CRFA gearing up for big show in 2009
By CANADIAN RESTAURANT
Nov. 5, 2008, TORONTO – Planning for the 2009 Canadian Restaurant and Foodservice Assocation Show is in full swing with a growing line-up of celebrity chefs, guest speakers and close to 1,000 new and returning exhibit booths confirmed so far. Canada’s largest hospitality event, the CRFA Show takes place March 8-10 at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto.
“In this time of economic uncertainty the CRFA Show is more important than ever for foodservice and hospitality operators,” says CRFA vice president of expositions Steve Barber. “They need products and services that can increase traffic and average check, reduce operating costs, and help them compete with a growing array of ready-to-eat meals from the grocery aisle.”
The number of innovative new products that will be featured at the 2009 show is growing by the day. The diverse list of food and beverage items, equipment, smallwares, technology and services includes: a portable spit-roast oven, sealable hourglass shot glasses, Himalayan salt products, air curtains, self-washing floor systems, online reservation and marketing solutions, sun shades, new dessert, bread and oil products, organic solutions, green solutions, and packaging solutions.
The government of Japan will be promoting its indigenous foods, and the city of Guelph will be focusing on local products. Several exhibitors have expanded their participation, including the Beef Information Centre with product demos. In addition, Maple Leaf Foods is returning to the show.
Four top chefs have been contracted so far: Bob Blumer, star of Surreal Gourmet and Glutton For Punishment on the Food Network; Mark McEwan, the chef/owner of North 44, Bymark and One in Toronto; Alex Rolland of Globe Restaurant in Montreal; and Giovanna Alonzi of Terroni in Toronto. The stage sponsors for the 2009 CRFA Show are Garland, Kraft and Diageo.
Jim Laube, president and CEO of the popular website Restaurantowner.com, will headline the educational program with seminars on Food Cost Fitness and Profitable Financial Skills for Restaurateurs.
For the 2009 show, CRFA is launching two new attendance promotion initiatives targeting decision-makers from Canada’s top 100 chains and leading independents.
“CRFA’s annual trade shows serve a dual purpose,” says Barber. “First and foremost they are a showcase of ideas and solutions that brings suppliers and buyers together under one roof. Secondly, they help to fund CRFA’s government affairs and research efforts, which in turn create a better business environment for the entire foodservice industry by reducing red tape, lowering taxes and controlling costs.”
A recent survey by marketing firm Brand Culture found that 94 per cent of show attendees want an annual industry trade show. Hospitality, foodservice and restaurant operators can register for the show online at www.crfashow.ca.