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National Restaurant Association - What's new and cool from NRA Show 2017?

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What's new and cool from NRA Show 2017?

From drone-ready delivery to front-of-the-house facial recognition, NRA Show 2017 has the latest innovations in restaurant technology and trends. 

Interactive robots

Restaurant robots among us from National Restaurant Association on Vimeo.

You might have seen similar humanoid-style robots at airports or casinos, where they provide guest assistance. Soon, they could be coming to restaurant near you. Integrated Control Corp. offers a rolling model that greets people, shows video, takes orders and responds to customers. Trying to manage long lines of guests or anticipate orders? Facial recognition technology can help with that.

Drone-ready delivery technology

Looking for a new way to deliver food to guests at the temperature it left your kitchen? That might be possible with new technology from Cooktek, a Middlebury company. It uses induction to heat polymer-wrapped steel pellets to insulate delivery bags. The bags stay at 170 degrees F for 30-45 minutes and are controlled through Wi-Fi. The product is used internationally for delivery by mopeds, scooters and bicycles. The technology can be adapted for drone delivery when it’s approved by wider use in the United States and automated delivery robots. 

3-D printed pasta

Bacon jam

Who doesn’t love bacon? Operators looking to sell their burgers or even their turkey sandwiches were feasting their eyes on TBJ Gourmet’s bacon jam sandwich spread. It’s shelf stable so it doesn’t take up room in the cooler, has a lower food cost than traditional bacon slices and saves eight hours of cook time. TBJ is made with chopped natural bacon, brown sugar onions and apple cider vinegar. It also can be used as a high-end topping for ice cream and even in S’mores. 

Alka-Seltzer for your FOG

If only cleaning your grease traps were as easy as taking an Alka-Seltzer. A new NRA Show exhibitor claims it is. With a plop, plop, fizz, fizz into your grease trap, Econow’s oxygenated tabs release bacteria into the tank to break down fat, oil and grease. Unlike products that use emzymes that emulsify fat and grease, the bacteria completely breaks it down so it doesn’t go into your system, says Dan Cohen. The eco-friendly product saves disposal costs and reduces the for labor to empty the traps. “It has tremendous potential to help operators,” he says.

Next-gen shaved ice

We were intrigued by the Snowpop counter-top flavored snow machine. It dispenses strands of ice that remind us of Big League Chew shredded bubble gum, or ice that's as soft and fluffy as snow, depending on how you set the drum speed. Presidential Foodservice & Equipment, which debuted the product, says it requires only a water line, rather than large blocks of ice. West Coast restaurants use the products in selft-serve topping bars, desserts and cocktails.

Flying cotton candy machine


Sometimes the kid inside needs to come out and play! @nrashow #nrashow

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