5 reasons to attend the National Restaurant Association Show

Photo courtesy of the National Restaurant Association

It may have “restaurant” in its name, but the National Restaurant Association Show isn’t just for those on the business side of the restaurant spectrum. The show, which runs May 21-24 at Chicago’s McCormick Place, offers food industry operators the opportunity to connect with suppliers; discover the latest culinary trends, health and well-being; gain new insights to address workforce, technology and operations challenges; and more.

Find out some of the top reasons to attend.

1. Help with recruitment and retention

The show program is full of expert-led sessions aimed at providing insights, perspectives and strategies on the hottest topics in the industry. On Monday, May 23, operators will find two sessions focused on building a better workforce.

First, participants in “Accelerating Cultural Change in the Restaurant Industry” will hear from James Pogue, President and CEO of JP Enterprises; Chip Wade, president of Union Square Hospitality Group; and Kelli Valade, former CEO of Red Lobster, as they discuss the importance of inclusive leadership and the value of accelerating change. Next, hear from Clinton Anderson, CEO of Fourth, a provider of workforce management solutions, on best practices for attracting and retaining talent in 2022 during the “3 Keys to Winning the Battle for Work” session.

2. A look at industry upheaval

Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit and founder of venture capital firm Seven Seven Six, is this year Show Keynote speaker. In a conversation on Saturday, May 21 with Starr Marcello, assistant dean of MBA programs at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Ohanian will discuss the number of disruptions, including cryptocurrency and social and historical cultures, which change the future. of business and how these will translate to the restaurant industry.

3. A chance to connect in person

With more than 500 new exhibitors and 1,000 repeat exhibitors set to fill the lobbies of Chicago’s McCormick Place, the Show floor will offer attendees a chance to connect with vendors that meet the evolving needs and priorities of operators in technology, workforce management workmanship, durability and more. The show’s TECH pavilion, in particular, offers a unique insight into the latest products, tools and processes that can help make businesses more modern, efficient and profitable.

4. Sustainable Strategies

Sustainability has become more targeted to operators of all sizes and for good reason. For consumers staying at home during the pandemic, the amount of food and packaging waste they generated daily were on full display, and the experience changed the way they think about sustainability. May 24, IMF–The Food Industry Association’s Andy Harig will lead a session on what this means for food businesses, including how environmentally friendly packaging practices can help attract and retain customers and the impact of sustainable packaging on bottom line.

5. Find out what the culinary chefs are up to

The show offers many opportunities to learn about the latest culinary trends that can help meet changing consumer taste preferences and dietary demands and create more relevant retail dining programs. The show’s product showcase offers an up-close look at innovative, efficiency-driven products, while the kitchen innovation showroom features state-of-the-art equipment designed to enhance the back office. There is also live demonstrationswhere some of the country’s most respected chefs will showcase the flavors and foods that resonate with consumers today.

The National Restaurant Association Show is owned and operated by Director of catering parent company Winsight LLC in partnership with the National Restaurant Association.

A version of this story appeared on Winsight Grocery.

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Andrew B. Reiter