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That’s a wrap! Summing up the 2023 NRA Show in Chicago.

I had the incredible pleasure of attending the renowned National Restaurant Association trade show, which occurs each year in Chicago. The NRA show is not just a feast for the taste buds, but also a treasure trove of incredible procurement and sourcing opportunities, as well as an excellent networking event.

So, grab your fork and knife as I give you a short rundown on some of the coolest things I encountered at this year's show!

1. Tech Bonanza:

Technology has always existed in restaurant industry to some degree but I’m now noticing it transforming dining experiences like never before. At the trade show, I witnessed robots gracefully gliding through the aisles, effortlessly whipping up drinks and dishes, and even serving customers with a charm that might make human waitstaff blush. There wasn’t a shortage of AI-powered ordering systems, touchless payment solutions, and food production automation in the Tech Pavilion as well as the other halls.

My highlight: meeting Nachum Peterseil from, which helps clients optimize their loyalty programs by using automation to create customized video content personalized for the target viewer.

2. Sippable & Edible Art:

Like Tech, Food has always been artistic, but it was more noticeable to me at this year’s NRA. Move over, Van Gogh! The show was brimming with artistic beverages that were almost too pretty to sip. Say goodbye to plain old coffee and hello to beautifully crafted lattes adorned with delicate foam drawings, or floral arrangements floating atop your tea. At food art seemed to go beyond the exceptional selections of serving ware I’ve become accustomed to seeing.

My highlight: the pancake artists at the Kodiak Cakes booth, which were unbelievably impressive.

3. Embracing Sustainability:

There have been many exhibitors with a focus on sustainability at past shows and that trend continued this year. Innovative solutions such as biodegradable packaging and food waste reduction techniques took center stage, highlighting the industry's dedication to minimizing its ecological footprint. The concept of "farm-to-table" evolved to include vertical gardens, rooftop beehives, and hydroponic setups, ensuring fresher, more sustainable ingredients for conscientious consumers.

My highlight: the opportunities to source and serve sustainable product options are out there and have become much more readily available that in the past. The onus has now shifted from available products and suppliers willing to invest, onto the operators to make the conscious decision to source, purchase, and implement products that are better for our environment and future.

And there you have it, folks! The National Restaurant Association trade show in Chicago was an absolute blast, leaving our taste buds tingling and our minds buzzing with new product opportunities for your operation.

But hey, the fun doesn't have to end here! Are you a restaurateur who is looking to drive savings in your foodservice supply chain? Well, guess what? We've got your back! Our team is here to help you with all your procurement and supply chain needs.

So, if you're ready to take your restaurant or food business to new heights of sourcing greatness, don't be shy! We're itching to chat with you about all things delicious and supply chain related.

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