It’s May which means the National Restaurant Association Show is in Chicago!  This is the place where you can find anything and everything you need, or didn’t even know you needed, for your restaurant, corner shop, coffee house, or FOOD TRUCK.  We’ll be walking the aisles, attending educational sessions and watching the cooking demos.

Now, if you only have a food truck, you can skip all of the flatware and furniture sections, but there’s still a lot for you to take in.  In the past, we’ve found everything from promotional clothing, i.e. a hot dog costume for your wiener truck, stylish chef clothing to spices, sauces, meats, coffees, oils, appliances, equipment, technology services, alternative fuel offerings and so much more.

If you’ve lost your cooking inspiration, the many aisles will either remind you why you only offer scratch-made food on your truck or spark something new with the taste of an unexpected chutney or hot sauce.  We suggest keeping an open mind and palette when trying everything.  Even though the big players in the food service industry dominate the show floor, there are always those independently owned start-ups that are just trying to get their name and flavor out to the masses.

Along with the tastings, you can see the many chefs grace the World Culinary Stage throughout the show.  The line-up includes chefs from the various networks and television shows, such as, Rick Bayless, Graham Elliot, David Burke, Art Smith, Ming Tsai and Anne Burrell, along with many more demos and book signings.

In addition to everything happening on the show floor, there are dozens of educational sessions throughout the four days of the show.  The topics include operations, sustainability, marketing, technology and menu development including special diets, health and nutrition.  There will be a lot to report out after the show.  There is a food truck focused session and Chris Johnston of the famed Cheesies is on the panel.

There will be plenty of information (and food) to digest, people to meet and things to learn.  Even though the show doesn’t have a designated ‘Food Truck’ section, we’ve seen how other vendors are using food trucks in their displays to promote their products and services.  We’ll keep a close eye on news, tips, trends, products and services that are key in running your food truck operations and report out in the weeks and months to come.

If you are coming in to Chicago for the show…let us know so we can meet!!!