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Black Box Intelligence (formerly TDn2K), the parent company of Workforce Intelligence, Financial Intelligence, and Guest Intelligence announced the winners of the 2017 Best Practices Awards today at the 22nd annual Global Best Practices Conference in Dallas, Texas. The Best Practices Awards are designed to recognize consistently superior performance and results among the hundreds of companies tracked by Black Box Intelligence. These awards honor restaurant organizations for workplace excellence in their specific segment of the restaurant industry.

The 2017 award winners are The Capital Grille, The Cheesecake Factory, Eat’n Park Restaurants, Ninety Nine Restaurants, Panera Bread, and Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers. 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 sustainability.

“These winners represent the pinnacle of the hundreds of brands that we measure and study each year. They are individual and collective proof that even in a challenging marketplace and labor market, leadership matters. These companies are demonstrating the connection between people and profits,” said Joni Thomas Doolin, Founder & CEO of Black Box Intelligence (formerly TDn2K).

Karen Bolden, SVP and CPO at Eat’n Park Hospitality Group said, “At the heart of our family-owned company are more than 5,000 team members and operators. Their passion and commitment to our community and to providing outstanding service make our guests smile and ultimately drive our success. At Eat’n Park, we care about people – it’s that simple. We’re extremely honored and humbled to be recognized as a 2017 Best Practices Award winner.”

Best Practices Award nominees were also recognized for their outstanding results. 2016 nominees included: Boston Market, Dave & Buster’s, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, Del Taco, Denny’s, Donatos Pizza, Fogo de Chão, LongHorn Steakhouse, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Olive Garden, Panda Express, Red Lobster and Silver Diner.

In addition to these honors, Black Box Intelligence (formerly TDn2K) also presented the third annual Diamond Catalyst Award, the Heart of the Workplace Award, and the Workplace Legacy Award.

The Diamond Catalyst Award is a tribute to superior operational and workplace results. The winner of the 2017 award is Olive Garden. Eligible companies are members of both Workforce Intelligence (formerly People Report) and Financial Intelligence (formerly Black Box 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 Diamond Catalyst was presented for the first time in 2013 to The Cheesecake Factory, White Castle in 2015, and Dave and Busters in 2016.

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, it was awarded to Red Lobster.

“Red Lobster was founded on the belief that our people are our greatest competitive advantage. Our more than 57,000 team members are the true ‘Heart of our Workplace,’ and we are very proud of the difference they make within our restaurants and our communities. We are truly grateful to Black Box Intelligence (formerly TDn2K) for this recognition.” said Tom Gathers, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer at Red Lobster.

The 2016 Workplace Legacy Award was presented to Steve Carley, the Immediate Past CEO of Red Robin. The Workplace Legacy Award honors a leader in the restaurant industry who has demonstrated a commitment to balancing people and profits. Their employees, organizations, and communities have benefited from their leadership.

“I am honored and humbled to receive the Workplace Legacy Award. What has always driven my enthusiasm for this business is the people. Playing a role in making others successful in their career journeys, one person at a time, is my definition of making a positive difference in the world,” said Carley.

About GBPC
The Global Best Practices conference, now in its 22nd year, is produced by Black Box Intelligence (formerly TDn2K). Held in Dallas, Texas, this event is a gathering of hundreds of restaurant industry c-suite leaders 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 2018 Global Best Practices Conference are January 28 - 30th at the Hilton Granite Park in Plano, Texas.

Join us at the annual Black Box Intelligence (formerly TDn2K) Global Best Practices Conference from January 28th - 30th, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. This event is the premier restaurant industry conference designed for senior restaurant leaders. This year will be packed with groundbreaking research and industry best practices to help you kickstart the new year. Register today!

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