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Diner’s Reef, 6 FSS compete for Hennessy Award

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Adam R. Shanks
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

The Diner’s Reef dining facility at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, is in the running to win a prestigious food service award for Air Mobility Command. Every year, the Hennessy award is presented to the best Air Force installation food service programs around the world.

Bases from all major commands are divided into two regions, east and west, and these winners compete to determine which installation demonstrates the best culinary and food service excellence. Currently, MacDill AFB and Travis AFB, California, are AMC’s east and west regional finalists, and the winner will compete against the other MAJCOM finalists to determine which installation’s food service is the best in the Air Force.

“To me, this award is like the Super Bowl,” said Tech. Sgt. Adrian Paisley, the assistant dining facility manager assigned to the 6th Force Support Squadron. “It’s the largest competition for us, and it’s an honor to be a finalist.”

Each base is visited by officials from the Hennessy Travelers Association, known as “travelers,” who evaluate the dining facility’s food service management, readiness support, food quality, employee and customer relations, as well as training and safety.

“The ‘travelers’ visited us and held an ice-breaker meeting, where we were able to get to know them,” said Airman Basic Miah Rosales, a food services apprentice assigned to the 6th FSS. “They spent two days evaluating us, and it became two of the busiest days I’ve worked, but I won’t forget the experience.”

The award is named after John L. Hennessy, a hotel and restaurant executive who led a task group of military food services and commissions board members to improve military food service. Since its start in 1956, the Hennessy Award is a highly sought after achievement for any Air Force installation.

“Winning the award looks great for the team, as well as the individual,” said Paisley. “Each person and aspect that is evaluated, shows how well we mesh together to get the job done.

“The award would give us recognition, and demonstrates that the 240,000 patrons we had in 2017 were served by an amazing team.”