It’s a challenge to sum up an event so comprehensive and complex as the National Restaurant Association Show, but here are five lasting impressions from the show’s Centennial:
Success depends on agility and adaptability
That was the message from Sunday’s Signature session, which put a spotlight on the future of dining. National Restaurant Association President and CEO Dawn Sweeney moderated the panel discussion, which gathered leaders from the grocery, convenience store and restaurant worlds.
“We all compete here for share of stomach,” said John Cywinski, president of Applebee’s Grill & Bar, acknowledging supermarket Hy-Vee, c-store operator Wawa and Cooper’s Hawk, the other companies represented on the panel. “We don’t take that lightly,” he added. Cywinski also noted the growing need for restaurant operators to offer delivery service but added that the current economic model for delivery is unsustainable.
Sweeney also announced over the weekend that this will be her final Show as President and CEO; she’s retiring at the end of 2019 after 12 years in that role.