Smashburger honors top operators and franchisees

Smashburger has announced the recipients of its annual awards, including Franchisee of The Year, which were presented to seven franchise groups and corporate leaders at the company’s 2013 Conference held in Laguna Beach, Calif., last week.

“We have great appreciation for the hard work of dedicated people across our organization that continues to propel Smashburger’s growth and positively impact the hospitality experience we serve our guests every day,” said Dave Prokupek, chairman and CEO of Smashburger. “Much of our company’s success is due in part to the outstanding leadership displayed by this year’s awards recipients — franchise and corporate partners who not only represent the ‘best of the best’ in operating and motivating restaurant teams, but embodying true passion for our brand at the highest level.”

This year’s top awards recipients include:

  • Franchisee of the Year: Smashburger’s partners Rich Greenstein, Howard Novick and Ronnie Portnoy of Smash Enterprises are this year’s recipient of the Franchisee of the Year Award. Smash Enterprises currently operates two Smashburger locations in Westchester County, N.Y., and has plans for seven additional restaurant openings in the greater area including Queens County, N.Y., and Fairfield County, Conn., between now and 2014.


    • Operator of the Year: Smashburger’s partners Irwin & Dona Kruger of ISK Enterprises in Long Island, N.Y., are this year’s Operator of the Year Award. They currently operate three Smashburger locations in the Long Island area and have plans to open three additional restaurants next year.


  • Rookie of the Year: SB Philly rookies Dan O’Shaughnessy, Sean Leonard, Kevin Murphy, Vernon Hill, Dan Hill and Gene Giordano are Smashburger’s Rookie of the Year Award. SB Philly currently operates two locations in the greater Philadelphia area and has plans to open four additional restaurants next year.


  • Founder’s Award: Smashburger Director of Franchise Operations Rod Boyer received this year’s Founder’s Award. This award recognizes the corporate or franchise leader that “demonstrates the principles and values of the Smashburger brand while delivering results, demonstrating commitment to the brand and focusing unwaveringly on success.”


  • Franchise Support Person of the Year: Smashburger Director of Operational Analytics Elliot Schiffer was honored with the Franchise Support Person of The Year Award. This award is voted by the franchise community.


  • Corporate Leadership Circle: Smashburger’s Brian Beers, Kevin McCarthy, Angela Sanders, Aaron Johnson, Eric Marcoux and Maria Fernandez are recipients of Smashburger’s inaugural Corporate Leadership Circle award. This award recognizes team leaders across the corporate and franchise system that “embody Smashburger’s core brand values highlighting people, passion and purpose.”