NRA Show blows into Windy City
Whether the challenges restaurant operators face are recruiting, retaining and motivating employees, controlling energy costs or learning about the latest trends in restaurant equipment and operations, chances are the solution can be found at the National Restaurant Association's 2007 Hotel-Motel Show, May 19-22 in Chicago.
  
Now in its 88th year, the NRA Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the western hemisphere's largest single gathering of restaurant, foodservice and lodging professionals. As the industry's premier business venue, it offers attendees the best opportunities for networking and exploring new trends, as well as insight on myriad industry issues via seminars and special events.
  
"The 2007 NRA Show has everything operators will need to run their business moving forward, whether it be products, services or insights into the latest trends," said Mary Pat Heftman, NRA senior vice president, Convention. "The show will give operators insight into what the next 12 months holds for the restaurant industry, and how they can get in on the latest trends right away to beat out their competition."
  
New and exciting this year, Heftman said, is the Green Restaurant Products Pavilion, featuring environmentally-friendly products and ideas and the NRA Show Celebrity Bookstore, featuring celebrity chefs and star restaurateurs autographing their books. There also are a multitude of new international products, the latest trends in interior design and this year's Kitchen Innovations award winners, she said.
  
Not to be forgotten, show officials say, are the fundamentals of what makes the restaurant business tick, including kitchen equipment, ovens, safety and cleaning supplies and other restaurant essentials.
  
"The National Restaurant Association has a finger on the pulse of the restaurant-and-hospitality industry every day of the year, and nowhere is this more evident than at the 2007 Show," said William C. Anton, FMP, convention chairman for the 2007 Show, and chairman and founder of Anton Airfood Inc. "Whether browsing the exhibit floor for all four days or just making a one-day stop, restaurateurs from all industry segments will easily find what they need to improve their bottom lines."
 
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For more information or to register online for the 2007 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, visit www.restaurant.org/show.
  
Show highlights:
  • The new NRA Show Celebrity Bookstore will feature celebrity chefs and star restaurateurs autographing their books all four days. A separate bookstore also will be open where attendees can purchase those books.
  • The Green Restaurant Products Pavilion will feature exhibiting companies offering products and services that can improve businesses' environmental efforts and sustainable operations.
  • The Exhibit Floor will be home to more than 2,000 companies and cover two levels of North America's premier convention center, Chicago's McCormick Place. Six miles of aisles will showcase new innovations and old favorites. For a complete list of exhibitors, visit the Show's Web site at www.restaurant.org/show. Make connections and appointments and personalize your schedule before and throughout the show by searching the entire 2007 show database for the people, products and information that meet your unique needs. The My NRA Show event search engine will find what you're looking for. Start searching today at www.restaurant.org/show and use the kiosks located throughout the exhibit floor.
  • The Technology Pavilion will showcase state-of-the-art resources and products. Attendees will discover the latest technology available to industry professionals, and learn from hospitality technology experts. The Pavilion also will offer an Internet café with computer stations and Wi-Fi.
  • Highlighting the increasing popularity of ethnic and international cuisine in the U.S., the International Cuisine Pavilion will focus exclusively on international and traditional ethnic products. The Pavilion will host international and U.S. exhibitors, showcasing authentic ethnic food and beverage products from around the globe.
  • The exclusive Kitchen Innovations Pavilion continues to gain popularity and again will be featured at the 2007 show. The 2007 Kitchen Innovations Award recipients, selected by an independent panel of food-facilities consultants and multiunit executives, will showcase the most innovative kitchen equipment on the market in a special area of the exhibit floor. Attendees will see interactive presentations and demonstrations of cutting-edge kitchen products.
  • Show attendees will have the opportunity to schedule private meetings with top design companies in the Ask the Design Experts area. In cooperation with Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI), front- and back-of-the-house industry design experts will be available to meet with operators for free, private face-to-face consultations on Level 3, South Hall.
  • The products and services within EDGE – Experience Design will help inspire to create an atmosphere that will give new life to customer experiences. The pavilion will feature graphics, design, textiles, lighting, flooring and fixtures for business-improving ideas and inspiration.
  • The Minority Business Exchange (MBE) Pavilion will provide a forum for supplier diversity connections. Certified minority-owned suppliers will showcase their products and services, network and create new business alliances with buyers from all segments of the industry.
  • The Franchise Pavilion will offer business and networking opportunities with top franchisors and franchise-services companies. The Franchise Pavilion serves up resources and opportunities for those offering, or seeking, franchises.
  • The American Food Fair will feature regional specialty foods from across the United States. This special section of the show floor provides attendees an opportunity to explore the best from all regions of the country.
  • Recognizing the special role and needs of dealers and distributors has again created exclusive "Quiet Zones." These exclusive business lounge areas have been created to allow dealers and distributors the opportunity to meet, network or to just relax. The Dealer Distributor Centers will be located on Level 3 of both the North and South Halls.
  • The 2007 Hot New Products Guide is an excellent roadmap of what is new on the show floor. Exhibitors listed in the Hot New Products Guide will be highlighted by signs in their booths and listings in the Exhibit Guide.
  • The Blue Plate Specials program will offer buyers special savings and discounts with participating exhibitors. Exhibitors participating in the Blue Plate Specials will be indicated by signs in their booths and listings in the Exhibit Guide. Discounts only apply on orders placed on the show floor for the duration of the event.
  • The exciting International Back-of-the-House Restaurant Tours, open only to international guests, will take participants into the kitchens of some of Chicago's most popular restaurants. Guests will learn about successful U.S. business models, research and development, menu creation, kitchen layout, operational challenges and achievements, and take home to their country the secrets of success to improve operations. The tours will be held Monday, May 21, from 10:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. For more information or to sign up, contact Customer Service at (312) 853-2525 or e-mail nraregistrationinfo@dineout.org.
  
Educational sessions
The more than 60 educational sessions will be held in the South Hall, Level 4, of McCormick Place. Sessions include:
  • Alcohol Profit Primer: Responsible Service Without Sacrificing Profits, Saturday, May 19, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Restaurant Demand 2007: Consumer Insights to Give Competitive Edge, Saturday, May 19, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Advantages of Going Green: Marketing to the Socially Responsible Consumer, Sunday, May 20, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • On the Menu: What's Hot, What's Not, and What's Next, Monday, May 21, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • Winning in The Age of Online Marketing, Monday, May 21, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • How to Capitalize on Growing Consumer Interest in Health and Nutrition,Tuesday, May 22, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

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