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FE&S' NRA Show Preview

The National Restaurant Association opens up the doors to its annual tradeshow on May 21 in Chicago's McCormick Place. The four-day event features an ambitious agenda that has a little something for most foodservice professionals.

Of course, the show floor will feature many foodservice equipment and supplies manufacturers demonstrating their products. But following are a handful of additional show-related features that appeal to the foodservice equipment and supplies industry and are worth monitoring whether you are attending the show or staying closer to home.

Kitchen Innovations Pavilion

The NRA's Kitchen Innovations Pavilion will showcase 22 inventive foodservice technologies as determined by an independent panel of judges comprised of internationally recognized food facilities consultants, multi-unit executives and design experts. Foodservice equipment and supplies dealers are invited to join colleagues at the first-ever Kitchen Innovations Mixer, which takes place at 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 22 in the KI Pavilion located in the South Hall, Level 3, booth #3289. Many of the KI judges and various other foodservice professionals will be in attendance.

Lots of Educational Seminars, Including Two Hosted by FE&S

Overall, the NRA has compiled a comprehensive slate of educational seminars that will address a variety of foodservice oriented issues, such as how to go green, attracting and retaining guests, supply chain performance issues and more.

Foodservice Equipment and Supplies editor Joe Carbonara will moderate a pair of panel discussions at the upcoming NRA Show in Chicago.

  • Improving Supply Chain Performance, noon, May 23
  • The Truth and Consequences about Energy Star and LEED, noon, May 24


The NRA's new e-Learning feature provides access to the show's education sessions and culinary demonstrations through audio recordings paired with PowerPoint presentations and video recordings. These presentations will be available for free throughout much of the year, according to the NRA.

Conserve Solutions

The Conserve Solutions Center is a focused area on the NRA Show floor that showcases sustainable products and services that may help foodservice operators run a greener business. Some of the products and services expected to be on display include:

  • Biodegradable/Compostable products
  • Packaging
  • Food processes
  • Consulting, education, and services

DSR of the Year Named on May 21

On Saturday, May 21 FE&S will host its annual Dealer of the Year and Industry Awards Gala. During this sold-out event, which highlights the foodservice industry's best and brightest with some of the community's most time-honored awards, FE&S will name its 2011 DSR of the Year.

Look for announcements from FE&S later that evening and throughout the show via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.