The NYC Hospitality Alliance announced this month that they are partnering with HostMilano, an expansive show that’s a favorite destination of top players for offering a preview of innovations in technologies in food equipment and products. Alliance Executive Director Andrew Rigie breaks down the details for how this will benefit NYC restaurant and foodservice operators.
Why did you choose to partner with HostMilano?
NYC is an international city and the influence of Italy and Europe in our city’s restaurants is found throughout the five boroughs. HostMilano has an impressive history of showcasing incredible products sought after by NYC restaurants, so our partnership makes perfect sense. We’re excited to help strengthen existing relationships and build new ones between the NYC hospitality industry and our friends in the international market.
Can you tell us what is your project for Host2017?
The Alliance is coordinating a group of leading NYC restaurant industry professionals to attend the 2017 HostMilano show. At the show we’ll meet with vendors, learn about their products and services, and forge business relationships. I’m sure we’ll also enjoy a lot of amazing Italian cuisine and wine.
What sort of professionals will you bring to Host and what are they looking for?
The group consists of multi-unit restaurateurs who have been carefully selected based on their restaurant concepts and interest in exploring the international marketplace. They are looking for the highest quality products and want to better familiarize themselves with everything that’s offered at HostMilano.
What do you expect from your attendance?
I have no doubt we’ll have a wonderful experience, find amazing products and form strong, long lasting business relationships.
Can you provide us some data on the NYC restaurant industry?
In NYC there’s more than 24,000 eating and drinking establishments, employing approximately a quarter of a million people. We have one of the most diverse and vibrant restaurant industries in the world serving all types of cuisines, in all types of settings. We are a city of foodies and our industry helps attracts more than 50 million tourists from around the world every year.
What are popular trends in the NYC restaurant industry?
More and more full service restaurateurs are opening fast casual restaurants. The costs are lower and it’s easier to make a profit. Fast causal restaurants that serve great food, using high quality ingredients, in attractive settings, served by a professional staff are very popular among the dining public right now. Social media also continues to be a force to build and promote a restaurant’s brand. Creating dishes that are Instagram worthy is a sure fire way to bolster business and attract customers.
How do you see restaurants in 5 years’ time?
Unfortunately I think more mom and pop restaurants will close due to high rents, high labor costs, intense competition and other pressures. I think independent restaurant groups will continue to grow and bring us even more exciting new concepts, especially in the fast casual sector. Technology will continue to evolve the efficiency and operations of restaurants and help to customize the guest experience.