October 6, 2015 – Exposition Development Company, Inc. (ExpoDevCo) concluded the launch of the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Expo September 22nd, an annual trade show serving the Restaurant, Foodservice, Lodging and Hospitality industry in North Carolina. The show saw significant satisfaction from both attendees and exhibitors regarding the inaugural event.
“By all accounts, the 2015 North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Expo was a huge success and provided an unprecedented opportunity to convene the state’s foodservice and lodging community together for the two-day event. The Expo helped showcase new and emerging trends, introduce new products and services, and provided opportunities for attendees to learn tips of the trade from some of the most respected restaurateurs and hoteliers in the business.” said Lynn Minges, president and CEO, North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association. “Owners, operators, executive chefs, managers, food and beverage directors, and others collaborated and honed skills that will help continue growing North Carolina’s thriving hospitality industry.”
“We are very pleased with the results and the opportunities to grow moving forward. The supportive feedback from exhibitors and attendees alike is truly rewarding and we are looking forward to providing an even bigger and better 2016 event for the industry.” added Stephanie Everett, Partner & COO, Exposition Development Company, Inc., producer of the event.
The 2015 North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Expo was supported by the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association and the American Culinary Federation North Carolina Chapter.
Twenty-four, one-hour sessions were available to all attendees at no additional cost. Topics included: EMV Deadline Implications; Catering Best Practices; Cultivating a Relationship with Local Farms; Health Care Reform; Managing Millennials; Marketing/Social Media Best Practices; and Recruitment/Retention Best Practices.
Two Dynamic Keynotes
Two keynote panels of leading industry professionals were featured at the 2015 event, and both were moderated by Jimmy Crippen, Founder and Host of Got to Be NC Competition Dining.
The Monday keynote featured some of the best figures in Southern Cuisine having a lively discussion on the state of what’s cooking from the brilliant simplicity of locally sourced products to emerging trends and techniques. The panelists were: Beth LittleJohn, Executive Chef, The Players’ Retreat; Jim Noble, Founder, Noble Food & Pursuits; Scott Wallen, Executive Chef, Upstream/Harper’s Restaurant Group; Steven D. Greene, Executive Chef/Culinary Director, The Umstead Hotel and Spa; and Walter Royal, Executive Chef, The Angus Barn.
The Tuesday keynote featured a group of well-established and highly regarded industry luminaries who shared their wisdom and lessons learned along the way to becoming highly successful restaurant operators. The panelists were: Frank Scibelli, Founder, FS Food Group; Gaurav “G” Patel, President, Eschelon Experiences; Kenney Moore, President & Founder, Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries; Phil Friedman, CEO, Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina; and William “M” Marty Kotis III, Owner, Kotis Holdings.
Beach House Bar & Grill, Gina Pittman, Events and Marketing
“Professionally done, extremely informative!”
Bengel Hospitality, Buddy Bengel, Managing Partner
“The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Expo was extremely beneficial because it gave me a chance to learn from some of the most successful restaurant owners in North Carolina. The tips and information that I was able to gather in two days was invaluable to the continued success of my restaurants. I would highly encourage all restaurant owners to attend next year.”
Camp Lake James, Connie Pfleiderer, Café Manager
“I enjoyed the seminars, new products and culinary enthusiasm of all the professionals I met. I was able to find everything I needed in one place. I look forward to attending next year!”
Mimosa Grill, Tripp Cagle, Proprietor
“The whole Expo was great! The variety of seminars and discussion panels were extremely beneficial. Whatever direction you are looking to grow your business, you can bounce ideas directly off speakers and colleagues! The floor was even better. I was able to see things right here in North Carolina that I would have never known about, and I could talk to them face to face! Chefs, restaurateurs, hotels, etc. – no matter what field someone is in, there is something for everyone. Looking forward to 2016!”
Rock Back Pizza, Mark Farmer, Owner
“I found great value at the 2015 North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Expo. As a restaurant owner, I learned valuable information from the breakout sessions and met some great contacts. I will be sure to attend the Expo again next year.”
Blue Ridge Distilling Co., Mark Boley, Sales Manager
“The 2015 North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Expo was a really good show. Our team had a great time. We look forward to exhibiting again next year.”
Divinity Beer Systems, Daniel Hardin, President
“The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Expo has allowed our company to connect with valued clients in an environment that fosters quality and customer-focused values.”
Halifax Linen Service, Inc., Tabitha Grimes, Sales Coordinator
“The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Expo was a wonderful event for Halifax Linen. Not only did we get to see many of our current clients we were also able to meet loads of potential clients. It was a well-run, thoughtfully planned event and we look forward to doing it again next year.”
NC Department of Agriculture, Tim Parrish, Food Service Marketing Specialist
“As a state agency that represents all aspects of North Carolina agriculture, agri-business and our state’s growing food industry, the 2015 North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Expo provided a unique opportunity to focus our marketing message to the restaurant and lodging sectors very effectively. The quality of traffic during the 2 day event proved to be made up of key decision makers which allowed for productive dialogue for both parties. We anticipate that our programs will be represented at this show in the future.”
Reinhart Foodservice, LLC, Matthew B. Pardue, Regional Sales Manager-NC
“As an exhibitor at this year’s 2015 North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Expo we were given the opportunity to come in contact with a number of operators from different avenues of our business, everything from single unit operators to hotels to schools to multi-units. We walked away with new relationships and great leads to begin work on! We will definitely be participating next year and years to come!”
The 2016 North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Expo will be held August 29 – 30 at the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. For additional information, visit www.NCRL-Expo.com.