With the backdrop of Hurricane Sandy not yet removed from the industry's collective rear view mirror, the 97th annual International Hotel Motel + Restaurant Show (IHMRS) took center stage at the Jacob Javits Center.
Kudos to the visionary guidance of Phil Robinson and Lynne White of George Little Management who despite widespread regional destruction and devastation due to Hurricane Sandy made certain that the show opened with all of its bells and whistles. The Robinson/White duo worked diligently with the show’s key exhibitors to turn the show into an early response and resource center for those in need. “To encourage attendance among foodservice operators adversely impacted by the storm, the IHMRS show floor featured special resource centers to help address their specific needs,” Robinson said. These resource centers will help restaurant operators impacted by the storm identify what they need, ranging from filing claims to sourcing specific items they need to replace to securing temporary items to keep their business going. IHMRS is working to secure participation from the state agencies representing New York and New Jersey and other relevant government agencies. “These resource centers, as companies get back on their feet, can really help move them along,” he added.
(L to R) NJRA's Manager of Events & Allied Relations Stacey Barone with NJRA's Pres. Marilou Halvorsen with Micros Retail Systems' own Jim Jamieson & Tom Zerrenner
The show teamed with the New York City Hospitality Alliance, The New Jersey Restaurant Association and the City of New York to host a Hurricane Sandy Recovery Sources’ center. The City's Robinson Hernandez and Michael Kim came to the show on their day off to outline steps for restaurants to get re-opened. The takeaway was that city government can work with the City cutting much red tape with important steps including water and electrical inspections. Despite the fact that the Javits Center weathered the storm relatively well, show organizers faced a number of challenges in getting the event ready to open on time. “A lot of our challenges are for our company, with people in storm impacted areas and shipping,” Robinson said. “We've spent time with people trying to find their goods and making sure they got here on time. “
Our entire constituency, visitors and exhibitors, reached out to us and the greatest concern was the facility available and can we get there,” Robinson said. “We had a lot of exciting things in the foodservice area happening before the excitement of the storm as it kicked in,” Robinson noted. “We have a new relationship with FCSI in the form of its Ask the Experts pavilion. Among the show's new goals were to offer thousands of industry professionals inspiration to take back to their foodservice establishments. Inspired and created by Marsha Diamond, MA, RD, M. Diamond, LLC; Robert Doland, FCSI, Jacobs, Doland and Beer; and Joe Ferri, Jr., Pecinka-Ferri Associates, the space encouraged owners and operators to step outside the box when planning or renovating a facility.
Foodservice Pioneering Concepts demonstrated a footprint that offers energy, space and labor savings, while also enhancing the aesthetics of a foodservice retail venue for a more positive customer experience. The 800-square foot, full-size model concept space featured state-of-the-art equipment from such companies as ACP Menumaster, Blendtec, Continental Refrigerator, Federal, Franke, Gasser, and Multiteria.
“Whether you are a full service hotel, short stay hotel, corporate, healthcare or college/university foodservice operation, Foodservice Pioneering Concepts is a must-see,” said Diamond, foodservice business development consultant and strategic public speaker. “This space is full of great inspirations to showcase your food creativity with innovative design ideas that will generate revenue and impress your customers.” “The IHMRS is all about discovering new products, with attendees seeking insight about applying new products or design concepts to their existing operations,” said Lynn White, IHMRS show manager.
“Foodservice Pioneering Concepts does just that by combining the latest technologies and resources of select IHMRS exhibitors to create a retail venue in alternate locations/spaces that ‘wowed’ customers, capture profits and service opportunities and gave operators an edge in today’s competitive environment.” Among the show's highlights was the announcement of the Grand Prize Winners of the 32nd annual Gold Key Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Design. Nearly 200 projects in 23 countries were considered for these coveted awards, which celebrate the design firms behind the most innovative hospitality properties completed or renovated within the past 18 months. Winners were revealed at a breakfast ceremony at the Mandarin Oriental New York.
