Reporter's Notebook

MenuMasters winners put best feet forward


A stylish footwear trend seems to be developing among MenuMasters honorees


Jonathon Sawyer's 2013 stylish MenuMasters footwear.A distinct trend seems to be developing among winners of Nation’s Restaurant News’ annual MenuMasters awards: It’s leading to a fantastic understanding.

During the 2013 MenuMasters event at the Drake Hotel in Chicago, Cleveland-based chef Jonathon Sawyer accepted his Innovator of the Year honor in special beaded footwear designed by Donald J. Pliner.

And during Saturday night’s 2014 event, the team from Wendy’s matched Sawyer’s fashion-forward gesture step for step.

Wendy's team is caught red-footed at 2014 MenuMasters event.Nearly every member of the 10-person Wendy’s team, who won a 2014 MenuMasters Best Limited-Time Offer honor for the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger, was shod in red kicks of some sort. What made it so fashionable was the non-matchy-matchy effort.

So my hat is off for the footwear choices of the Wendy's folks: Alyssa Bault, Eryn Bennett, Bill Dotzauer, Lori Estrada, Emily Heller, Nancy Kanis, Steve Min, Lynn Smith, Shelly Thobe and Jack Volpi.

You have put your best feet forward.

Contact Ron Ruggless at

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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Reporter's Notebook is NRN's newsroom blog, where our editors give their points of view on news happening in the restaurant business.


Lisa Jennings

Follow @livetodineout From the Los Angeles office, Lisa Jennings covers companies based in the West, including California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Nevada, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Alaska and...

Ron Ruggless

Ron Ruggless covers the states of Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. He joined Nation's Restaurant News in 1992 after working 10 years in...
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