The National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show® is a must-attend for operators. But why is it also an important event for dealers and consultants?

Mary Pat Heftman, President, Restaurant Show Group: The Show is where operators, manufacturers and dealers come together in one place to connect face to face, see cutting-edge products across the industry, and find solutions to challenges through our dozens of on-floor education sessions. It’s also where trends start and new products make waves. For example, Bear Robotics’ AI-driven robot restaurant runner, which was featured in the 2018 Show’s Startup Alley as an up-and-coming product and is now taking the industry by storm. Products from our Kitchen Innovations® Award recipients — a select group of the most innovative equipment and supply products selected by an independent panel of industry juggernauts — also exemplify the role new products and trends play in the industry and at the Show.

NRA RNS 1467Attendees from around the globe come to Chicago for the National Restaurant Association Show.

The Show is the where the entire industry learns what’s new and what’s next, and it’s no different for dealers. Dealers come to the Show because they know it’s where they will see the most impactful innovations first. It’s where they come to find and recommend the newest and best products to their customers. There’s no better place to do that.

Besides showcasing the best products and offering top-of-the-line education, the Show attracts tens of thousands of operators. Dealers and consultants can spend time with current and prospective customers in ways unlike the rest of the year. It’s also the best place for dealers to connect with their own peers, network, and learn from each other.

How can “Dealer Connect” help buyers and sellers?

MPH: Dealer Connect is a tool we’re launching in 2019 to quickly and efficiently connect equipment dealers with manufacturers before the Show even starts. Dealer Connect is software that will allow equipment manufacturers looking for representation to match up with dealers looking for new lines, with the capability for each side to filter the matches based on their needs. We know finding the right people at the Show is critical to the success of both sides, and we’re here to make that happen in a more thorough and effective way than ever.

Why does Kitchen Innovations remain a must-see for dealers and consultants?

MPH: Kitchen Innovations is the premier awards program for back-of-house innovations. KI awardees are chosen by an independent panel of expert judges that include some of the most prominent names and best-known brands and organizations from across the industry. These judges come together to identify and evaluate a cross-section of the most innovative back-of-house equipment, and out of hundreds choose a select group that are truly driving efficiencies and productivity and solving operator challenges.

Attendees can see these award-worthy products first hand at the Show in the Kitchen Innovations Showroom. In one place, they can find the best of the best in new back-of-house equipment. There’s no better way for dealers and consultants to get to know these game-changing products than in the KI Showroom.

Join Joe Carbonara, Editorial Director of Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazine on Sunday, May 19 within the KI Showroom as he conducts Fireside Chats with key operators and consultants to discuss how equipment innovations are shaping the foodservice industry.