NRA Is On The Way
The 2015 National Restaurant Association Show is just around the corner. Held, as always, at McCormick Place in Chicago, the show runs May 16-19. The NRA Show will feature the latest foodservice products, services and equipment offered by roughly 2,000 exhibitors, including more than 500 equipment companies. Last year, close to 58,000 people attended the show and, so far, this year’s registration is on pace to reach similar numbers. New for 2015: The show is expanding to the Lakeside Center, which will house the World Culinary Showcase, the Organic and Natural Pavilion and BAR 15 (the Beverage Alcohol for Restaurants two-day event), along with more NRA Show exhibitors. Admission includes access to the North and South Halls as well as the Lake Center, 65 education sessions, 19 workshops, 15 culinary demonstrations and after-hour events and celebrations. With so many options and so much space to cover, early planning is in order to get the most out of your experience.
The show will offer a variety of education sessions and seminars covering the latest trends, issues, opportunities and challenges impacting the industry. Hot topics related to foodservice equipment include waste reduction, facility space restraints, sanitation and flexibility in laying out the back-of-house. “Concept Creators—What I Believe In,” is about balancing operational needs with design creativity. Other sessions that should pique interest for the equipment-and-supply-minded are “The Art and Science of Site Selection” and “Making Foodservice Sustainable by Design.”
If you’re interested in learning how trends in food, consumer demographics, labor and technology will shape the near future of the restaurant and foodservice industry, you won’t want to miss “The Impact of Today’s Foodservice Trends on Foodservice Equipment, Design and More.”
In an interesting reversal, food trucks, in addition to bringing new food concepts to customers in ever-changing and nontraditional sites, also function as small-business incubators. You can hear real-life success stories of how chefs moved from a truck to a restaurant in the session “The Next Big Thing in Food Trucks Trends: Brick and Mortar Restaurants.”
For consultants and healthcare operators, “Cook Chill in Healthcare: Running a Successful Decentralized Foodservice Model” is presented by Drew Patterson, culinary director of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. He shares how to save a large facility time, space and money while continuing to serve delicious, healthy meals.
For more detailed information on when and where these sessions are scheduled and for a complete list of the education sessions offered, visit the NRA Show home page at show.restaurant.org, and click the Experience tab.
While the NRA Show offers more than a dozen specialty areas and pavilions, several deserve special notice: the Kitchen Innovations Pavilion, the Conserve Solutions Center and the Technology Pavilion.
The KI Pavilion, located in the center of the South Hall, is home to the latest class of top back-of-the-house equipment and technology products vetted and selected by the NRA’s highly respected panel of KI Award judges. Check out the honorees in person and engage the experts behind the innovations, all of which will be on display at the pavilion throughout the show. (See our 2015 list of KI Award recipients in the sidebar.)
Also located in the South Hall, the Conserve Solutions Center focuses on sustainable products that reduce costs, waste, energy use and environmental impact. If you are interested in attracting eco-minded guests, this is a must-see area.
Step over to the North Hall to visit the Technology Pavilion, where you’ll find the latest and greatest in digital products and services. The Technology Pavilion will host demonstrations, including mobile apps, mobile payment, POS, digital signage and data-driven solutions, to improve transaction speed, communication, customer outreach and operational efficiency to boost profits and lower costs.
With so much ground to cover and sessions to attend, preplanning is essential. Keep checking the NRA Show website for the most up-to-date information.
The National Restaurant Association Show
May 16-19, 2015
McCormick Place, Chicago
Saturday, Sunday and Monday: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tuesday: 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Register at restaurant.org/show/register
Events At A Glance
Sunday, May 17, 9 p.m.
House of Blues, Chicago
Monday, May 18, after the show
Several local bars in downtown Chicago offer free food and drink specials to everyone wearing an NRA Show badge.
2015 Kitchen Innovations Awards
Congratulations to the 2015 KI Award honorees. Nine judges selected 23 cutting-edge products that continue to bring new energy-efficient, functional foodservice equipment into the spotlight. Be sure to stop by the KI Pavilion during the show. We’ll give you details on all of the KI Award products in our May issue.
Champion Industries Inc. /Ali Group
Foodwaste Reduction System
Dagda Technologies Inc.
Duke Mfg. Co.
FlexTech Advanced Food Holding Platform
Syncra Total Hand Hygiene System
Edlund Co. LLC
EnviroPure Systems Inc.
EnviroPure Ozone Recirculation System
Event Ductless Downdraft Ventilation Cooking Station
Franke Air Purification System (APS300)
FilterQuick with Oil Quality Sensor
Hestan Commercial Corp.
Longitudinal Modular Salamander/Cheesemelter/Shelving System
Hestan Commercial Corp.
Tri-Ferrous French Top with Maximum Center Temperature & Gradient
Hobart Corp./ITW FEG
Hobart FT1000 Flight-Type Dish Machine
HydroFLOW U.S.A./Genuine Energy Solutions
HydroFLOW Water Conditioners
Ice Link Inc.
Merrychef eikon e4s with Panini Grill
The Montague Co.
R290 Glycol Ice and Heat Sauté Station
Ovention M360 Oven
SelfCookingCenter 5 Senses
Schaerer Coffee Art C HC
Sanisteel Anti-Bacterial Slip-Resistant Flooring
True Food Service Equipment Inc.
Hydrocarbon (R290) Natural Refrigerant Reach-In Refrigerators/Freezers
KODIAK Planetary Mixer
Seal-A-Cup Cup-Sealing System