Seattle, Washington—Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria founder Joe Fugere has just returned from Dallas, Texas where he was honored to be one of five winners of the Nations Restaurant News 15th annual Hot Concepts! awards. The presentation was made on Sunday, October 4 at the 50th Anniversary Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators Conference (www.mufso.com) held at the Hilton Anatole. The Hot Concepts! program was created in 1995 as a way of recognizing the achievement and creativity of the most innovative emerging concepts in the nation. Chosen by the editors of NRN, the winners must be in business for seven years or less, financially proven with clearly defined concepts, have strong customer appeal and poised for future growth.
“The Hot Concepts! Award program captures the entrepreneurial spirit that the foodservice industry was built on.” said Tom Larranaga, publisher, Nation’s Restaurant News. “This year’s winners have beaten the odds and overcome a particularly unforgiving business climate…”
An interactive panel discussion followed the day after the presentations, moderated by the founding editor of Fast Company Magazine, William C. Taylor, featuring Joe and his fellow honorees – founders of The Lazy Dog Cafe, Red Mango, Smashburger, and Vino Volo. The Hot Concepts! awards program is sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company.
“During this challenging economic climate, Tutta Bella’s growth continues to be fueled by our General Managers and their teams which are the back bone of our success. A great concept is only as good as the staff that operates it,” says Joe.
Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria has four Pacific Northwest restaurants: the original Columbia City location, Stone Way, Westlake and Issaquah. Founded five years ago, Tutta Bella was Seattle’s first Vera Pizza Napoletana (VPN) certified Neapolitan pizzeria.