The leading family dining chain, Denny’s, announced the winners of the company's 2006 Operator of the Year awards today. The awards were presented at Denny's tenth Franchisee Association convention held Nov. 6-9 in Maui, Hawaii. Franchisees who received the prestigious Operator of the Year award were: Roland and Margaret Marti, owners of Lamarti's, Inc. of Lamar, Mo.; Shashi and Veena Kamboj, owners of AmVEE Corporation of Bakersfield, Calif.; and Syed Ahmad of Portland, Oregon, owner of Dallas-based Continental Foods, Inc. Restaurants owned and operated by the three franchises scored highest among the chain's 1,034 franchised family-style restaurants based on their commitment to guest satisfaction , food safety, and building the Denny's brand. 'We know strong operators run successful businesses and congratulate everyone associated with the Lamarti's, AmVEE and Continental Foods organizations who have worked so hard to meet and satisfy Denny's guests and exceed our high standards for quality,' said Nelson Marchioli, Denny's chief executive officer and president. Denny's Lamar, Mo., is a family-owned and operated franchise by Roland and Margaret Marti. Ten years ago, the Martis were looking to franchise a family restaurant adjacent to their 24-hour truck stop/convenience store. The Martis opened the Denny's in Lamar on February 2, 1997 and have been successfully operating ever since. In the town of Lamar, where the population is a little over 4,000 people, the Martis are familiar faces among the residents of their community. The Lamarti's Denny's is a consistent winner of the prestigious Four Diamond Award for dining, an honor that helps them maintain strong sales growth year to year. AmVEE franchise group is led by the husband and wife team of Shashi and Veena Kamboj, who own and operate five Denny's restaurants, located throughout Bakersfield. A collaborative team environment and a strong sense of family in their business has contributed successfully to low employee turnover, strong sales growth and consistently high evaluations for hospitality, quality execution and food safety. Continental Foods owner Syed Ahmad is looking forward to continued growth in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas with the addition of one new Denny's restaurant in 2007 to his already impressive 13 store group. Mr. Ahmad also has preliminary plans for two more stores in the works. A consistent high achiever in customer satisfaction and quality, Ahmad's restaurants routinely win the Four Diamond Award for exceeding operating standards. Mr. Ahmad has built his successful Denny's franchise based on a commitment to customer satisfaction through vigorous employee training. Three of the franchise's restaurants are recognized as certified training units, allowing Continental's employees continued opportunities for recognition, growth and advancement within the company.