INTERNATIONAL. With the 1 July deadline nearing for submissions for the FAB Superstars and FAB ESG Awards, today we feature a video interview with the judging panel about their expectations for this year’s entries.

As reported, the awards will be the culmination of the Airport Food & Beverage (FAB) Conference, which takes place as a virtual event and is under three months away (12-13 September).

FAB Superstars are now in their second year after their successful introduction in 2021. The awards will once again shine the spotlight on the thousands of front-of-house and behind the scenes heroes and heroines who have helped keep the food & beverage community within our industry going throughout the challenges of the last year.

In addition, this year’s awards include an important new category, the FAB ESG Awards, which have been introduced to celebrate, recognise and reward those people and initiatives that have made a positive impact in the areas of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG).

Hosted by The Moodie Davitt Report, an advisory committee of travel food & beverage specialists are judging the awards. These include industry consultants Nick Inkster, who spent 25 years in senior roles with SSP and Kevin Zajax, Director at Ground Control Global and formerly Chief Operating Officer for Dubai-based Emirates Leisure Retail. They are joined by a new judge, Ann Elliott, Owner of Ann Elliott Hospitality Consultancy, an experienced figure in the food and hospitality world.

In the video (click for access) we introduce the judges, and hear how the 2022 award submissions are likely to be even more meaningful in this recovery phase.

Highlighting excellence and achievement: FAB Superstars judges (from left) Kevin Zajax, Ann Elliott and Nick Inkster

Ann Elliott said: “These awards are going to mean an awful lot to a lot of people, given how difficult the past two years have been. I’m looking for optimism but we still need resilience in the year ahead; colleagues have to cope with a lot of pressure and customers with high expectations.”

Nick Inkster said: “2022 will be a next step. The industry has changed. What was broadly shut and driving certain behaviours is now broadly open and driving other behaviours. But it still comes down to what teams and individuals contribute. We know already that the entries will be extraordinary.”

Kevin Zajax added: “The 2021 awards were about resilience and provided us with a unique opportunity to thank our colleagues for their hard work during the pandemic. That continues but what I’m hoping to see is a little more optimism as travel returns. The stories shared from those locations that have returned should inspire the rest of the industry.”

Click on the link to access our dedicated awards website and to make a nomination. There is a nominal administration fee of €30 per submission, payable through the online portal.

As reported, registration for the virtual FAB Conference is open and can be made via this link through organiser The Moodie Davitt Report.