TRA Marketplace 2018: 5 Must-See Education Sessions
The 2018 TRA Marketplace is going to be a great time for those lucky enough to attend. From offering the scoop on the latest and greatest food trends, to showcasing cutting edge technology in the food world, TRA will have so much to offer to attendees this year – especially the education sessions. That’s why we’ve put together our top 5 that you can’t miss.
At the Head of the Table: Women in Foodservice Leadership
Gender dynamics are seriously shifting within the food industry. The #MeToo Movement has inspired women within the food industry at all levels to no longer tolerate inappropriate behavior and to speak up. As a result, prominent members of the culinary world have been exposed for lewd behavior over the years. The disproportionate number of women to men in prominent positions within the industry is being questioned and our ideas of leadership are changing. Lucky for TRA attendees, speakers Carin Stutz, Diana Barrio Trevino, and Tracy Vaught will be navigate attendees through this time of positive change.
Attending this speaking engagement will provide valuable insight from women who have gained recognition for their work in the foodservice industry. The session will highlight shifting gender dynamics, leveraging opportunities for women, strategies applicable to everyday work life, and ways women can advance in their field.
Though this session has sections specific to women, anyone can benefit from attending. The foodservice industry is ever changing, and ensuring all members – regardless of gender – feel valued and heard is a key aspect of continued growth and success. See these speakers from 12:00pm – 12:45pm on Sunday at the Big Bend Big Ideas Stage.
What Makes Me Stay – Restaurant Employees Speak Up
A business can’t exist without employees, point blank. From dishwasher to manager, ensuring that your staff are happy, heard, and are the right fit for your brand can make or break your business. The restaurant industry has one of the highest turnover rates, at 73% as of 2016. While some of this turnover is unavoidable, a good chunk of it can be. The first step in avoiding turnover is educating yourself as to why employees stay and leave. Sure, you could do a little bit of googling on the issue in your free time to try and find a solution. While research is beneficial, you could also go straight to the source: your employees.
You don’t have to take my word for it. KC Hensley, an industry expert on employee/employer dynamics, will being moderating a discussion panel featuring service industry employees. Philip Coggins, Nicole Palmer, and Amanda Rose will be speaking up and providing their perspective on their place within the industry, and where it could benefit everyone to make changes. Join the discussion from 11:00am – 12:00pm on Monday at the Big Bend Big Ideas Stage to learn how to build a better relationship with your employees.
Restaurant Data for Those Who Hate Data
“Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.” – H. James Harrington
We all want to feel like we’re working smarter, not harder. It can be difficult to see the bigger picture of our work sometimes to ensure this, especially in an industry as hectic as the foodservice industry. That’s where data comes in. Restaurants are a goldmine of data and produce information that can be used to directly improve your business its performance. From the average cook time in the back of the house, to the demographic of followers on your business’s Instagram, useful data is everywhere.
No restaurant is too big or small to benefit from tapping into the advancements that have enabled data to become one of the most useful tools to understanding a restaurant’s business and clientele. But for some, interpreting data can feel like an avalanche of seemingly confusing information. It doesn’t have to feel like this. Thankfully, with the growing use and collection of data, experts can make data easier to manage and understand.
QSR Automations’ very own Brian Wayne will help make those still a little nervous around data feel comfortable and in control. He’ll walk you through the basics of obtaining and understanding your restaurant’s data and will show you how to put it to work. Come check out his education session Monday afternoon from 3:30pm – 4pm at the Silicon Hills Tech Stage.
Make Those Pics Pop: A Food Photography Workshop
Food photography isn’t just for millennials . Having high-quality photos of your food and beverages can entice consumers and draw them to your business. It’s also a reflection of your brand. Not only are you capturing your menu items; you are conveying everything from your establishment’s ambience and culinary style in the photos associated with your business. Learning how to aesthetically photograph your menu can give your business a competitive edge, and allows consumers to see what makes you unique. These images don’t have to be limited to use on your menu or website – post them on social media!
Building an online presence for your business is essential for branding in today’s world, and social media is a great place to start. Engaging followers with giveaways and reposting their pictures of your food is a great way to build a memorable presence and customer relationships.
If you’re interested, but your photos look like they’re from the early flip phones, don’t sweat it! TRA guest speaker Jessica Giesey has you covered. Proper lighting, angles, framing, and so much more will be taught in her session, so don’t miss it. Visit the Panhandle Culinary Theatre on Monday from 10:00am – 11:30am to see Jessica speak.
Food + The Future: The Virtualization of Hospitality
As a child born on the promising cusp of a new millennium, I definitely thought we’d have hover boards by 2020. While humans haven’t quite made it to hover board level yet, we’ve still managed to come up with some impressive technological innovations. Two of these are augmented reality and virtual reality. For those new to the subject, you’re probably wondering what is AR and VR? Simply put, AR or augmented reality, adds a digital layer over your real time view of the world through your phone screen. Popular examples of this are snapchat lenses and Pokémon Go. VR, or virtual reality, is a fully immersed experience that removes you from your real time view point of the world and places you into another experience. This usually includes visual and audio gear, and hand controllers to fully immerse the user. These experiences can range from participating in a space mission or riding a roller coaster, to playing Minecraft.
So what does this any of this have to do with the food industry? Surprisingly, a lot. Powerhouse brands like Coca-Cola have used AR in advertising and production. Leading wine brand 19 Crimes has used augmented reality to bring the infamous criminals on their bottles to life through your phone screen. AR and VR’s use isn’t just limited to eye-catching advertising. It’s being used in kitchens and the production side of the food industry to streamline employee training.
From showing the proper portion size of a meal on a plate, to walking an employee through the process of a maintenance repair, AR and VR has a lot to offer the food industry. To hear more about these futuristic possibilities be sure to check out Jack Serfass’ and Rafael Frederick’s on Sunday from 12:15pm – 12:45pm at the Silicon Hills Tech Stage.
Want to utilize all that data that your restaurant is gathering? QSR’s very own Brian Wayne will point you in the right direction. Stop by his session for actionable takeaways & insights.
About the Author
Brooke is a marketing intern at QSR Automations. She currently attends the University of Louisville and is working towards a Bachelor of Science in Communication. In her free time she likes hang out with her pup, spend time in nature and watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine.