The annual National Restaurant Association (NRA) trade show is coming up, May 19 – 22, at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. The show is the nation’s largest food show (I believe the second-largest is the Southwest Foodservice Expo, being held in Dallas, June 24 – 26 this year), and we’ve been registered attendee’s for the past three years.

Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, we won’t be able to show up as attendee’s or exhibitor’s this year. We may, however, be at the more technology-centric FS-TEC in October.

The NRA’s show is an amazing place to learn about the latest and greatest trends in everything regarding food service including technology, time management, management techniques, culinary trends, food safety, cooking, cleaning, marketing, and everything else. You’ll find everyone from huge fortune 500 companies to the small, family-owned company that makes the most exquisite toothpick holders. The latest list of exhibitors can always be found online.

We have always enjoyed the training and learning sessions that are offered free of charge to all attendees. It’s fun to sit in between the CTO of a huge multi-national fast-food restaurant company, and the 3rd generation owner of a single-unit mom-and-pop Italian restaurant, and see what type of perspective they can offer on any given topic.

If you get a chance, the NRA show is definitely worth attending. If you don’t get the chance, make sure to visit the Southwest Foodservice Expo in Dallas.

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