Other industry awards also presented
Todd Graves, Founder, Chairman, CEO, Fry Cook and Cashier of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, received the 2012 Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) Restaurateur of the Year award at the LRA Education Foundation (LRAEF) “Five Star Futures” Gala Saturday, August 11, 2012 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside.
Restaurateur of the Year is the LRA’s most prestigious award. Each year, it is presented to an individual who has contributed unselfishly to the advancement of Louisiana’s restaurant industry and has continually dedicated his services at both the local chapter and state levels.
Three other respected Louisiana business leaders received the LRA’s other annual awards: Associate Member of the Year, Advocate of the Year and Hall of Fame Inductee.
The Associate Member of the Year Award recognizes restaurant industry suppliers who display exceptional dedication to and support of the LRA. This year’s recipient is Rocky Weigand of Coca-Cola Enterprises in Harahan.
The Advocate of the Year is presented to recognize individuals who have supported the advocacy efforts of the LRA and its partner industries. This year’s honoree is the Honorable Walt Leger, III, Speaker Pro Tempore of the Louisiana House of Representatives.
Each year, the LRA recognizes a member who has given faithful, dedicated and outstanding service to the association by inducting him or her into the LRA Hall of Fame. Chef Frank Brigtsen of Brigtsen’s Restaurant in New Orleans and Charlie’s Seafood in Harahan is this year’s inductee.
Also during the gala, 14 culinary and hospitality students were awarded $40,000 in LRAEF/NRAEF co-branded and general hospitality scholarships, including the first ever Jim Funk Scholarship, which is awarded to the top recipient among the general hospitality scholarship applicants. The scholarship is named for former LRA President & CEO Jim Funk, who retired in 2010, after a 30 year career with the association.
The Louisiana Restaurant Association is one of the largest business organizations in the state, representing restaurant operations and related businesses. The restaurant industry in Louisiana is one the state’s largest private employer, providing jobs to 189,500 residents. Restaurants in Louisiana are expected to generate sales of $6.5 billion in 2012. Get up-to-date news about the LRA and the restaurant industry from lrablogs.blogspot.com.