NRA Show 2016 Recap

by Deputy Team, 3 minutes read
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Over 80,000 food service industry professionals headed to Chicago last week to discuss and demo the latest innovations in the industry at NRA Show 2016, the largest annual gathering of the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry in the world.

When attendees weren’t getting in 10K+ steps through McCormick Place’s 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space or eating all the amazing food at the booths, they were focused on emerging trends. Technology, workforce engagement and optimizing operations were three main themes of focus throughout the show, and no where better were all three represented than in booth #9158, where Team Deputy explained how our platform can do not 1, not 2, but all 3 of these things for the food and beverage industry.

1: Technology

Technology continues to disrupt across all industries, but some of the restaurant industry’s recent innovations seem like they are straight off an episode of the Jetsons. From robots to smart restaurants, the Internet of Things was alive and well at NRA. This year, the show partnered with Microsoft to educate attendees on how to make technology work for your operation from mobile apps, like Deputy, and kitchen robots, like Casabots, to front of house management tools, like kiosk ordering and loyalty apps. These technological advancements can streamline processes that save money and, sometimes more importantly, time, without sacrificing quality.


2: Workforce Engagement

It’s no surprise that many within this industry struggle with hiring and retaining hourly employees. Ever-increasing employee turnover coupled with the actual time and budget spent on recruiting, hiring, onboarding and training is expensive business. Luckily, the industry is ready to change this narrative and disrupt the process through unique and innovative methods such as referral-based programs, cause-related marketing, creative training programs and the integrated technology solutions that can implement these across a multigenerational workforce. Let’s face it, technology is now embedded in everything we do, and that’s not a bad thing. Workforce engagement solutions like Deputy’s tasking and performance features have been proven to reduce onboarding and training time as well as enhance company culture by building a trusting relationship between the manager and employees all via their smartphone.


3: Optimizing Operations

There’s always room for improvement, right? At this year’s show, there were lots of discussions about how to continue to become more efficient and cost-effective industry-wide. Yes, the combination of the two aforementioned themes is a way of optimizing operations, but the question was posed as to how the industry can take it one step further. Although no one has the answer just yet, it’s always important to continue to challenge yourself as an industry. This is the same mentality that we have at Deputy, and optimizing operations is the very principle this business was founded on. Optimizing our customers’ operations is something that we will continue to do through listening to our valued customers, continuing to update our leading technology and ensuring that we stay updated on the emerging trends and issues in the industries we serve by attended leading conferences and tradeshows such as NRA.


If you missed us at NRA Show 2016, no worries! Try Deputy for free today at or call us at 1-855-6-DEPUTY (855-633-7889).