The Gold Key Awards were sponsored by Hospitality Style and HOTELS magazines. A who's who of Metro New York City area designers topped the list of 2012 winners revealed at a breakfast ceremony at the Mandarin Oriental New York. Top Lounge/Bar honors went to Manhattan's Rockwell Group for the W Lounge at W Paris – Opera in Paris.
(above) The PBAC team hosted a number of influential guests at the 2012 event
The Casual Dining award went to NYC's Studio Arthur Casa for their work in Sao Paulo. Brazil at the Alma Maria. Legendary Long Island based Bentel & Bentel Architects received the Fine Dining category for their upgrade at Le Bernardin in Manhattan. The breakfast served as a backdrop for NEWH, Inc., the Hospitality Industry Network, to present its 8th annual Icon of Industry Award to Kohler Company President and Chairman Herbert V. Kohler, Jr. A $5,000 scholarship in Herbert’s name was awarded to Stacey Sefcik, a student currently enrolled at the Savannah College of Art and Design. The annual tradition of the Editors’ Choice Awards once again highlighted and honored the show’s best new products within the categories of design, equipment & supplies, guest amenities, tabletop, eco-friendly and technology.http://www.iceculinary.com/
Each of the 10 winners then vie for the Kenneth F. Hine “Best of Show” Award. Among the food service industry winners were: BKI, a Standex Company (Dallas, TX) who won top honors for Equipment & Supplies for CombiKing™, a combination oven offering the flexibility of moist heat, dry heat or any combination of, for optimal cooking of all foods. The Tabletop award went to Ready Check Glo (Lynbrook, NY) for the World’s 1st Illuminating Guest Check Presenter & Cocktail Menu, an innovation that improves guest service and staff efficiency by alerting staff when a check is ready for payment. The Green Equipment & Supplies prize went to T&S Brass & Bronze Works, (Travelers Rest, SC) for Low-Flow Spray Valve, providing water and energy savings without compromising intense power rising. Your Green 2 Go won the Green Tabletop – for Your Green 2 Go, a line of 100 percent natural plant fiber Grab n’ Go containers made from corn. With a storm of the horror and magnitude of Sandy, there becomes a true appreciation of those going above and beyond to help others so kudos to FCSI-The Americas, the only consulting society dedicated to serving independent foodservice design and hospitality management professionals, who offered free consultations to show attendees.
The show also served as a backdrop to inaugurate Michael Hoffman, president of Albany, NY-based Turf Hotels, to the chairmanship of the IHMRS Board of Directors. “We welcome Michael’s vast industry experience to IHMRS 2012,” said Lynn White. “As an owner and operator of hotels, he understands what industry professionals are looking for from the Show. He has served on the IHMRS Board of Directors for the past two years. Outside the office, Hoffman volunteers his time to several industry organizations, serving as past Chairman of the Board of the New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association (NYSH&TA), as well as the IHG Owner’s Association.
The visionary Robinson teamed with M. Tuckers' Marc Fuchs and Fred Klashman of Total Food Service to bring the 4th annual New York Marketplace experience to the IHMRS show floor. “The New York Marketplace serves as a central hub for all things foodservice at the IHMRS,” said Lynn White. “It’s where every foodservice professional dedicates much of their time during the show, considering the diversity of products, food & beverage and activities happening within this space. Once again a highlight of the New York Marketplace was Total Food Service teaming with Barnes and Noble to bring an all-star cast of industry authors to the Show floor of the Javits. The 2012 event featured signings by Nick Lander (“The Art of the Restaurateur”), Sirio Maccioni (“A Table at Le Cirque: Stories and Recipes from New York's Most Legendary Restaurant”), Arno Schmidt (“Peeking Behind the Wallpaper”), Chef Francisco Migoya (“The Elements of Dessert”), Maricel Presilla (“Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America”), and Roberto Santibanez (“Tacos, Tortas and Tamales”).
