This year’s 99th annual NRA Show attracted more than 67,000 global foodservice professionals, who shared insights, innovative products and great food. Held in beautiful Chicago, the show boasted vendors from every corner of the restaurant industry, showcasing the newest culinary breakthroughs, best practices, equipment, and technology.
Since we’re big on tech, here are our top three technology take-aways from the show:
1) Artificial Intelligence – At Your Servivce
A lot of operators are increasingly relying on robots and technology automation to meet the needs of a the fast-paced diner. Robots and automated machines were hits on the show floor, with our favorite being Bear Robotics, Inc.’s autonomous running and bussing robot, “Penny.” We also enjoyed the automatic bartenders that operate using pre-loaded ingredients.
Social media “foodies” continue to drive food trends and hospitality marketing. A whopping 63% of millennials stated that they enjoy taking pics of and sharing their food (mintel). With Instagram reigning supreme for millennial-charged food pics, many vendors are taking this trend to heart, ensuring their “platings” are “Instagrammable.” They did not disappoint, displaying their talent with colorful, deliberate strokes of artistry to each dish.
3) Technology-Driven Compliance
At the show we met with many attendees, partners and vendors. In addition to demonstrating our specialty restaurant payroll, time & labor and HR software, the main topic of interest was always about compliance. With over 80% of the industry turning to technology to help run various business operations more efficiently (NRA), many of our visitors expressed the urgency to avoid a compliance mishap that has the potential to cost them a pretty penny.
Overall, the energy of the lakeside center was electric and chock-full of interesting menu’s, products and of course, technology solutions for the industry. We had a great time and can’t wait to go back next year. If you attended and didn’t get a chance to stop by and chat about Valiant’s restaurant workforce solutions and compliance support, we encourage you to check out our website.