May 18-21, 2019 and will be commercially available for foodservice operators. If selected, KI participants must also be an exhibitor at 2019 Show in addition to the Kitchen Innovations Showroom.

Interested In Exhibiting?Apply Now

Application Questions

• Describe the innovation (60 words or fewer).

• Explain the innovation’s design, technology, and functionality.

• What makes this innovation unique? How is it superior to competing products?

• Describe the benefit(s) to the foodservice operator resulting from this innovation.

• Can you quantify measured or estimated benefits versus competition or prior designs/technologies?

• When was this innovation introduced broadly to the U.S. foodservice market?

• Have patents been issued or pending? If yes, please list patent number.

• Provide contact information for two foodservice operators who can verify this innovation and its benefits (include name, title, and phone number).

Required Uploads

• Product specification sheet for this innovation (.doc, .docx, or .pdf)

• Product brochure for this innovation (.doc, .docx, or .pdf)

• High-resolution version (300 dpi or higher) of your company logo (.jpg)

• High-resolution product photo (300 dpi at 4x6, .jpg)

• Link to a video demonstrating the innovation here. Note: While a video is required for all submissions, it does not have to be professional quality and will not be shared outside of the judging panel without consent.

Optional Uploads

• You are encouraged to include additional supporting items that will allow the panel of judges to fully understand and evaluate the proposed innovation (marketing materials, videos, operator test results, and other relevant). Up to five additional uploads.

• A list of certifications (NSF, UL, etc.) that will be completed before May 18, 2019

*You must be a current 2019 Show exhibitor to apply.

Meet the Judges

The KI Awards program is judged by a panel of respected third-party experts from across foodservice representing some of the industry’s best-known brands and organizations.

Dan Bendall

Principal, FoodStrategy, Inc.

David Chislett, FCSI

Executive Principal, Ricca Design Studios

Jeff Cook

Chief Engineer, Restaurant Solutions Group, McDonald’s Corporation

Richard Eisenbarth, FCSI

President / COO, Cini-Little International

Foster F. Frable, Jr., FCSI Associate AIA

President, Clevenger Frable LaVallee

Randy Homer

Program Manager, Food & Beverage Operations Asset Management, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

Jim Krueger, Jr., CMCE, NRAMF

Chief, Air Force Food & Beverage Policy, Procedures, Business Development & Strategic Initiatives Air Force Services Activity (AFSVA) Food & Beverage Branch

Steve Otto

Director, Capital Equipment Purchasing, Darden

Jim Thorpe

Senior Food Service Designer, Aramark

2018 Kitchen Innovations Awards—Leading the Way for Operational Efficiency

See just how a KI Award can propel your product launch.

All 2018 KI Award Recipients

From increased smart tech to advancements in food safety to maximized energy and water efficiency, the 2018 KI Award recipients had no shortage of devices to improve back-of-house operations. 

See All Recipients

Bi-Polar Ice BPi200

By Air Oasis

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Vector™ F Series Multi-Cook Oven

Alto-Shaam, Inc., in conjunction with Appliance Innovation

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GST-1H Flatbread Toaster


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GSP H & HD Illuminated Safety Slicers, Manual, Semi-Automatic and Fully-Automatic Operation

Bizerba North America
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MultiZoneTM Plancha

Evo, Inc.
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FLAT® Equalizers

FLAT® Tech Inc.
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Instinct™ Induction Countertop Line

Garland, A Welbilt Brand

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Genius Pan

Genius Pan, LLC

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KMEdge Ice Machine Series

Hoshizaki America

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Level RF Oven


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Electric Brick Oven with Open Mouth

Marra Forni
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Rotator Deck Brick Oven with Double Mouth Opening

Marra Forni

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Multiplex®, A Welbilt Brand
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Integrated Rinsing System

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Modular Holding Bin

Prince Castle
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FlexPrep™ EZ Dispensing

Sealed Air Corporation

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Soda Gun Jetter

Soda Gun Jetter LLC 

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Foodscaping Wells

Structural Concepts Corporation

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Reveal Frameless Glass Food Displays

Structural Concepts Corporation
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Aerating Container

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SonicSafe™ Ultrasonic Scale Prevention for Steamers


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