an unforgettable evening
celebrating Ohio's
best & brightest


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Monday, December 4, 2023 

Villa Milano

1630 Schrock Rd., Columbus, OH 43229

The Industry Awards Celebration is an opportunity for the Ohio Restaurant Association to focus on the hard work, commitment and outstanding professional & community services of our members throughout the year. The evening is dedicated to recognizing the importance of the extraordinary contributions and innovative ideas our industry brings through technology, charitable contributions, transformative products and dedication to education. 

Event Timeline: 

5 p.m.      Guest Arrival and Cocktail Hour 

6 p.m.      Dinner 

7 p.m.      Awards 

8:30 p.m. End of Awards Ceremony 

9 p.m.      Guest Departure 

Visit the Villa Milano website for venue information.

If you need accommodations, there are several hotels less than half a mile from the venue.


Ticket and Sponsorship Package Pricing

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Award Categories

Open for Public Nomination:

 • Best Restaurant Award: A restaurateur(s) recognized for their extraordinary contributions to the restaurant industry – a leader that implements innovative ideas, demonstrates passion for the industry and their community. One winner selected from the following regions: Northern Ohio, Central Ohio and Southern Ohio.

 • Best Community Partner: Recognizing an individual or organization for their outstanding contributions through community service or charitable involvement. 

 • Best Guest Experience Provider: This award recognizes the restaurant employees that you come back to see repeatedly. Servers, bartenders, hosts, food runners and anyone who directly interacts with guests is eligible for this award. Nominees must be in a non-managerial position at an Ohio Restaurant Association member restaurant.

 • Best Behind the Scenes Employee: This award recognizes the restaurant employees that do all the work you don’t see. Sous chefs, line cooks, prep cooks, dishwashers and anyone who works in the kitchen are eligible for this award. Nominees must be in a non-managerial position at an Ohio Restaurant Association member restaurant.

Industry/Internal Nominations:

 • The Lifetime Achievement Award: The ORA’s highest award given to one restaurateur for exceptional lifetime service to the restaurant industry and their community. Nominees must have been an ORA member for 10+ years and active in the industry for at least 15 years.

 • The ORA Ambassador Award: an individual member or company embodying the core mission of the Association to promote, protect, partner and serve and works to better the industry. Any restaurant or vendor member or employee thereof the ORA is eligible to receive this award.

 • Outstanding Public Official Award: This award honors public officials who fight for the best interest of small business owners and the restaurant community. 

 • Outstanding Industry Educator: This award honors an educator who demonstrates exceptional dedication to the advancement of Ohio’s foodservice industry.

 • Ohio ProStart® Student of the Year: Outstanding ProStart student that embodies the ProStart Core Values of leadership, passion and community and shows great promise and aptitude for a future career in the foodservice industry.

 • Industry Innovator: This award is presented to an individual or company applying a new product or creative approach or has used technology to enhance business grow and/or transformation of their business. 

 • Spotless Award: In partnership with local health departments, this award honors a restaurant or company with an outstanding cleanliness and food safety record.

 • Rising Star: Honors an emerging leader in the foodservice industry – one whose work demonstrates ongoing exceptional growth and high potential for future impact.

The Ohio Restaurant Association Hall of Fame (up to 3 inductees): Given to an individual or entity that has operated in the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry in Ohio for at least 25 years and is a member of the Ohio Restaurant Association.

visit the ORA Hall of Fame
Award Criteria

1.  Nominees may be an individual, a team or a partnership with one or more foodservice industry business operations and an Ohio Restaurant Association member. Nominees may be working, retired or deceased. There is no limit to the number of individuals nominated. Self-nominations are allowed.

2. Each area of an ORA Industry Award nomination form must be completed for the nominee to be considered.

3. All award recipients are strongly encouraged to attend the Industry Awards Celebration event.


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Questions about the event?

Shoshanna Gross

P: 917.628.3198