With so much emphasis surrounding the restaurant industry's efforts to go green, the National Restaurant Association is launching a new resource for operators at its May 22-25, 2010, Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago.
Located this year on the show floor will be the Conserve Solutions Center, an exhibit and session platform that will highlight for restaurant operators environmental initiatives and products.
The Center will be situated between the Kitchen Innovations and Smart Design pavilions, and will feature a kiosk garden, with compact exhibits and "satellites" to booths located elsewhere on the show floor, an exhibitor space and a stage for presentations.
Presentations include Social Media for Beginners, presented by FastCasual.com publisher, Paul Barron; E-Marketing: A Sustainable Marketing Strategy, to be given by Joe Gabriel of Fishbowl Marketing; and a three-part series on Food Impact, to be given by Truitt Bros.
"It can be challenging for busy operators to identify ways in which their restaurant can do what's right for the planet and what's right for their business at the same time," said Ira Cohn, NRA Show 2010 Convention Chair and president of ARAMARK Business and Industry Group. "The Conserve Solutions Center will be a one-stop-shop for any sustainability-related business needs."
The idea for the center was birthed two years ago during the Northwest Foodservice Show, which featured an eco-center co-created by Christopher Moyer, manager of the National Restaurant Association's Conserve: Solutions for Sustainability initiative.
"We've been trying to work conserve into the Show in the best way possible. And we're looking at making it as robust as we possibly can," he said. "It's not really to cast judgment on anybody, but to help operators make the best choices for their business."
Exhibitors in the space will showcase products and services to help restaurant operators reduce energy and water use, decrease waste, and find ideas for "green" remodeling and construction projects. Exhibitors include Nestle Waters North America, Glacier Energy, Truitt Bros., Ameritech Media, and Pictura Graphics.
According to National Restaurant Association research, four out of 10 say consumers say they are likely to make a restaurant choice based on a restaurant's conservation practices.
Additionally, 40 percent of full service restaurants and 31 percent of quick-service restaurants plan to devote more resources to green initiatives in 2010. The Conserve Solutions Center is an extension of the National Restaurant Association's Conserve: Solutions for Sustainability initiative and Web site. The initiative's goal is to encourage and assist restaurant operators to increase their environmental efforts while boosting their bottom line.
The National Restaurant Association also will make an announcement about the unveiling of its new national recognition program "Greener Restaurants" in the Conserve Solutions Center during NRA Show 2010. Visit www.restaurant.org/show for a full schedule of NRA Show 2010 education sessions.