CHICAGO — The 2008 National Restaurant Association's Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show will be held May 17-20 here at McCormick Place, providing foodservice professionals with the industry's most comprehensive overview of products and trends driving the market.
The trade show will be open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Saturday through Tuesday. Showgoers can make connections and appointments, and personalize their schedules before and throughout the event, by searching a computerized database. The "My NRA Show" search engine is available online at www.restaurant.org/show, and will be accessible at kiosks located throughout the exhibit area.
More than 2,150 exhibiting companies will showcase the newest food and beverage products and services. The show is expected to draw 74,000 industry professionals from 115 countries and all 50 states.
Specialty pavilions will focus on organics, franchising, technology, international cuisine and more.
Throughout the four days, an extensive educational program featuring more than 65 free sessions will address timely topics, ranging from environmental and sustainability issues to menus and culinary trends, among many others.
Highlights include "Five Things Operators Must Know About Energy Efficiency" (Saturday, May 17, 12:00 PM-1:30 PM), at which Richard Young, senior engineer and director of education at Pacific Gas & Electric's Food Service Technology Center, and Kate Lewis, marketing manager with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star program, will review the five "must-know" steps that every operator can use to begin conserving energy.
"Marketing to Conserving Customers: A Guide to Operating Green with a Triple Bottom Line" (Monday, May 19, 10:00AM-11:30 AM) will feature Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko, operators of self-sustaining Inn Serendipity (Browntown, WI). They will share their experiences in "greening" a business while bolstering its bottom line.
Nancy Kruse, menu trends analyst and president of The Kruse Co. (Atlanta), will explore the trends shaking up menus now and those starting to make waves with her presentation, "Focus on the Future: Turning Up the Heat on Your Menu" (Monday, May 19, 12:00 PM-1:30 PM). She will analyze directions in food and flavor, preparation and presentation, and ingredients and beverages, while providing sample menu that can help turn trends into profit.
A discount preregistration fee of $35 is available until April 11; NRA members attend for free. The onsite general registration fee for the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel- Motel Show is $70 per person. Those wishing to attend may sign up online at restaurant.org/show, or by calling (312) 853-2525.