Taking Retail Foodservice From Good to Great
The National Restaurant Association Show has long been the place for food industry professionals to explore the latest food and beverage solutions, education and networking, equipment and supplies, operations and management technologies, and much more. As the foodservice industry’s largest and most comprehensive annual event worldwide, the Show—set for May 18-21, 2019, at McCormick Place in Chicago—will once again bring together a wide range of industry sectors in one space where attendees can learn, experience, network, sample and test all the latest things. Click through to take a closer look at the key highlights grocery retailers can gain from attending this year's Show.
Required Expertise, Straight From the Source
“What we hear from retail and grocery people all the time is that they don’t come to the Show to learn from other retail and grocery people. They have plenty of opportunity to do that at their own industry shows,” said Marc Lapides, VP of marketing, communications and programming for the National Restaurant Association Show. “With the rapid growth of prepared foods, grocery industry leaders say they attend the Show because they want to learn what restaurants are doing. Restaurants are the experts in the area of the retail foodservice business they most want to grow rapidly and with quality.”
Unrivaled Food Trends
Show exhibitors showcase the most innovative products and services to help attendees take advantage of the hottest opportunities and most pressing challenges they’re facing. To that end, “Food trends is by far one of the most important things food retailers can learn at the NRA Show vs. existing shows in the grocery space,” said Lapides, adding that grocery channel typically follows restaurants’ lead. “In order to maintain or surpass what the competition is doing, they need to know what’s new and what’s next.”
Among the top highlights of the 2019 National Restaurant Association Show is the Culinary Experience Center, where ingredient- and cuisine-focused demos and instruction will be presented from chefs on the front lines. Sessions will include topics such as Plant-Forward Cuisine, Alternative Proteins, Pasta for Profits and more. Another immersive food-focused highlight is the World Culinary Showcase, where seasoned professional and celebrity chefs, along with up-and-coming professional chefs, will conduct a series of daily demonstrations.
High Tech/High Touch
The Show will also feature a plethora of innovative educational opportunities to help enlighten and inspire attendees, including with restaurant-specific tech products such as loyalty marketing—and instructional information on the most effective ways to use them in multilocation foodservice operations. Also new to this year’s Show is Digital Media Slam, which will feature rapid-fire presentations from top brands that are creatively and effectively using digital media to drive strong traffic.
Along with opportunities for crowdsourced campaigns, sessions on personal wellness and an insightful examination of the future of the restaurant industry, the 2019 National Restaurant Association Show’s commitment to perpetual evolution will be evidenced by two more key highlights that will be beneficial to grocery retailers:
SuperSession: The Future of Restaurants, one of three general sessions, will examine the top lessons and learnings from foodservice visionaries that will factor heavily in driving the industry forward in the next decade.
Menu Trends 2019: Presented by Technomic and menu guru Nancy Kruse, Menu Trends is one of the most popular sessions at the Show in terms of both real-time and future-forward menu planning.