Retail Foodservice

National Restaurant Association Show Announces Winners of the 2022 Kitchen Innovations Awards

Program recognizes innovations that meaningfully improve foodservice operations
Kitchen Innovations Awards logo

The National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, taking place May 21-24 at McCormick Place in Chicago, has revealed the 2022 recipients of the Kitchen Innovations (KI) Awards, which recognizes the year’s most forward-thinking and cutting-edge innovations that meaningfully improve foodservice operations.

“Each year, I’m eager to visit the KI Showroom to see how equipment advancements like these are contributing to improving operations by increasing efficiency and productivity, and ultimately supporting business growth,” said Tom Cindric, president of Winsight Exhibitions.

Recipients of this year’s KI Awards program reflect the trends and topics most important to foodservice operators today, while generating industry growth through a focus on automation, efficiency, safety improvements, sustainability and more, the Show said in a release. Winners were selected by an independent panel of judges comprised of industry leaders and internationally recognized food facility consultants, multiunit executives and design experts.

The 2022 Kitchen Innovations Awards recipients are:

Converge Multi-Cook Ovens, Alto Shaam Inc.: Converge ovens pair vertical, patented Structured Air Technology with steam capability in each chamber. With up to three independent chambers per oven, Converge can cook three different foods simultaneously—all at different temperatures, fan speeds, humidity levels and cook times.

Botrista DrinkBot, Botrista Technology: Botrista’s new turnkey beverage program offers unique Drinkbot equipment alongside a line of pre-packaged ingredients in a proprietary bag-in-box format to deliver infused teas, lattes, flavored lemonades, iced coffees and more, all within five square feet. Drinkbot accommodates 14 bag-in-box ingredient packs, each with its own connectors, tubes, nozzles, etc. Software automates portioning, dispensing and mixing, and an aerator handles blending.

Duke Waterless Well, Duke Manufacturing Co.: Waterless wells help solve the chronic water issues of steam, lime, scorching, plumbing and so on, and now Duke adds its own advances with programmable temperatures for high-medium-low settings and a large touchscreen for each well, including service diagnostics and alerts. Easy pop-out access and non-stick removable silicone liners make cleanup a breeze. The wells also have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

Kitchen Controller, Frontline International Inc.: Kitchen Controller is an end-to-end automated oil management system that monitors oil quality via a hand-held fry-vat sensor and communicates condition and recommended actions to help extend oil life, such as skimming, topping off or changing out. Change-outs are push-button automated and touchless. Managers can remotely monitor functions and verify that recommendations are being performed.

Frymaster FilterQuick Intuition, Frymaster/Welbilt Brand: FilterQuick Intuition’s total redesign includes a capacitive touchscreen, enhanced software, automatic internet connection, variable-speed filter pump, variable-speed combustion micro fans and more. Collectively, these features deliver a reliable innovative 30-pound fryer.

Active Compression for Clamshell Griddle, Garland/Welbilt Brand: Traditionally, downforce on the top platen was achieved with weight distributed across the food product. A load of two patties or 10 created different cooking results. Active Compression helps solves that with a simple, reliable platen-locking mechanism that lets the operator set the gap between top and bottom cook surfaces regardless of load. Consistent compression drops cook times almost by half, the company said.

Refrigerated Pizza Prep Table, Hoshizaki America Inc.: Hoshizaki's clean-sheet design includes an easy-access cooling system of back-to-front ducted airflow for even rail temperatures, a single refrigeration circuit with separate temperature settings for the rail and cabinet, and a night mode allowing pan storage in the rail with the lids closed overnight, automatically adjusting the setpoint up when the lids are closed, down when they’re open.

The IBEX Oven, ITW – Food Equipment Group: The IBEX Oven features solid-state radio frequency (RF) technology combined with convection heating to deliver fast, fresh, full-batch results and premium food quality across the entire menu. IBEX closed-loop, digital cooking intelligence adapts to feedback from food in real time as it changes, always optimizing for both quality and speed during cooking, baking and reheating.

Kuvings Commercial Auto Blender Chef CB1000, Kuvings: Vacuum blending has been the hot ticket in blending lately, pulling air out of the container before blending begins to create remarkably smooth, fine consistency with greatly reduced oxidation and foam. Kuving takes it to the next level with much quicker blending and true one-touch operation that automatically closes the enclosure, vacuum seals the container, blends perfectly, shuts down and self-opens—all in 25 seconds.

T&S Brass and Bronze Works, T&S EasyInstall Hose Reel Cabinet: The T&S EasyInstall Hose Reel Cabinet is an all-in-one streamlined design that simplifies field installation and reduces the complexity of specifying a hose reel system. The cabinet comes pre-assembled, so installers only need to determine if they want top or bottom inlets, and whether to install recessed or surface mounted.

WMF 5000S+ Fully-Automatic Coffee Machine, WMF Americas Inc.: The WMF 5000 S+ represents a feat of modern engineering for the fully automatic espresso machine category. New features such as the AutoClean system is capable of eliminating any common hygiene issues related to milk. The WMF 5000 S+ allows operators to execute a top-quality coffee program with minimal staff oversight.

In addition to displaying the equipment of this year’s award winners, the Kitchen Innovations Showroom will also showcase equipment from the 2020 and 2021 programs. The Show will also provide several opportunities for attendees to learn more about the KI recipients, including an Innovation Theater session, Fireside Chats and KI Showroom tours. KI Awards recipients, including many from 2021 and 2022, will also be featured on The Show To Go, a cost-free digital marketplace where operators can connect directly with the suppliers to learn more about each of these innovative solutions.

For more information or to register for the Show, visit



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