Gadgets, gourmands and great food: NRA show turns 100 in May
Restaurateurs from across the world look forward to seeing the latest and greatest industry innovations at the National Restaurant Association show May 18 to 21 at McCormick Place in Chicago.
This year, the NRA celebrates its 100th anniversary of drawing together specialists from the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industries to learn about new products, services and techniques that could improve their businesses. More than 43,000 people from 100 countries are expected to attend what's now viewed as the nation’s largest annual gathering for such professionals.
For 2019 some 2,300 exhibitors will show their wares, 111 speakers will take the stage and attendees can choose from 82 themed presentations, workshops or demos on topics ranging from “The Latest and Greatest Appliances” to “How Retailers Intend to Eat Your Lunch” to “Understanding the Buzz of Cannabis in Food Service.” Presenters will include celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern, Tony Abou-Ganim (aka “The Modern Mixologist”), prolific cookbook author Rick Bayless and a slew of other accomplished professionals. The site for many scheduled presentations will be the show’s Culinary Experience Center, a space designed to showcase real-life applications of the latest trends and products in the culinary world.
Joining Bayless in signing copies of their books at the show will be Chef Abe Conlon, Master Butcher Kari Underly and Chef Anjula Devi.
Between sessions, winners of this year’s Food and Beverage Awards (FABIs) will serve up samples of 32 varieties of their winning food and drink. Similarly, companies taking home 2019 Kitchen Innovation (KI) awards will demo 25 outstanding products that could revolutionize your back-of-house operations.
This year, the TECH Pavilion exhibition space StartUp Alley will feature 14 companies chosen for their high-tech ideas for enhancing restaurant operations and boosting revenue.
On Monday night, attendees are invited to celebrate the show’s 100th anniversary with exceptional food and music at hot new Chicago restaurant, TAO. A highlight of the evening will be the finals of the show’s national Star of the Bar competition featuring six of the country’s best mixologists.
The show’s anniversary will also be celebrated daily with servings of special desserts and Instagram-able photo opportunities with the show’s giant birthday cake.
Other special events at the show will feature an invitation-only Young Professionals Party and the IFMA’s 65th Annual Gold & Silver Plate Celebration.
NRA attendees are encouraged to download the official show app in order to build personalized schedules, easily locate sessions and exhibitor booths and find and network with other key industry professionals. Register for the NRA here. We hope to see you there and don't forget to stop by our booth #7657!