NRA Show 2015
For those in the foodservice and restaurant industry, the National Restaurant Association’s annual NRA Show is such an exciting event. This trade show provides the opportunity for industry members to connect with each other to taste new foods, learn about the latest trends, find foodservice equipment and so much more.
“It’s an energy that only the hospitality industry can create,” the NRA said.
Below are some of the latest trends and information from the show. If you were able to attend this year’s event, post about your favorite things in the comments! Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need help finding a piece of equipment or supply you were interested in.
Food and Menu
In an NRA Show convenience store presentation, it was found that sandwiches, wraps, paninis and subs were on 98 percent of menus, taking the lead of all food items.
Hot dogs and sausages came in second on 86 percent of menus, followed by breakfast items also on 86 percent. See the rest of the trends on the image shown on the right. See all trends in this Tweet from Hobart.
In other general trends, expect to start seeing more honey. In an article by Nations Restaurant News from the session “Get Your Honey’s Worth,” honey has been named the “Flavor of the Year” and chefs are learning all types of ways to incorporate into menus.
In this day in age, reviews have become imperative to restaurant-goers. According to Review Trackers, despite what many some think, review sites like Yelp have a higher amount of good ratings for restaurants. In fact, they said that 67 percent of all Yelp reviews have four and five star ratings. When it comes to reviews as a whole, Review Trackers said to trust the customer. From their research, many restaurateurs fear one negative review can ruin their reputation when in fact society today can see through the negativity.
Sustainability has done a complete 360. Today, it’s not only recognized in equipment and packaging, but the NRA Show held sessions to help restaurateurs learn how to have a more eco-friendly operation.
“There are dozens of companies at this year’s show displaying different equipment, products and service to reduce restaurants’ carbon footprints,” explained QSR Magazine.
“Purple” could be seen at many foodservice equipment and supplier booths at this year’s NRA Show. Products color coded purple are to be used with customers with food allergies to help combat cross-contamination. From containers and knives to carts and blenders, the foodservice industry has recognized the increase of consumers with food allergies and are adding more and more products to help restaurants prepare safe meals, as well as bring more awareness to staff.
— BarniesCoffeeKitchen (@BarniesCoffee) May 18, 2015
One of the most fascinating booths at the NRA Show was the 3D Printing Zone. Guests could stop by the booth for samples of geometric candies and the chance to learn about the future of this technology from ChefJet Pro. According to the NRA, ChefJet Pro is the first professional-grade 3D food printer which could be used in commercial kitchens. “The full-color ChefJet Pro will be food certified and produce 3D printed confections in a number of recipes and flavors, including sugar, frosting and candy in many sweet and sour flavors,” they said. The actual printer is expected to be available sometime later in 2015.
This year’s NRA Show keynote speaker was Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington. In Nation’s Restaurant News’ (NRN) recap, they said Huffington shared her story and discussed the American Dream. NRN explained Huffington’s keynote heavily discussed the health risks associated with workplace that over-work employees which she said is the equivalent to coming to work intoxicated. “The American workpalce is one built on a culture of sleep deprivation,” the NRN quoted.
Huffington’s keynote stressed the importance of sleep and stress-reduction in the workplace to help employees be healthier and happier which in turn will help them to be more productive.
Also during the keynote, NRN explained Huffington’s discussion was disrupted by protesters who were advocating for a higher minimum wage.
“Huffington didn’t comment on wages specifically, but she noted that the restaurant industry is a bridge for many who strive for the American dream,” they said.
The variety of food served at the NRA Show is simply incredible. Show-goers can get all meals in simply by walking the floor and grabbing samples. (Don’t worry, it’s estimated you can walk 10 miles at the show, so it’s burned off, right?)
From snacks and entrees to juices and alcoholic beverages, the NRA Show truly has it all. Below are some fan favorites from all of those using the #NRAShow2015 hashtag on social media! Please share your favorites below in the comments.
— Vegetarian Tourist (@vegtourist) May 18, 2015
— BlurtBox (@BlurtBoxApp) May 18, 2015
— Eli’s Cheesecake (@ElisCheesecake) May 16, 2015