The 98th National Restaurant Association's Restaurant-Hotel-Motel Show was the largest to date. Held at McCormick Place in Chicago, it was attended by 66,000 guests and held exhibit space of over 695,000 square feet.
One of the exciting exhibits at the 2017 show were humanoid-style robots from Integrated Control Corp. that are equipped to greet and respond to guests and take orders. Other advanced technology items included drones for food delivery, 3D pasta printers from Barilla, and a snow machine from Presidential Foodservice & Equipment that dispenses shaved ice in strands, similar to shredded bubble gum strands.
Something else that was prominent at this year's show was sustainability. This included everything from local sourcing, to entrees made of food waste, to food donation and composting. According to executive chef Jehangir Mehta of Graffiti Earth restaurant, "Innovation isn't just about technology. It's as basic as changing your food and mindset". He uses imperfect produce because of it's lower price point. He says his costs are cut by 50 percent by using "unwanted" product. Many other chefs and speakers at the event lent their tips for successful sustainability.
Read more industry news and check out the coverage of the NRA Show 2017