In addition, The New York Marketplace offered complimentary foodservice seminars, addressing such topics as action stations transforming healthcare foodservice, creating a food truck strategy, becoming a successful hotel restaurant, getting better results from PR, navigating the restaurant design process. The Marketplace seminar on food trucks was truly a signature event. Mobile Food News chief Gary Koppelman, brought an all-star cast including Matt Geller (LA Food Truck Assoc.) and James VanOsdol of PartsTown who outlined how your “Bricks and Mortar” foodservice operation can get your share of the growing mobile dining marketplace. From design and build through the licensing process the session gave guests a plan of attack. Among the other seminar highlights were a focus on Brooklyn with City Tech professor Doug Duchamp. He spoke about dining trends in the Borough that many are calling the “Left Bank” of New York City. Two of Metro New York's legendary publicists helped show goers make sense of how to garner publicity for their restaurants.
Steve Haweeli and Linda Kavanaugh enabled restaurateurs to get a true sense of how to get the editor to wade through the hundreds of emails they receive daily to read your pitch. The takeaway included a very basic approach to the subject line of the email that a chef/restaurateur sends. A pair of the industry's bright young stars delved into: Why Are NYC’s Hottest Restaurants in Hotels? The Dream Downtown's Hunter Janoff and Morgan Tucker of M. Tucker outlined the new world of “hip” hotel dining. Noted consultant Steve Kamali and JC Sales' Marc Celli anchored a seminar that took attendees behind the scenes from sketch to completion of some of Metro NYC’s hottest restaurant design trends. Trends in Catering took center stage with Carl Hedlin of Great Performances and Abigail Kirsch's Mike Warren. The audience buzzed when they both spoke of the impact of the food truck craze on high end catering events.
In creating this year's seminar program TFS wanted a non-partisan analysis of creating “Jobs” so the New York Marketplace brought a duo of experts to the show floor. The Elliot Group's Brian Swartz and Rick Smilow of the Institute of Culinary Education outlined trend and opportunities in the food service industry. Swartz spoke about the importance of reaching out to the millennial target.
Gotham City's Erik Weiss, Arianna Staiano and Jennie Tannura unveiled new tabletop items from Cardinal
The 'Marketplace also brought Cardinal Glass chief Bryan O'Rourke, respected rep Michael Posternak of PBAC and Channel Manufacturing chief Jordan Klein. The session dealt with a changing marketplace that includes increased freight costs that have re-energized the opportunity to once again manufacture high quality priced competitive goods in the US. Klein outlined a visionary plan for creating hybrid plants in which foreign made parts are assembled in US factories. The show also served as the backdrop for a number of social events that remind us why the Internet will never replace the Face-time and networking opportunities that will always be a key to success in the food service and hospitality industry.
For many alums, the show offered the chance for graduates from Cornell University, The Culinary Institute of America and Michigan State University to re-live the glory days on campus. Cornell's School of Hospitality gathered at the Westin/Times Square. The event honored Antoinette F. Knorr MPS '77, as the 2012 winner of the Cornell MMH Outstanding Alumna of the Year Award. Knorr is general manager of The St. Regis San Francisco, a seasoned hotelier with ties to the Bay Area since 1992.
She has been with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., since 2005. Noted New York City chef Waldy Malouf hosted and toasted CIA grads at his midtown Beacon eatery. Malouf and friends toasted the CIA and its faculty that earned seven first prize awards and two Best of Show honors at the 144th Salon of Culinary Art at the show. The CIA earned Best of Show awards for Best Sugar Display by Joseph Utera and Best Bread Display by Hans Welker. It was the second consecutive year that both chefs earned Best of Show awards at the event at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. There's great days ahead for the show. With the completion of the upgrade of the Javits Center and a new subway stop on the horizon, long time President and CEO of the Hotel Association of New York City, Joe Spinnato noted, “Don't forget to pencil in the dates for the 2013 event: November 9th through November 12th.”