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We scope out The Restaurant Show 2018

The Restaurant Show (TRS) was 70% catering equipment, supplies and software and just 30% food and beverages. The food and beverages were split into two categories: Bar & Pub and Food & Drink Market.

In the Bar & Pub section, we were expecting to find beverage wholesalers and distributors (e.g. spirits and beer) but there was only one – 10 Degrees C, a brand distributor. They did report that they were having a good show.

There were only two breweries exhibiting but, frankly, we expected more. We talked with one of them and overall they were pleased with interest and leads. There were a reasonable number of craft distilleries displaying their products.

A natural and organic wholesaler was also exhibiting there for the first time. They were hoping for restaurant interest in their organic and gluten free offerings but were disappointed with the volume and quality of foot traffic. They confessed that it was an experiment on their part and that TRS was likely not a good vehicle for them.

The Food & Drink Market section comprised roughly 60 exhibitors. There was a wide range of producers exhibiting, including ice cream, coffee, tea, pastries and pizza dough.

Really, not a bad show for those wanting to get into the restaurant game. However, two exhibitors reported that there was less foot traffic than the previous two years. There are a number of other excellent foodservice and hospitality shows in play – is TRS suffering from the competition?

Only time will tell.

If you'd like to canvas our opinion of TRS further, please contact Ted Horton here.

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