A London-based sushi concept that uses conveyor belts to entice customers with 80 a la carte selections per day has been named the world’s most innovative restaurant operator, in part for hatching a secondary concept featuring beer and buns.
K10 (pronounced “kaiten,” the Japanese tag for conveyor-style sushi restaurants) was named the winner in the Innovation category of the Global Restaurant Leadership Conference Awards of Distinction. The reliance on conveyors helps the concept serve 800 covers per day during its three hours of operation. Six hundred of those orders are for takeout.
K10 has spun off a secondary concept called Beer & Buns, which features brews, soft Asian buns and chicken wings. It was designed to feel like a speakeasy, “almost a dive bar,” explained Darren Tristano, president of Technomic and an announcer of the Awards of Distinction winners.
Starbucks was named the winner in the growth category of the awards, a reflection of its growth by more than 2,100 restaurants in 2015.
Firehouse Subs, the U.S.-based sub chain, was the first-place finisher in the Community Service program for its support of firefighters.
Cravia, a Dubai-based multiconcept operator, was chosen as the Partnership award winner. The company operates such brands as Cinnabon, America’s Best Coffee and Carvel.
The award winners were announced during the Global Restaurant Leadership Conference, a first-of-its-kind event being held this week in Dubai. The meeting has pulled together roughly 800 restaurant operators—franchisees as well as franchisors—from throughout the world.
The GRLC is presented by Winsight Media, the parent company of Restaurant Business and Technomic.
The Awards of Distinction winners were nominated by peers and selected by a committee that included Technomic officials and representatives of the supplier community.