The National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show kicked off May 21 with an executive breakfast. The session was titled “Blazing New Revenue Streams.”
NRA Show exhibitors included Visual Graphic Systems, which showcased its ecoLogical product line. Materials used in the product line include bamboo, compressed paper and palmwood.
VGS also created a digital menu board system for White Castle. The company’s MagaLens and MagAlign products give restaurant operators the ability to change information through printed inserts that are magnetically attached to the menu board system.
While the Chork isn’t a technological feat, this plastic utensil combines a fork, chopstick and cheater chopstick, sparked several conversations on the show floor.
Playing off the trend of hibiscus-infused beverages, The Republic of Tea showcased its line of five Hibiscus Superflower teas. The teas were launched in February with flavors such as Natural Hibiscus and Hibiscus Vanilla Apple.
For the first time in the United States, Seoul, Korea-based CF System Ltd. was showcasing its Twist Potato, a potato slicer that creates a fried spiral versus a traditional French fry.
Bamboo picks, cutlery, boxes and bakery molds from France-based First Pack were making their U.S. debut. The company provides a complete range of wooden disposable and packaging materials for cooking, displaying, heating, and take away.
A water cleaning solution from activeion was showcased to help operators clean up dirt particles left in restaurants. The ionator EXP is designed to kill germs such as E. coli, listeria, salmonella, H1N1 and staph, among other types of bacteria
Industry newcomers Russell Hempel and Scott Jantz were showcasing their new Freshtxt technology solution. Freshtxt gives restaurants the ability to text dine-in guests when their table is ready.
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Always on-hand to divulge a prosperous fortune is Zoltar and his female companion from Characters Unlimited. The Zoltar Delux Fortune Teller with coin slot retails for $6,600.
Showcasing for the first time this year was Digital Menubox. The Toronto-based company provides outdoor digital menubox hardware and software and has been used at restaurants such as Freshii, Blue Cactus and Trader Vic’s.
On day three of the show, it was standing room only for the session "Fast Casual Differentiators: Make Your Brand Stand Out in the New Market Economy."
Henny Penny won a Kitchen Innovations Award for its iControl for Evolution Elite. iControl monitors all fryer activity and provides operators with the necessary data to improve oil usage, quality standards, and optimize frying operations.
Perfect Fry Company also won a Kitchen Innovations Award for its Spin Fresh Centrifugal Fryer. The countertop fryer uses Spin Fresh technology with variable programmable spinning resulting in reduced calories and an enhanced taste experience.