Nation’s Restaurant News subscribers have until Aug. 16 to cast their votes for this year’s Operator of the Year, which will be announced during the 2013 MUFSO SuperShow.

Visit the MUFSO website to vote for one of five recipients of the 2013 Golden Chain Award to receive the honor, which went to John Cooper of Bonefish Grill last year.

This year’s Golden Chain honorees are:

• Kelly C. Baltes, chairman and chief executive, Cheddar's Casual Cafe
• Ray Blanchette, chief executive, Joe’s Crab Shack
• Peter Cancro, chief executive, Jersey Mike’s Franchise System
• Dan Cathy, president and chief operating officer, Chick-fil-A
• Michael Hislop, chief executive, Corner Bakery

Vote now.

The 2013 Operator of the Year will be revealed during the MUFSO Industry Awards Gala and Reception on Sept. 30. The Golden Chain Award and Hot Concepts winners will also be honored at the gala, along with Norman Brinker Award recipient Jon Luther and Restaurant Hospitality’s Richard Melman Innovator, Stephen Starr.

The MUFSO SuperShow, a mix of education, inspiration, innovation and networking, will take place Sept. 29 – Oct. 1 in Dallas. Early Bird registration rates are available until Aug. 15 at the MUFSO website.

“Every corner of foodservice comes together at MUFSO, making it the most comprehensive executive conferences in the restaurant industry,” says Sarah Lockyer, editor-in-chief of Nation’s Restaurant News. “Highlights include thought-provoking keynote addresses and more than 30 educational sessions covering operations, menu trends, marketing, financing and this year’s theme — how to use and succeed with ‘big data’.”  

Stories of inspiration and leadership are prominent on the SuperShow agenda, including a keynote presentation by Rick Pitino, head coach of the NCAA basketball champion Louisville Cardinals, which is sponsored by Red Book Connect.

In addition to Coach Pitino, keynote speakers include Charles Duhigg, a New York Times investigative reporter who will examine the power of Big Data in an address sponsored by e*Restaurant from Altametrics, and Nancy Kruse, NRN columnist and food trends expert. Kruse will provide insights on food and menu innovation in her annual “State of the Plate.”

General session panel discussions include the CEO Panel, sponsored by Service Management Group, during which award-winning executives will share leadership secrets and insights into the future of foodservice. Hot Concepts honorees will discuss their bold paths to success in the tough-to-excel restaurant industry, and the Best Concepts Award Panel, presented by Food Management magazine, will look at winning operations from the noncommercial, or on-site, perspective.

MUFSO’s educational program is matched by its nonstop networking opportunities. Signature events include the Hot Concepts Celebration, the Supplier Exchange Happy Hour, the Industry Awards Gala, sponsored by Service Management Group, and a MUFSO Kitchen Hero Cook-Off, sponsored by Texas Pete.

The MUFSO SuperShow will be held at the Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion. The conference is managed and produced by Nation’s Restaurant News, Restaurant Hospitality and Food Management. Title sponsors are American Express, The Beef Checkoff, Coca Cola Company and Pro•Act.

For further information and to register, visit the MUFSO website.