The Iowa Restaurant Association recently honored their industry's female professionals by presenting it's 40 Women to Watch List.

To a restaurant owner, manager, or chef in 2020 this award must feel like receiving a Grammy, an Emmy and an Oscar, all in one.

The 40 Women to Watch list delivers as a buzzworthy good read. It's more than a level step up, but still similar to KRNA's annual Best Bartender award, with hundreds of nominations received.

"Chew on This" columnist Gazette features writer Alison Gowans reported no fewer than six Eastern Iowa area businesswomen who were named to the spotlight as one of the 40 Women to Watch.

The list includes locals like Ashton Johnson, Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery, Swisher. Briana Smallwood, Vivian’s Soul Food, Cedar Rapids, Brittany Hannah, Bistro 3 Nineteen, Marion, and Lenore Zoll, The Fish Store, Cedar Rapids.

See the complete list here.

Iowa Restaurant Association will present a 40 Women to Watch Awards Ceremony in November in Des Moines.

In a press release CEO Jessica Dunker proudly noted that women comprise a higher percentage of managerial levels in the restaurant industry.

“58% of foodservice supervisors and 49% of foodservice managers are women, far above the averages in nearly every other industry."


"Each and every one of these women not only exemplifies leadership but has exhibited exceptional grace and resilience this year.”


- Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association.

Congratulations and thank you to all honorees from KRNA.

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