Chicago Deep Dish with a Side of Sustainability: the National Restaurant Association show

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National-Restaurant-Association-Show.jpgThe National Restaurant Association (NRA) just concluded its 95th annual show at McCormick Place in Chicago. Over 63,000 people and 2,000 vendors/suppliers attended to meet colleagues, make new connections, and shape the future of the restaurant and food services industry. Powerhouse Dynamics was featured in the Conserve Solutions Center, where exhibitors offered attendees products and services to help organizations advance their green and sustainability agendas.

A major theme of the event was the intersection of consumers wanting to patronize environmentally friendly establishments, while restaurant and food service operators want to save money by using fewer resources and creating less waste. Energy and asset management was of particular interest to many at the show and the high-paced activity at the PhD booth was the proof point.  It was great to see many of our existing customers and business partners while also meeting new potential prospects. Everyone was engaged and interested in learning more, which made the four days pass by very quickly.Powerhouse-Dynamics-NRA-Booth.jpg

It was also great to see how prominent the topic of sustainability was throughout the show. Whether it was session topics, vendor exhibits or general conversation on the show floor, sustainability is very much top of mind for a lot of restaurateurs. The same can be said for energy management. There were quite a few vendors exhibiting products and solutions, from simple wired temperature monitoring devices to high end, cloud-based EMS platforms.

And did I mention the food!  Whether it was the at Foodamental Studio for a hands-on, crash-course workshop where one could learn the processes and techniques behind the most talked-about culinary trends of the year or the World Culinary Showcase where Foodie TV came to life with world-class chefs demonstrating recipes, tips and techniques live on-stage, or just grazing the show floor for all kinds of meats, cheeses, beverages, confections and other goodies, no one left the show hungry.

NRA_sushi_dragon.jpgThe City of Broad Shoulders was as grand as ever, providing the attendees with great weather as well as a plethora of culinary choices in the evening. Some of us had the chance to ‘dine around the world’ over the four days, all within the confines of downtown Chicago. More good food.

The NRA show continues to be a great opportunity to showcase the latest trends and developments in the restaurant and food service industry.  The high level of focus and attention on sustainability at the show clearly indicates that it’s a current issue, and becoming a part of the fabric of these industries’ business initiatives.

We hope to see you at the show next year! And if you missed us this year, click below to learn more about how we enable operational and energy efficiency at restaurant chains.