Exhibitors and Attendees both pleased with the growth and development.
Atlanta, Georgia, October 17, 2014 – Atlanta Foodservice Expo concluded its second edition earlier this week with both exhibitors and attendees satisfied at the continued growth and development of the event. The 2014 event welcomed 158 exhibiting companies (21% increase from 2013) and more than 1,700 attendees (15% increase from 2013).
Atlanta Foodservice Expo 2014 was supported by the Georgia Restaurant Association, Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association, Alabama Restaurant & Hospitality Alliance, and the ACF Atlanta Chefs Association.
Restaurant INFORMER was the official Media Partner working to continue the goal of helping the event gain awareness and increase attendance.
Additional Industry Supporters
The 2014 event was also supported by several industry associations, groups, and publications to assist show management in spreading the word about the 2014 Atlanta Foodservice Expo. These include: Atlanta Community Food Bank; Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau; Atlanta Street Food Coalition; Catering Magazine; Food News Media; Foodservice Daily News; FSR Magazine; Georgia Women in Lodging Association; Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Atlanta; National Association for Catering and Events; QSR Magazine; Sunbelt Foodservice Industry News; Today’s Restaurant News; and The Giving Kitchen.
19 sessions were available to all attendees at no additional cost. Topics included: Recruitment and Retention Best Practices; Menu Engineering; Website Development Best Practices; Online Marketing; Social Media; Catering Trends; Allergy Awareness; and Gluten Free Menus.
Two Dynamic Keynotes
The Monday keynote featured Celebrity Chef & Entrepreneur Robert Irvine who was presented by Comcast Business. Irvine gave an inspiring presentation on the importance of utilizing the latest technology to stay successful in the restaurant business.
The Tuesday keynote featured a panel of local leading restaurant owners discussing current challenges, trends, and solutions which was moderated by Steak Shapiro, Host of Atlanta Eats. The panelists were: Todd Ginsberg, Chef & Co-Owner, The General Muir; Robby Kukler, Co Founder & Partner, Fifth Group Restaurants; Todd Rushing, Partner, Concentrics Restaurants; and Cindy Shera, Owner, The Pig & Pearl and The Shed at Glenwood.
Demonstrations and Competitions
The American Culinary Federation Atlanta Chefs Association supported show management with the organization, planning and executing of the show floor culinary demonstrations and competitions throughout the event. The competitions featured 27 competitors over the two days vying for a total of $4,500 in cash awards while the 12 demonstrations gave attendees the ability to view techniques that included vegetarian, Moroccan flavors, Hawaiian flavors, spices from around the world, sous vide eggs, and verrines as well as a dueling chefs feature at noon on Tuesday. Sponsors included: Wayne Farms CHEF’S CRAFTTM Gourmet Chicken Sausage; USPOULTRY; and Gas South.
Happy Hour Receptions
A new addition this year was the daily happy hour reception on the show floor to wind down the show day with great networking, entertainment and cocktails. Sponsors included: Coca-Cola; Deep Eddy Vodka, Monday Night Brewing; Red Hare Brewing Company; Restaurant INFORMER; and TOPO Organic Spirits.
Affairs to Remember Caterers, Patrick Cuccaro, Managing Director:
“I sent over a dozen of my core people to the Expo this year. Next year, I’ll send even more. The programming was solid, and my managers who make purchasing decisions were pleased with the range and quality of the exhibitors. Congratulations.”
Atherton Place, Yuki Legako, Food Service Manager:
"This was my first time attending and I was very impressed with the seminar offerings! I attended one on customer service and a gluten free seminar. Great courses!”
Fifth Group Restaurants, Stuart Fierman, Director of Operations:
“The 2014 Atlanta Foodservice Expo had a great turnout. I was delighted to see the dramatically increased attendance at the seminars I attended as well as the one I led. My only regret is that I didn’t have more time this year to spend at the event, but looking forward to 2015!”
The Flying Biscuit Café, Brent Fuller, Brand Leader/Vice President of Operations:
“It was great to see all the latest and greatest products, technologies, and services to stay competitive as well as the educational classes provided to help grow and improve our business…a well invested 2 days, we will be back next year!”
ACityDiscount, Sean McGill, Marketing Coordinator:
“The Atlanta Foodservice Expo is a fantastic resource in the Southeast for aspiring restaurateurs to learn about operating a business, as well as a great resource for existing business owners to learn a little more about the local foodservice community."
Contract Design Concepts (CDCI), Phil Alenne, President:
“The 2014 Atlanta Foodservice Expo was a very good show for CDCI. Good attendance with qualified buyers.”
Ecolab, Adam R. Paine, District Manager Atlanta South:
“Congratulations on putting together a top quality show. With this only being the second year since it's rebirth I truly see the Atlanta Foodservice Expo becoming the key event for Georgia and the surrounding region.”
The Grease Coffin, James T. Trotter, Partner:
“The show was our first real exposure to the local marketplace and it provided great interactions for our company in a well-designed and managed event space. Well worth our investment!”
Sunbelt Foods Company, Mark R. Rubin, President:
“I found the 2014 Atlanta Foodservice Expo to be a wonderful venue to show new and innovative food products to our current clients as well as meet and sample products to many potential clients. My team met with some of Atlanta’s finest chefs and restaurant operators as well as executives from some of the nation’s largest foodservice chains. The entire Sunbelt Foods Company team looks forward to participating at the 2015 Atlanta Foodservice Expo!”
TOPO Organic Spirits, Scott Maitland, Proprietor:
“The Atlanta Food Service Expo was the perfect balance of volume and intimacy. I was able to meet a lot of high potential customers, but more importantly, I could talk with them and develop a relationship.”
Wayne Farms, Alan Sterling, Director of Marketing:
"We were pleased to participate in this year's Atlanta Foodservice Expo and to debut CHEF'S CRAFT™ gourmet chicken sausage. The show was well attended and allowed us a great opportunity to speak with customers and demonstrate our products. We especially enjoyed the culinary demonstrations and competitions showcasing the masterful culinary skills of professional Chefs from the area. We look forward to another great show next year."
The 2015 Atlanta Foodservice Expo will be held October 19 - 20 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. For additional information please visit www.AtlantaFoodserviceExpo.com.
Atlanta Foodservice Expo
Stephanie Everett, EVP & COO, 770-432-4200 x105, Stephanie.Everett@ExpoDevCo.com
Brianna Morris, Marketing Manager, 770-432-4200 x110, Brianna.Morris@ExpoDevCo.com