Only in New York

Clockwise from opposite, far left: The New York show attracted more than 21,000 industry professionals; the Food Trends Experience, where attendees could taste the newest culinary creations; Nicoll Notter’s winning showpiece of the annual pastry competition; Sara Moulton and Ferdinand Metz presented a culinary demonstration; the pastry world’s rising stars competed for Pastry Chef of the Year honors; attendance grew for the show compared to last year.

Clockwise from opposite, far left: The New York show attracted more than 21,000 industry professionals; the Food Trends Experience, where attendees could taste the newest culinary creations; Nicoll Notter’s winning showpiece of the annual pastry competition; Sara Moulton and Ferdinand Metz presented a culinary demonstration; the pastry world’s rising stars competed for Pastry Chef of the Year honors; attendance grew for the show compared to last year.

The city provides the perfect backdrop for a show that brings together thousands of foodservice professionals with exhibitors from across the globe

Business was booming in the Big Apple during the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York, which took place March 8-10 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. More than 21,000 industry professionals attended the show—a 10% increase over 2014—including more than 500 exhibitors presenting close to 200 new brands.

“That’s not including the new brands offered in our long-time exhibitors’ spaces,” notes Ron Mathews, vice president of The Foodservice Shows for Urban Expositions. “The combined product sourcing opportunity exceeds 10,000-plus items every year.”

In addition to finding nearly any kind of product needed to run their businesses—from food and kitchen equipment to software and cleaning supplies—attendees could learn about the latest trends and business strategies, and be inspired by expert chefs in demonstrations and competitions. The show’s line-up attracted more catering professionals this year as well—a 10% boost over last year’s number.

“Catering from the restaurant operator sector has been growing tremendously for the past several years,” says Mathews. “The demand has been growing for ideas and products that increase take-away food, off-premise food and traditional banquet catering as well. We have some of the best speakers on the topic through our partnership with Catering Magazine, and they are ready to provide nuggets of information that grow revenue, increase margins, and offer operational efficiencies that avoid mistakes and low margins.”

At the New York show, catering-related seminars in the Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum—more than 40 expert-led educational sessions dedicated to foodservice professional development—included “Catering Profits for the Entire Event Are Made or Lost Before Your First Deposit”; “How to Pack for an Off-Site Catered Event”; and “What Works in Your Restaurant Will Not Work for Off-Site Catering.” Catering Magazine will be sponsoring similar seminars at Urban Expositions’ upcoming Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo in Los Angeles (Aug. 23-25) and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show in Orlando (Oct. 6-8).

Other highlights of the New York show included the U.S. Pastry Competition, won this year by Nicoll Notter from The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for his chocolate-and-sugar-sculpted showpiece based on the theme “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend”; live culinary demonstrations by accomplished chefs, including Sara Moulton, host of “Sara’s Weeknight Dinners”; The Pub, a new area featuring beer, wine and spirit brands; and Pitch the Press, another new offering in which 20 hand-selected exhibitors pitched their new products to editors of industry publications (including Catering Magazine). Products included Brooklyn Piggies’ gourmet pigs in a blanket; GeeFree’s gluten-free puff pastry; Kombrewcha, a beer-tea hybrid; and Superior Farms’ lamb bacon.

“Pitch the Press provided an amazing introduction of new items, enhanced technology and benefits for the restaurant and catering operator,” says Mathews. “We had to close the submissions in our first year, suggesting next year will be even better!”

The 2016 International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York will take place March 6-8, 2016. For more information, visit thefoodshows.com.