Sequim’s Black Bear Diner received the 2017 Founder’s Award for “unwavering commitment to an overall outstanding guest experience and the Black Bear Diner brand,” Jolisa Johnson said, Black Bear Diner vice president of marketing and communications. (Erin Hawkins/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Sequim’s Black Bear Diner received the 2017 Founder’s Award for “unwavering commitment to an overall outstanding guest experience and the Black Bear Diner brand,” Jolisa Johnson said, Black Bear Diner vice president of marketing and communications. (Erin Hawkins/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Black Bear Diner gets Founder’s Award

SEQUIM — Sequim’s Black Bear Diner now has bragging rights for restaurant of the year among the other 108 restaurant locations nationwide.

Bret and Trish Wirta, owners of Wirta Hospitality Worldwide and the Black Bear Diner in Sequim, at 1471 E. Washington St., received the 2017 Founder’s Award for their franchise.

“We recognized our Sequim diner’s unwavering commitment to an overall outstanding guest experience and the Black Bear Diner brand,” said Jolisa Johnson, Black Bear Diner vice president of marketing and communications.

Black Bear Diner CEO and co-founder Bruce Dean presented the award to the Wirtas and said in 2017 the Sequim Black Bear Diner posted the largest percentage increase in sales, some of the highest rates of customer satisfaction, a perfect health inspection and won the franchise Christmas decorating contest.

The Wirtas accepted the award at Grand Wailea Resort in Hawaii on behalf of Manager Linda Donaghay, Assistant Manager Bill Carmichael and the entire Sequim Black Bear Diner staff.

“We built a beautiful restaurant, but it’s the experience created by our hardworking and dedicated employees that make our guests want to return again and again,” Bret Wirta said.

“It’s an honor to accept this award for our staff.”

In October of 2017, managers for the breakfast, lunch and dinner eatery, which opened in July 2012 adjacent to the Sequim Holiday Inn Express & Convention Center, said sales growth for the Sequim franchise was at 11 percent over 2016, ranking them No. 1 in the company.

Donaghay and Carmichael said they attribute the growth to an improved work force and tourism.

Sequim’s Black Bear Diner was the 51st store to open in the franchise.

It’s open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

To make a to-go order or reserve a table, call the restaurant at 360-504-2950. Visitors also can order from a phone application or computer at www.blackbear diner.com.

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