The food and beverage offerings in all our company's projects are critical to our clients' success. In fact, for many of our projects, the F&B is actually the anchor attraction (see article this issue on The Next Big Thing). So each year Randy White, our CEO, attends the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago to stay on top of what's happening in the restaurant industry (among lots of other research we do).
Last week his two sore feet returned from the 4-day show. It's a monstrous show. This year it was larger then ever with over 2,000 individual exhibitors in three giant trade halls. It's the largest restaurant show in the world.
You can tell when nascent trends go mainstream when there is a growing number of vendors offering particular items at the show. This is no scientific trend analysis, but based on comparing Randy's impression of the number of vendors offering products at the 2014 show with the number this year, here's what we see as growing trends in the restaurant industry: