Industry Gets Spring Fever with IRFSNY’s Annual Event at Javits on March 3-5

IRFSNY 2024
IRFSNY 2024
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A great restaurant tradeshow in the spring is like a shot of adrenaline for restaurant owners and industry professionals. It injects them with a surge of enthusiasm and fresh ideas as restaurants and clubs gear up for the busy summer dining season.

It’s a time when the industry’s brightest minds come together to showcase the latest trends, innovative technologies, and mouth-watering culinary creations.

From interactive demos and workshops to networking opportunities, a dynamic show ignites a fiery passion within knowledge, inspiration, and excitement boundaries and elevate their establishments to new heights.

The industry has always eagerly anticipated the upcoming International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York for both its timing and a track record of delivering a comprehensive menu of “what’s new.”

  • Atosa USA
  • McKee Foods
  • Inline Plastics
  • Day & Nite
  • RAK Porcelain
  • Imperial Dade
  • T&S Brass Eversteel Pre-Rinse Units
  • RATIONAL USA
  • AyrKing Mixstir
  • DAVO by Avalara
  • Red Gold Sacramento
  • Cuisine Solutions
  • Simplot Frozen Avocado
  • BelGioioso Burrata
  • Easy Ice

This year’s edition is set to take place at the Javits Center in NYC on March 3rd-5th. Total Food Service sought out the show’s new CEO Glenn Celentano to share his insights about the show’s trajectory and exciting new features.

Glenn Celentano
Glenn Celentano

The visionary trade show executive is part of the show new ownership group: Restaurant Events. The trade show, which has been a New York City staple for 32 years.

“We look forward to breathing some new life into it – the core of what the show is remains, and it’s as always a great place to go and interact with vendors,” Celentano said.

Restaurant Events’ goal is to revolutionize the long-running event by transforming it into a more immersive experience, with a heavy focus on exhibitor displays and educational programming.

“We’re really listening to the industry,” he shared. “Until you get ideas and feedback from people, you’ll never be successful, and we’re asking them what keeps them up at night and where they need help.”

In addition to the show’s highly anticipated additions, the show’s central mission remains the same: to help attendees discover what’s new in the industry.

“It’s really about paying attention,” Celentano explained. “The show used to be about the new companies, but now it’s more about what new products existing companies have for restaurant and foodservice professionals.”

Part of the experience, he urged, is about letting attendees experience these new products that they may not be familiar with: “Don’t just show attendees brochures – anyone can print or download a pamphlet online. If you’re bringing something new, let people touch it, taste it, smell it, or use it.”

Maintaining a physical presence at the trade show is an integral part of the experience as an exhibitor.

While many marketing arms exist for vendors to promote new innovations or technologies that restaurateurs can adapt into their operations, “there’s no better opportunity to get in front of people than a business-to-business trade show, because you can’t look at a picture and taste the food,” Celentano advised.

Face-to-face connection, as well as presenting physical products, helps restaurant owners develop an intimate understanding of how new items work: “You won’t know how heavy an oven door feels from reading a spec sheet,” the exec added.

The same logic applies to suppliers: being able to talk through a product’s specifications, answer attendee questions, and demonstrate its uses is vital to education, and is something that more traditional marketing techniques, like social media or paper advertising, can never offer.

The value of exhibiting, for prospective suppliers, is massive.

Another integral part of the trade show experience is education, as Celentano outlined: “The one thing that I want my attendees to walk away with is a single word: answers.”

As per usual, the show will feature a packed schedule of programming covering a wide variety of industry concerns and innovations.

“The key to the education aspect of the show,” Celentano noted, “is that we want everyone to learn something they can do when they get back to their operation tomorrow – it has to be immediately actionable, easy and painless.”

IRFSNY 2024
IRFSNY 2024

One highlight of the show’s programming is the result of a new partnership with the New York City Hospitality Alliance. The Andrew Rigie led group is slated to host its annual State of the Industry Conference during the show at the Javits.

With a dedicated theater on the venue floor, the conference will feature panel discussions covering hot-topic issues, like staff retention and outdoor dining, that are major concerns for operators in the five boroughs.

Many of these key topics, Celentano explained, came from the show’s Conference Advisory Board, where its members have changed the strategy behind educational programming this year: “We want to understand where the operational challenges are – a colossal error of doing service events has been trying to guess and anticipate what people want to learn about instead of simply asking them physically.”

The programming also highlights areas in which Celentano envisions improvement, like restaurants’ use of social media: “You can’t avoid it, even though there’s lots of resistance, especially with the old-school operators,” the exec noticed.

“These guys need to learn and understand that it’s not going anywhere.” Social media, especially since the launching of key platforms like Yelp and Instagram, has become a vital vehicle restaurateurs use to promote business and source reviews.

With increasing digitalization amongst younger generations, social media is a massive driver of sourcing new business, and potential long-term customers, for restaurants of all kinds.

While the International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York has been a staple of tri-state area industry programming for many decades, it’s clear that Celentano’s direction is helping push the show into new frontiers.

With a renewed focus on education reinforced by pertinent programming and face-to-face interaction, the show establishes itself as a truly immersive experience.

For more information regarding the show, its programming, and registration, visit International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York website, or download the mobile app for access to venue maps, schedules, and event updates.

  • BelGioioso Burrata
  • DAVO by Avalara
  • Inline Plastics
  • Cuisine Solutions
  • Easy Ice
  • AyrKing Mixstir
  • Simplot Frozen Avocado
  • T&S Brass Eversteel Pre-Rinse Units
  • Red Gold Sacramento
  • Day & Nite
  • RAK Porcelain
  • Atosa USA
  • RATIONAL USA
  • Imperial Dade
  • McKee Foods

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