The Beef Checkoff Program has issued the call for entries for the annual National Foodservice Beef Backer Awards, a prestigious awards program that honors independent and chain restaurants that creatively promote and menu beef.

Now through Oct. 1, 2012, foodservice operators can enter to win in one of three categories:

  • Chain Operator (10+ units, commercial or noncommercial)
  • Independent Operator (commercial or noncommercial)
  • Innovator of the Year (chain or independent, commercial or noncommercial)

“Nearly half of all the beef produced in the U.S. is sold in foodservice, and we love to see the new and innovative ways beef is being menued in restaurants across the country,” says Scott McGregor, an Iowa cattle rancher and chairman of the checkoff’s Joint Foodservice Committee. “We’re excited to give the Annual Beef Backer award to the chefs and operators who make the most out of our great products.”

A panel of foodservice industry professionals will select winners based on submission criteria, and winners will be honored at the 2013 Cattle Industry Annual Convention in Tampa, FL. In addition to industry recognition, winners receive publicity in national, local and foodservice media and customized promotional support to market the award to their patrons.

The 2011 National Foodservice Beef Backer winners included Little Apple Brewing Company in the Independent Restaurant category, Hawaiian chain Zippy’s Restaurants in the Chain Restaurant category, and the Coeur D’Alene Casino Resort as Innovator of the Year.

Entry blanks can be found here.