2024 Restaurants Canada Awards of Excellence Winners Announced

Presented annually in Toronto at RC Show, Canada’s leading foodservice and hospitality event, Restaurants Canada Awards of Excellence recognizes and celebrates leading professionals and industry-changers who embody the best of our hospitality and foodservice industry. Shining a spotlight on those who fuel our industry’s future and aim to continuously push the boundaries of what’s possible is more important now than ever before.

This year we are thrilled to announce six extraordinary leaders and organizations whose professional contributions have raised the bar for the national foodservice and hospitality industry. Their vision, dedication and passion have had a profound influence and impact on their teams, their organizations, and the industry as a whole.

Each award category underscores critical industry values—from culinary skill and social and environmental advocacy to leadership and ingenuity. As the Voice of Foodservice for 80 years, Restaurants Canada believes setting a benchmark for excellence not only helps identify key skills and results, but also celebrates those who make it happen. “We are an industry that focuses on the needs of others first,” Kelly Higginson, Restaurants Canada President and CEO points out, “and these awards are about celebrating service that inspires and nurtures our own community.  This year’s winners have shown us what excellence in foodservice looks like and the potential it has to elevate and drive the industry forward. Having heroes at the table is important for all industries, but after some very tough years, the restaurant industry needs them more than ever.”

It is with great pride and gratitude we announce the 2024 Restaurants Canada Awards of Excellence recipients:


Leadership Award of Excellence

Award Presented by PepsiCo

Honouring those who have made an indelible mark and game-changing contribution to the Canadian foodservice landscape, helping others grow to reach new heights and potential.

Recipient: Susan Senecal, President and CEO, A&W Restaurants Inc.


Culinary Award of Excellence

Award Presented by Air Canada

Honouring those who harmonize culinary expertise with unparalleled creativity, celebrating a wide array of flavours and cuisines while prioritizing sustainability and a consistent commitment to high-quality culinary service.

Recipient: Chef Meeru Dhalwala, Vij’s Restaurant


Emerging Leader Award of Excellence

Award Presented by Groupex Canada

Honouring those who, from early in their career, have embraced foodservice as their passion and vocation, reaching new heights of personal potential, while blazing a new path for others to follow and thrive.

Recipient: Chef Hayden Johnston, Richmond Station


Legacy Award of Excellence

Award Presented by Diversey

Honouring those whose careers inspired, elevated and transformed the Canadian foodservice industry, leaving a lasting blueprint for generations to follow.

Recipient: Warren Erhart, President & CEO, White Spot



Award Presented by Too Good To Go

Recognizing a pioneering Canadian company for their leadership and commitment to initiatives that aim to significantly reduce the environmental footprint of the foodservice industry.

Recipient: Leaders in Environmentally Accountable Foodservice (LEAF)


Innovation Award of Excellence

Award Presented by Restaurants Canada

Honouring individuals and companies that challenge the status quo, using ingenuity and vision to develop game-changing products and services that drive foodservice forward.

Recipient: Power Knot

Congratulations, again, from all of us at Restaurant Canada, and the entire industry.