Most people who visit Las Vegas come back with less money, fewer brain cells, and/or less dignity than when they first arrived. PR Director Doug Terfehr and Chef Wiley Bates bucked the trend, and came back from Vegas with more hardware and more accolades for the Pizza Hut brand. During the first week of March, Pizza Hut’s Flavor of Now menu was recognized at the COEX Innovation Awards as the winner of the Culinary/Operations Innovation Award.
The COEX innovation awards are given out in honor of the regional and national chain companies that shape the industry through innovation in culinary, operations, marketing and service. Incidentally, Taco Bell won first in this category last year—good news: we’re keeping innovation in the family! Our very own super-chef Wiley was there to grab the hardware. Noted acceptance-speech expert Doug reported that in his short speech, Wiley stood out in the room as a wonderful representative of the brand.
There was some fun stuff too. Monday’s reception featured an iron chef-style competition, with entrants from the conference attendees (the winner was a sushi chef). COEX also featured a keynote address from Tom Ryan, the founder and chief concept officer of Smashburger. His speech focused on Disruptive Concepts and The Next Generation of Consumers: seems relevant.
The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) is the leading trade association with more than 300 members from food, equipment, and supply manufacturers worldwide. COEX, an acronym for the Chain Operators Exchange, is an annual conference for the group to come together for networking and the Innovation Awards ceremony.