Is a restaurant show the best place to see restaurant products and improve kitchen knowledge?
Q: We saw that BigTray attends some restaurant shows and we wonder if we should visit one too.
A: Yes! Restaurant shows are a great place to learn about your food business, shop for restaurant products, and have a good time doing it.
Food shows, like the New York Restaurant Show pictured above, are a great place to shop for everything that your restaurant needs. As a restaurant owner you don't often get a chance to look at equipment and supplies in person or on your own terms. Typically you are at the mercy of a sales rep that is calling on your store, talking to a distributor on the phone, or shopping online. Going to a restaurant show gives you a chance to see a ton of different food products in a fun environment where you (hopefully) won't be distracted by running your food business.
One of our favorite shows is the International Pizza Expo. It's held in the spring of each year and has nearly 500 exhibitors including all of the major food equipment manufacturers, food distributors, and all kinds of pizza industry specific products and services.
Pictured to the right is the True MFG booth at the Pizza Expo, it's huge!
Even if you can get access to all of this stuff, through a rep or a dealer a food show has the advantage that you can browse equipment and goods on your own and talk directly to competing brands and manufacturers. You might even be able to benefit from some special 'show only' deals. That's not even to mention the seminars and forums at the shows. Food shows book top restaurant consultants, chefs, and business people to give talks and host workshops where they share their kitchen knowledge and food business secrets. Take a look at this small excerpt from the 2017 International Restaurant & Foodservice Show's program:
Oh look, Donatella Arpaia did a 45 minute live demo. That's pretty cool, and probably not something you can see outside of a TV studio. If celebrity chefs aren't your thing take a look at some of the other events. Getting access to this level of restaurant knowledge is a huge opportunity and something that is probably not available unless you want to spend a ton of money hiring consultants. Even if you do have a consultant budget a restaurant show is great place to shop for the right consultant.
There's a bunch of fun stuff to do at food shows too; all kinds of restaurant product and food demo's, social mixers and other networking opportunities, and even world class cooking competitions and culinary games. The International Pizza Expo hosts the World Pizza Games with events like freestyle dough tossing and fastest pizza box folding. Our friends from Fox 5 Vegas explain:
So why attend a food show? Because it's a great investment in your restaurant business with the added bonus of great people, great food and a ton of fun. All that is probably why you got involved in the restaurant industry in the first place. So go book a trip to a food show and hopefully we'll see you there.
Here are links to a few shows that we like:
As always, if you can't wait for the next restaurant show to answer your questions, ask them here on Restaurant Equipment Answers or give our friendly and knowledgeable customer service team a call at 1-800-BIG-TRAY (1-800-244-8729) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the mean time you can browse equipment here: