Anyone who’s anyone in the restaurant industry will be in Houston on June 26-27 for the Texas Restaurant Association Marketplace, a two-day extravaganza featuring the latest trends and most vital advice.
Thousands of restaurateurs, owners/operators, chefs, and executives are planning to swarm the George R. Brown Convention Center, where they can find interactive displays, state-of-the-art equipment, seminars, panels, and more than 500 exhibitors showcasing everything from artisanal food products and craft beverages to linens, mobile technology, security, and food trucks.
And you’ve already registered your spot, right?
If you’re in the restaurant business — sorry, this event isn’t open to the public — you should plan on attending. You wouldn’t want to miss the chance to weigh in on topics such as “are you hashtag worthy?” or learn 100 marketing tips in 45 minutes. Also make sure your voice gets heard in the great tipping debate.
There will even be a series of TED-style talks from industry veterans, including Wayne Kostroski, founder of Taste of the NFL in Minnesota, on why giving is good business; Chris Cheek, chief development officer of Newk’s Eatery in North Carolina, who will bring everyone up to speed on fast-casual dining; and Johnny Hernandez, chef-owner of La Gloria, who will address how to keep your brand authentic while giving a behind-the-scenes look at his network of Mexican artisans.
The legendary Chef Watson — the world’s smartest cyber kitchen ninja that debuted at SXSW in 2014 — will also be there. Chef Watson wows professional and home chefs alike by searching for patterns in existing recipes, using a database of thousands of ingredients and combining them with science to come up with unexpected combinations.
And what would a convention be without specialty pavilions? Throughout TRA Marketplace will be exciting and valuable glimpses into the latest products and services, including the following:
- Craft Beverage Garden, for the sampling of amazing craft beers and liquors from Texas’ finest breweries and distillers.
- Technology Pavilion, with hands-on demonstrations and technology discussions about touch-screen ordering, smartphone apps, mobile payments, and more.
- Mobile Food Lot, featuring the latest food and catering trucks and trailers offered by leading manufacturers.
- Culinary Innovation Station, which is a curated collection of innovative companies newly launching in Texas, plus the latest products with a focus on healthy, ethnic, and other trends.
To help make sense of all these opportunities, download the new TRA Marketplace app, free and available for both iTunes and Google Play.
Tickets are $55 per person ($45 for TRA members) and are available online through June 21. After that date, all tickets are $65 general admission at the door. A business card demonstrating your affiliation with the industry or your company’s tax ID number is required to register onsite.
For more information, to register, or to become a sponsor, visit www.tramarketplace.com.