If you are experiencing navigation issues on Internet Explorer please use a supported browser such as Edge, Firefox and Google Chrome. We are working to resolve this technical issues and appreciate your patience.

Join the Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA) for the annual Industry Awards Celebration held during the Mid-America Restaurant Expo. We spotlight leaders and professionals of Ohio’s restaurant and foodservice industry to honor their dedication, excellence and service to the industry, communities and beyond. 


January 13, 2019 - Ivory Room 

The January 13, 2019 event is being hosted by industry legend Cameron Mitchell, Founder and CEO of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, and his team at the Ivory Room, a chic and modern event space with a stunning panoramic view of Downtown Columbus.

In addition to recognition at the event, award winners will also receive statewide marketing exposure in the form of a press releases, recognition on the ORA website and other communications. Nomination form is below.


SUNDAY JANUARY 13, 6:00 p.m. - $85 per person. 

Includes dinner, open bar and awards ceremony. 




Award Categories and Criteria​​

The Claude F. Morton, Jr. Lifetime Achievement

The ORA’s most prestigious award given to one restaurateur for exceptional lifetime service to the restaurant industry and his/her community.  Nominees must have been an ORA member for 10+ years.

Outstanding Restaurateur

A restaurateur(s) recognized for his/her 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.

Outstanding Vendor

A company and/or leader recognized for exceptional service to the restaurant community. 

Outstanding Public Official

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 has demonstrated exceptional dedication to the advancement of the Ohio foodservice industry.

Industry Innovator

This award is presented to an individual or company that has applied a new product or  creative approach, resulting in the growth or transformation of their business. 

Tech Titan

Recognizing an individual or organization for their use of technology to enhance their business or impact the foodservice industry.

Rising Star

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

Nourishing the Community

Recognizing an individual or organization for their outstanding contributions through community service or charitable involvement.

Front of the House

Serves as a model employee by displaying an outstanding work ethic, excellent customer service and is a leader among their peers. Nominees must be in a non-managerial position at an Ohio

Restaurant Association member restaurant.

Back of the House

Serves as a model employee by displaying an outstanding work ethic, excellent attention to detail and is a leader among their peers. Nominees must be in a non-managerial position at an Ohio 

Restaurant Association member restaurant.

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

  2. Nominees for The Claude F. Morton Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award must have been an ORA member for 10+ years.

  3. A separate nomination form must be completed for each individual nominated.  Photocopied forms are accepted.  Each area of the form must be completed to be considered for nomination.

  4. All recipients are strongly encouraged to attend the Industry Celebration on January 13, 2019 in Columbus to receive their award and be recognized by the foodservice industry.

  5. Complete the official Nomination Form and submit in writing no more than 1-2 page(s) describing the nominee’s contributions and accomplishments.  Ask the nominee for a bio to submit in addition to the 1-2 page narrative.*

*Nominations are currently closed until the 2020 ORA Industry Awards nomination season. Thank you to all who participated! 

QUESTIONS? Contact us at industryawards@ohiorestaurant.org