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January 30, 2020

Leading Restaurants Recognized and Honored at the Global Best Practices Conference

Stephanie Bright accepts the Heart of the Workplace Award on behalf of Whataburger, the 2020 recipient.
Stephanie Bright accepts the Heart of the Workplace Award on behalf of Whataburger, the 2020 recipient.

Stephanie Bright accepts the Heart of the Workplace Award on behalf of Whataburger, the 2020 recipient.

Black Box Intelligence™, formerly TDn2K™, announced the winners of the 2020 Best Practices Awards today at the 25th annual Global Best Practices Conference in Dallas, Texas. The Best Practices Awards recognize consistently superior performance and results among the hundreds of companies tracked by Black Box Workforce Intelligence™. These awards honor restaurant organizations for workplace excellence in their specific segment of the restaurant industry.

The 2020 award winners are: BJ’s Restaurants, Ninety Nine Restaurants, Panda Restaurant Group, Silver Diner, The Capital Grille and The Wendy’s Company. These companies were evaluated based on their results in hourly and management retention, compensation, diversity, year-over-year improvement and initiatives in the areas of community involvement and sustainable business practices.

“The Wendy’s Company is honored to accept its third consecutive Best Practices Award. We have maintained a steadfast focus on elevating the culture in our restaurants and creating environments where employees can bring their best self to work, while also developing life-long skills to help advance their careers,” said Coley O’Brien, Chief People Officer for The Wendy’s Company. “We believe these are contributing factors to achieving turnover and retention results at the restaurant level that have continued to outpace industry trends. Thank you for this incredible recognition.”

Best Practices Award nominees were also recognized for their outstanding results. The list of 2020 nominees also included: Boddie-Noell Enterprises, Doherty Enterprises, Eat n’ Park Restaurants, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, El Pollo Loco, First Watch, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Jason’s Deli, LongHorn Steakhouse, NORMS Restaurants, Olive Garden, Panera Bread, Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, Portillo’s, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Seasons 52, The Cheesecake Factory and Whataburger.

In addition to the Best Practices Award honors, the Diamond Catalyst Award, the Heart of the Workplace Award and the Workplace Legacy Award were presented.

The Diamond Catalyst Award is a tribute to superior operational and workplace results. LongHorn Steakhouse was presented with the 2020 award. Eligible companies are subscribers of both Black Box Workforce Intelligence™ and Black Box Financial Intelligence™ and are evaluated based on sales and traffic performance as well as employment and people practices. The recipient of this award sets the standard for overall best-in-class business performance.

The Heart of the Workplace award is presented to the company that demonstrates a significant commitment to and investment in their employees and communities. This year, Whataburger was celebrated with this honor.

The 2020 Workplace Legacy Award was presented to David Gordon, President and Dina Barmasse, SVP of HR of The Cheesecake Factory Inc. The Workplace Legacy Award honors leaders in the restaurant industry who have clearly demonstrated a commitment to balancing people and profits. Their employees, organizations and communities have benefited from their leadership.

“The Cheesecake Factory has been recognized as a great place to work in large part because of our more than 40,000 staff members and managers who have helped create our special culture,” said Dina Barmasse. “It is a true honor to accept this award which recognizes our shared purpose of nurturing bodies, minds, hearts and spirits.”

“It is such an honor to be recognized with this award,” added David Gordon. “I have spent the last twenty-five years of my career working alongside our founder and CEO, David Overton, to develop our leaders within the company while focusing on operational excellence, delicious memorable food and gracious hospitality. This award is a wonderful acknowledgment of our team’s continued success.”

About The Global Best Practices Conference

The Global Best Practices Conference is produced by Black Box Intelligence™. Held in Dallas, Texas, this event is a gathering of hundreds of restaurant industry c-suite leadership brought together to tackle some of the most challenging obstacles facing the restaurant industry. The event is also the home of the Best Practice Awards, Diamond Catalyst Award, Heart of the Workplace Award and the Workplace Legacy Award presentations. Dates for the 2021 Global Best Practices Conference are February 23rd – 25th, at the Westin Irving Convention Center Hotel. Learn more at

About Black Box Intelligence™

Black Box Intelligence™ (formerly TDn2K) is the leading data and insights provider of workforce, guest, consumer and financial performance benchmarks for the hospitality industry. The Black Box Intelligence product suite is the industry standard for operators seeking to achieve best-in-class performance results. With the largest and most reliable set of real restaurant data in the marketplace, Black Box Intelligence currently tracks and analyzes more than 300 companies, over 2.8 million employees, 47,000 restaurant units and $75 billion in annual sales revenue. Black Box Intelligence is also the producer of the Global Best Practices Conference held annually in Dallas, Texas. For more information, visit

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