Restaurants & Institutions Magazine presents the 1995 Ivy Award to J. Michael Floyd and The University of Georgia Food Services Staff - May 1995
"True leadership stems from professionals who preserve the traditions of excellence even as they achieve success. By their eminence, they lend direction to the world of service. Restaurants & Institutions salutes restaurants of distinction, selected by the most critical judges, their colleagues and competitors."
The History of the Ivy Award
Restaurant criticism is not an exclusive profession. All Americans who eat away from home believe themselves qualified for the job. To some extent, they are correct. Since the dining experience is very personal, there is no right or wrong taste. Nevertheless, nearly every newspaper and TV station has its restaurant expert who advises readers on the best places to eat. Bookstores are filled with publications that rate restaurants. Every city magazine contains a restaurant guide.
In each of these cases, the judgments are made by people who are restaurant customers-- people who make no attempt to determine whether the restaurant meets the highest standards of professional operation.
In 1970, Restaurants & Institutions decided that the industry deserved something more. It needed a way to honor its own. We felt that the most important recognition should come from other professionals in the same business. Only professionals understand what it takes to adapt excellence to the reality of business.
And so the Ivy Award was born.
An Ivy Award winner is a member for life, part of this most prestigious society and welcome each year to attend the award dinner. Each year it is past Ivy Award winners who nominate a new slate of meritorious restaurants, hotels and institutions to join the Ivy Society. And then it is the readers of our magazine, via a special ballot circulated to all 162,000 of them, who vote on which they think are most deserving of this high honor.
The result, not unlike the Academy Awards, is recognition by one's peers that is unsurpassed anywhere else in the food service industry. The winners represent the very best our industry has to offer.
People often ask me how an Ivy winner is measured.
Is it financial success? The quality of the food? The caliber of service? The decor? Cleanliness? Creativity?
The answer is that it is all of these--and something more.
As you travel across the country, I know you will enjoy visiting our Ivy Society members, whether you are an amateur gourmet or a food service professional.
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