With the annual HX show slated for early November at the Javits Center, Total Food Service wanted an update on the restaurant and foodservice segment of the show. Potential exhibitors are looking to assess the value of the “November” show and the restaurant professional seeks a reason to attend.
Total Food Service sought out the show’s new manager Kevin Gaffney to give our readers a preview of what they can expect at the annual event. Gaffney brings over 23 years of trade show management to HX, most recently with the Emerald Exposition healthcare brands. Since 2008, Gaffney has served as group show director for the Medtrade, Medtrade Spring, Environments for Aging, Healthcare Design and Construction SuperConference trade shows. Prior roles also include serving as the associate director for the Research Chefs Association, and as the sales and marketing director for the Exhibit Designers and Producers Association. In addition, Gaffney also managed sales, marketing and trade show operations for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International Gas Turbine Institute.
This show has a long and storied history in Metro NYC. What has made it successful through the years?
Attendees appreciate the show’s ability to offer the latest in innovative products and services, in addition to timely education for the hospitality industry. It’s truly one-stop shopping for any needs that hotel owners/operators might require—whether it’s linens for the guest room, ice machines for each floor of the property, or dishwashers for the hotel kitchen. The show has introduced experiential applications for foodservice design via the Foodservice Pioneering Concept, and attendees/exhibitors have responded well to that.
What is the vision for the show?
Food and beverage is an integral part of guests’ hotel experiences and a great rev par generator for hotel owners and operators. HX’s focus is on the hotel industry as a comprehensive whole. On the F&B side, that naturally includes an emphasis on all things food and beverage: hotel restaurants; banquets and catering; hotel bars; lobby bars; room service; catering; retail foodservice within hotels; and additional F&B experiences such as breakfast and happy hours at limited service hotels.
The agreement HX recently signed with AAHOA is also a big part of our plans going forward. AAHOA is the largest hotel owners association in the world. The 18,500-plus AAHOA Members own almost one in every two hotels in the United States. Data shows that nearly 10,000 hotels in the U.S. feature a restaurant or bar, and travelers are eager to develop hotel experiences that include limited or full-serve dining. The HX/AAHOA partnership will help us further understand the needs of hotel owners and developers, while helping us evolve and meet the changing needs of attendees.
The co-located Boutique Design New York (BDNY) has grown like crazy. What is the profile of that exhibitor?
The typical exhibitor on the boutique side is made up of manufacturers and marketers of innovative design elements for hotels, resorts, cruise ships, restaurants, spas, casinos, night clubs, and other related projects. Among the design resources, especially more for hotel F&B spaces are suppliers of seating, lighting, flooring, and materials.
Who is the target attendee for BDNY?
Targeted attendees on the boutique side include interior designers, architects, purchasing agents, and hospitality owners/developers primarily based in the eastern United States. Secondary regions include Europe and Canada.
Is it possible that many of these folks either help to design or design areas in hotels that feature restaurants/dining or cocktail lounges?
If you are talking about Foodservice Consultants Society International (fcsi.org) designers, many of them work with hotel architects or individual owners/operators to embrace the experience they are trying to build with their operations. Food is connection and community, and the hospitality designer and FCSI consultant work hand in hand so that front-of-house and back-of-house operations enhance the guest experience.
How could the show rebuild its approach to foodservice equipment and supplies to reflect that movement?
HX offers premier access to F&B and equipment vendors looking to connect with hotel owners, operators, and departmental team leaders—including chefs and F&B directors. Hotel F&B is a market segment within foodservice that continues to see significant growth and introduction of new applications such as the lobby bar. An interactive approach with engagement of technology, robotics, and latest innovative products can engage a personalized experience with products and services that manufacturers and vendors can offer attendees.
The show has featured a rather exciting build out of a pioneering foodservice concept over the past few years. What can attendees expect to see this November?
Each year, professional foodservice design consultants and conceptualists are invited to dream up a foodservice design/concept that’s especially suited to a nontraditional, high-traffic space not specifically outfitted to foodservice. They’re challenged to use today’s most innovative equipment and technologies to produce exceptional menus and service experiences in a hotel lobby.
This year, HX has decided on a bigger, even more spectacular interactive concept. One extraordinary design concept is being featured at this year’s show. Through the collaboration between HX, FCSI, and vendor partners, this concept will come to life, built as life-sized working models right on the show floor. It’s about more possibilities and revenue opportunities for hotel owners, general managers, and foodservice operators.
This year’s featured pioneering foodservice concept is Duality. Duality was developed and designed by FoodSpace, which focuses on helping companies provide the best food and beverage amenity and concept programs for their customers. They identify concepts and suggest tactical food and beverage strategies geared toward maximizing workforce productivity and workplace satisfaction.
Visit www.scgfoodspace.com for more information about this designer. Duality is a modular, portable, shippable foodservice concept that is made up of a doughnut shape cut into four quarters with a Yin-Yang shape in the center. This six-piece set can be configured and re-configured to accommodate multiple food concepts.
Everything from a Poki restaurant to a soup and sandwich Bar can be displayed and sold from this concept. Each section can be configured to be self or full service, customer accessible from one or both sides, and can also interact with the other sections to create additional shapes and configurations. Duality gives the blend of hot and cold food products, as well as self and full service modules. Interchangeable accessories allow for the flexibility to reconfigure a food concept quickly and cost effectively.
Throughout the two days of HX, the Pioneering Foodservice Concept (Duality) will focus on concept overviews, equipment and operations demonstrations throughout each day, with food and beverage samplings to help drive attendee traffic to the space. In addition, this year FoodSpace will have a technology portion of their interactive approach to personalize the experience. Set ups will show the possibilities of different featured equipment and other retail venues and menus that can be built into that footprint.
What’s the next step for an exhibitor or attendee who wants more info on HX?
Those interested in exhibiting should contact Bethanne Doud, Business Development Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (513) 964-1780. Those interested in attending should visit thehotelexperience.com for details.
Our foodservice vendors have a number of exhibiting choices including the Pizza Expo owned by Emerald Expositions. Why choose HX to exhibit their latest?
The hotel industry continues its remarkable expansion, and it creates multiple product placement opportunities for vendors—whether banquet and catering requirements for full service hotels or evolving hotel lobby bars and the unique F&B needs that they require. Foodservice vendors exhibit at HX because they wish to center their tradeshow strategy around customers and their challenges. HX offers the opportunity to focus on specific equipment to solve challenges in restaurants, retail foodservice venues, chains, boutique hotels, and other lodging options that need a ROI and a customer food experience connection. HX offers the complete experience for hotels and/or resorts.
For those who haven’t noticed, the Javits now finds itself in a very hot neighborhood: Hudson Yards. Any thoughts on combining a trip to the show and a walk through a very exciting new area?
Whether Hudson Yards, Brooklyn, or elsewhere, NYC is the perfect environment to explore the latest in hospitality design and trends shaping the guest experience. We encourage attendees to see all the products at Javits and then experience the city by visiting multiple neighborhoods of NYC.
HX has always featured a comprehensive education component. What is on tap for this year?
We’re excited about the education at HX this year. AAHOA hosts more than 200 events each year, and using its attendee feedback allows us to develop a comprehensive slate of educational offerings. Familiar speakers and panelists will share their considerable expertise during two days of educational sessions. Topics can be ruthlessly practical, such as HOTEL ROI – Maximizing F&B/Restaurant Profits, Cutting Costs, Assessing Pricing Strategies and Marketing Your Hotel Restaurant to Non Guests. Other sessions can tend toward the philosophical, such as Planting the Seed: How to Empower the Next Generation. The full slate of educational sessions will soon be on the website.