Giving a huge nod to the mobile food truck trend that has diners to the streets, the National Restaurant Association is debuting its Food Truck Spot at this year's National Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, May 22-25 in Chicago.
The Food Truck Spot is a dedicated area on the show floor where operators can research and shop for the equipment they need to launch, market or expand their food truck business. Exhibitors include companies such as LudoBites Food Truck by Mobi Munch, a mobile foodservice infrastructure company and online marketing channel that provides an integrated platform for launching a food truck business. Exhibitors also will include companies that manufacture and/or offer parts, service, accessories, financing, software and insurance for mobile food truck businesses.
 
"Mobile foodservice has gained attention in culinary and restaurant circles over the last couple of years, so we created this feature to allow NRA Show attendees opportunities to explore this phenomenon," said Annika Stensson, the NRA's director of media relations. "Food trucks are a great way for a restaurant to extend their reach and cater to new audiences, and consumers love them because they offer interesting dishes at affordable prices in convenient locations."
 
The association also is hosting two education sessions dedicated to restaurant operators can profitably incorporate food trucks into their operation. The sessions are:
 
Expanding Your Brand into Non-Traditional Locations, Sunday, May 23 and 10 a.m.
 
This panel session will be led by kiosk development expert Marie VanDrisse. Panelists include Greg Powell, vice president of concept innovation, Denny's; Lynette McKee, chief development officer, Checkers Drive-In; Marie Gill, director of business development & brand strategy, Seattle's Best and Steven Brush, principal of Brush Enterprises LLC. Mobile Restaurants — Restaurants Get Rolling: Chefs Take It to the Streets, Monday, May 24, 2 p.m.
 
This session, moderated by food truck expert Ray Villaman, includes panelists Aaron Noveshen, co-founder and director of culinary development, The Culinary Edge/Mobi Munch/Pacific Catch; Ludo Lefebvre, chef/owner, LudoBites food truck; and Mary Sue Milliken, chef/owner, Border Grill, Border Grill Truck and Ciudad.

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