School meals providers BET and Cambridgeshire Catering Services are among the nine finalists selected by the judges of the Unilever Award for Caterers.
Gardner Merchant's "Quantum Leap" staff motivation scheme was also shortlisted, alongside Pelican Group's Café Rouge chain, Beefeater Restaurants and Littlewoods' in-store restaurant operation.
The Unilever Award is part of the ADAS/Sunday Telegraph Food Marketing Awards, which will be announced on 18 October.
Linden Hall Hotel, near Morpeth, has taken the Hotel of the Year title in the first Pride of Northumbria Awards.
Middle Ord Manor House in Berwick-upon-Tweed was Bed & Breakfast of the Year, while Newcastle's 21 Queen Street won the restaurant category.
First to ISO9002
AEA Technology's restaurant and conference centre near Warrington, Cheshire, is believed to be the first establishment to gain ISO9002 accreditation in the restaurant and retail category. The accreditation also covers catering, conferences and licensed premises.
The north-bound Blue Boar motorway service area on the M1 at Watford Gap has won the Tea Council's 1994 Motorway Best Cup of Tea Award. Its south-bound counterpart won the award last year.
Hilton is tops
Hilton International won the worldwide hotel group category in the 1994 TTG Travel Awards, with Forte winning the UK category.