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Jeffrey Kiesel named EY Entrepreneur of The Year® 2024 Heartland Award Finalist 

Restaurant Technologies CEO recognized as “ambitious entrepreneur” who is shaping the future

Mendota Heights, Minn., (May 1, 2024) – Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) named Jeffrey Kiesel, Restaurant Technologies CEO, as an Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2024 Heartland Award finalist. The Heartland program celebrates entrepreneurs from the Dakotas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas. Now in its 38th year, Entrepreneur of The Year is the preeminent competitive business award for audacious leaders who disrupt markets, revolutionize sectors, and have a transformational impact on lives. Over the past four decades, the program has recognized daring entrepreneurs with big ideas and bold actions that reshape our world.

Kiesel was one of 28 regional entrepreneurs selected as finalists by an independent panel of judges. The candidates were evaluated based on their demonstration of building long-term value through entrepreneurial spirit, purpose, growth, and impact, among other core contributions and attributes.

“This recognition is only possible with the dedication of a great team working towards a shared vision, and I am proud of all that we have accomplished together over the last 20 years,” said Kiesel. “It is an honor to be included among the prestigious executives who have made such a significant impact within their industries. I am inspired by all my colleagues who continue to help shape the world around us.”

Restaurant Technologies had twelve depots and just 250 employees when Kiesel joined the organization as CEO in 2005. Under his leadership, the organization has shown consistent double-digit growth annually and now services 40,000 customers in 41 depots with 1,500 employees nationwide. Over the last two decades, he has proven the ability to adapt and evolve to meet business needs. He has led the organization through five private equity sales, and through two of the most challenging business times in our generation – the Great Recession and the Covid-19 pandemic.

In addition to the organization’s business growth, Kiesel has transformed the organization with its Environmental, Social, and Governance initiatives. Restaurant Technologies recycled over 314 million pounds of used cooking oil in 2023 and, with the help of its renewable energy partners, converted it to renewable diesel or biodiesel. He has also matched donations to the Restaurant Technologies Educational Foundation each year. The foundation has raised over $550,000 for over 50 students since it was established in 2013.

The Entrepreneur of the Year award honors many different types of business leaders for their ingenuity, courage, and entrepreneurial spirit. The program celebrates original founders who bootstrapped their business from inception or who raised outside capital to grow their company; transformational CEOs who infused innovation into an existing organization to catapult its trajectory; and multigenerational family business leaders who reimagined a legacy business model to fortify it for the future.

Regional award winners will be announced on June 20th during a special celebration and will become lifetime members of an esteemed community of Entrepreneur of The Year alumni from around the world. The winners will then be considered by the National judges for the Entrepreneur of The Year National Awards, which will be presented in November at the annual Strategic Growth Forum®, one of the nation’s most prestigious gatherings of high-growth, market-leading companies.

In addition to Entrepreneur of the Year, EY US supports other entrepreneurs through the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ program and the EY Entrepreneurs Access Network to help connect women founders and Black and Hispanic/Latino entrepreneurs, respectively, with the resources, network and access needed to unlock their full potential.


Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur of The Year Awards include presenting sponsors PNC Bank, Cresa, Marsh USA, SAP and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In the Heartland, sponsors also include regional Platinum sponsor, Twin Cities Business; regional Gold sponsor, Padilla; and regional Silver sponsors, Brillect and Robert Half.

About Restaurant Technologies

Restaurant Technologies is the leading provider of commercial kitchen solutions for nearly 40,000 customers nationwide. Since 1999, its Total Oil Management and AutoMist® solutions help “Control the Kitchen Chaos” for quick-service and full-service restaurant chains, independent restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, resorts, casinos, hospitals, and more. By automating the hardest tasks in the kitchen, Restaurant Technologies improves food quality, safety, and efficiency for its customers.  

Total Oil Management eliminates the manual handling of cooking oil through an automated solution that delivers, stores, filters, monitors, and removes oil. Restaurant Technologies also works with renewable energy partners to recycle used cooking oil into renewable fuels for a more sustainable business. AutoMist automates hood and flue cleaning to reduce fire risk and create a cleaner, safer work environment.       

Headquartered in Mendota Heights, Minnesota, Restaurant Technologies is privately held and operates 41 depots nationwide with more than 1,500 employees.      

About Entrepreneur Of The Year®

Founded in 1986, Entrepreneur Of The Year® has celebrated more than 11,000 ambitious visionaries who are leading successful, dynamic businesses in the US, and it has since expanded to nearly 80 countries and territories globally.

The US program consists of 17 regional programs whose panels of independent judges select the regional award winners every June. Those winners compete for national recognition at the Strategic Growth Forum® in November where National finalists and award winners are announced. The overall National winner represents the US at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year® competition. Visit ey.com/us/eoy.

About EY

EY exists to build a better working world, helping to create long-term value for clients, people and society and build trust in the capital markets.

Enabled by data and technology, diverse EY teams in over 150 countries provide trust through assurance and help clients grow, transform and operate.

Working across assurance, consulting, law, strategy, tax and transactions, EY teams ask better questions to find new answers for the complex issues facing our world today.

EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. Information about how EY collects and uses personal data and a description of the rights individuals have under data protection legislation are available via ey.com/privacy. EY member firms do not practice law where prohibited by local laws. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.

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