Exploring Innovations: 2024 National Restaurant Association

In May, Coyt Garrison and I attended the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago. This show was an eye-opening experience into the foodservice industry – gathering restaurateurs, chefs, and food enthusiasts to explore the latest trends, innovations, and culinary delights. From cutting-edge kitchen technology to sustainable practices and delicious food samples, the entire weekend celebrated the art of cooking.

During our time at the show, we experienced several notable highlights:

Advanced Technology

Advanced kitchen technology took center stage at the show. We saw everything from innovative ice machines to robots making coffee and fries. The concept of the robots gave us a slight pause, as we know that there is concern around the idea that a machine can replace human jobs. Conversations with industry experts revealed that these robots are not meant to replace human jobs but to optimize employees’ focus, enabling them to spend more time on customer service than manual tasks.


We saw many brands addressing the need for sustainable products in the commercial industry. Numerous booths featured induction ranges and rangetops, showcasing the benefits of the product like major energy efficiencies, cooler kitchen environments, and safer workspaces. There has been a growing trend, and in some states a requirement, to transition to no-gas kitchens in residential spaces. It is evident that this sustainable practice is making its way into the commercial sector as well.

Brand Partnerships

At Ramey, we have a passion for building genuine, valuable partnerships for ourselves and our clients. It was inspiring to see brands collaborating with industry experts to create engaging booth experiences. The Arcobaleno booth is a wonderful example, as they had a team of professional chefs creating some of the best pasta I have ever had. Their partners included The Pasta Man (Mateo Zielonka) , Peters Pasta (Ryan Peters), and Chef Sull (Ryan O’Sullivan). These types of partnerships not only enhance the brand’s reach through social channels but also attract attendees to the booth, creating memorable experiences.

Brand Experience

It is always great for companies when they are able to get their products in the hands of consumers, and the brands at NRA did just that. There were immersive experiences crafted by the brands at their booths – From barista-made coffee to chef-prepared meals and product durability demonstrations, each booth offered a unique and engaging experience that left people wanting more.

Overall, the NRA show was an incredible experience. We are grateful for the opportunity to connect with old and new friends and to learn more about the amazing industry.

Abby Killorin

Written by

Abby Killorin

Senior Account Manager

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Alex Diethelm

New Business Manager

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