Bad Girl, Good Business

Meats and Treats

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It’s a fact…

People will line up for many minutes for pork, chocolate, and booze.

I type with my chubby salt- and sugar-infused digits after a day at the International Restaurant and Food Service Show of New York.  I watched hoards of restaurant owners, chefs, caterers, and other food service professionals wait patiently for bits of bacon and sausage, cupcakes and cookies, and beer, cider, and other alcoholic beverages. The line for Two Rivers Chophouse prime rib was, by far, the longest I saw. People seem to meet wherever they see meat. Strangely, avocado was wildly popular too.

This feeding frenzy is an annual marketplace. Despite advances in restaurant technology, the proliferation of food trucks, and restaurant rating sites like Yelp, some of the most popular booths were those that featured free samples of edibles.

What’s new in the food world? Gluten-free is the still a buzzword and products made in New York are all the rage. I saw lots of spices, exotic greens, and insane amounts of cheese.

Although companies spend many thousands of dollars to exhibit, they still don’t focus enough on staff training. I saw lots of disengaged booth folk sitting and texting while prospective customers walked by. One exhibitor said angrily to her visitors, “Do you work for restaurants or are you just here for free food?” Many salespeople don’t realize that badges are color-coded and titled and, although someone may not be buying food at the show, he or she might be reviewing or blogging about it (like me).

Check back later this week for some of my “best of show” shout-outs and more random thoughts about the state of the food and restaurant world. Burp!





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