Tuesday, July 29, 2014

#LRAEXPO14: Your Weekend Planner

Celebrating its 61st year, the Louisiana Restaurant Association’s Foodservice & Hospitality EXPO, is August 2-4, 2014 at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center in Hall I. The EXPO is a one-stop shop for all your restaurant needs—whether they are products, services or education and is a must for restaurant owners, managers, buyers, hotel food and beverage directors and chefs. It’s the only place in Louisiana to gain valuable industry knowledge and shop hundreds of companies under one roof.

Join 2014 National Restaurant Association Chair Ken Conrad, owner of Libby Hill Restaurants in North Carolina, as he addresses the crowd and cuts the ribbon during the Opening Ceremony, Saturday, August 1 at 10:45 a.m. in the Hall I foyer.
2014 NRA Chair
Ken Conrad

“I’ve visited New Orleans five times or so and I am looking forward to my trip for the EXPO,” Conrad said. “I own seafood restaurants and coming to a great seafood city like New Orleans is a wonderful treat for me and my family.”

As the EXPO opens (at 11 a.m.), crowds pour onto the show floor just in time for the Great American Seafood Cook-Off (GASCO) opening celebration. Attendees will hear the sirens, which signals the start of a mini-parade complete with a marching band, Mardi Gras Indians and mini-floats, which traverses one end of the show ending at the GASCO stages in Hall J. Nineteen chefs, including New Orleans’ own Aaron Burgau of Patois Restaurant, will compete for the title of King or Queen of American Seafood. GASCO is produced by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board and sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“Having GASCO as part of the LRA’s EXPO demonstrates our industry’s commitment to promoting not only Gulf seafood, but all domestic seafood as a center of the plate staple in Louisiana and beyond,” said Stan Harris, LRA President/CEO.

Be sure to make some time to expand your knowledge of leading restaurant industry trends, issues and best practices in the third annual IDEA ZONE. On Saturday, express sessions cover topics such as: grow your restaurant brand/concept; top tax benefits that exist for restaurant owners; promoting profits and preventing loss behind the bar; and what can I really charge my employees; and more.  On Sunday, you’ll have the chance to learn about: updates on the Affordable Care Act; how to price a menu for off-site catering; food allergies: myths busted; and more. Monday’s IDEA ZONE features the LRA Self Insurer’s Fund annual safety seminar and beef flavor fundamentals.

During the EXPO, the 2nd Annual Farm to Table International Symposium takes place and LRA members receive discounted admission to attend numerous sessions examining “The Process.”  The symposium, produced in partnership with the SoFAB Institute and the LSU AgCenter, brings together the leading practitioners in the growing farm-to-table movement to explore the cultivation, distribution and consumption of food and drink sourced locally while presenting the opportunity to connect consumers, chefs and producers.

To maximize your EXPO experience, be sure to take a few minutes to map out your journey by creating your Personalized Show Guide. This feature allows you advance review of all the exhibiting companies, some longtime favorites and more than 50 new companies, you’ve never seen at the show before.

We can’t wait to see you in New Orleans this weekend! If you haven’t registered, click here.

Thank you to this year’s Platinum Sponsors!
Heartland Payment Systems, Louisiana Cookin’, Capital One, Republic National Distributing Company, UnitedHealthcare, Glazer’s of Louisiana, Louisiana Restaurant Association Self Insurer’s Fund and the LRA Education Foundation.

Gold Sponsors—Midlands, Generations Hall & Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses; and Silver Sponsors—Fisher & Phillips, LLP; Johnson, Johnson, Barrios & Yacoubian and Hailey, McNamara, Hall, Larmann & Papale, LLP.

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