Friday, February 3, 2017

Georgia Restaurant Association Recognizes Good Neighbor Restaurants, Including Ray’s Restaurants, Sterling Spoon Hospitality, Hojeij Branded Foods and Willy’s Mexicana Grill

The word’s out, the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) has announced the 2017 Restaurant Neighbor award state recipients. We’re not surprised that Ray’s RestaurantsSterling Spoon HospitalityHojeij Branded Foods and Willy’s Mexicana Grill comprise four of the five Georgia winners. Congratulations to these restaurants for being, well, such good neighbors in Georgia communities.

Ray Schoenbaum and Ray’s on the River have supported Fragile Kids Foundation each year since 1988 through events at the riverside restaurant, including the Tastings Under the Tent fundraiser and an annual Santa breakfast. John C. Metz and Sterling Spoon Hospitality have raised more than $730k for Special Olympics Georgia since the partnership began. The 2016 golf tournament alone raised $95k. Nourishment ranks high on the list for Metz and Sterling Spoon, evident in hosting fundraising events for the Atlanta Community Food Bank and participating in the annual Hunger Run/Walk as well as the annual dine-out event for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign. In 2015, Regynald Washington of Hojeij Branded Foods gave a $1 million endowment to the Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration at Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business to go toward graduate student scholarships, enhancing global experiences and expanding teaching technology. Since 2014, Willy Bitter and Willy’s Mexicana Grill have actively sponsored the Boys & Girls Club, supporting the annual “Salsa, Salsa” culinary challenge and Healthy Lifestyles Garden Program. When Willy’s anniversary rolls around, the restaurants raise money for the Boys & Girls Club, pulling in $20k in 20 days in 2015 and $21k in 21 days in 2016.

From all state winners, three national Restaurant Neighbor Award winners are chosen by industry professionals and are honored in Washington, D.C. in March 2017 during the National Restaurant Association’s Public Affairs Conference.

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