Discover What's New, What's Next & What's Trending at the 2015 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show

ORLANDO, FL, September 1, 2015 – In the restaurant and foodservice industry, professionals are constantly looking for new ideas, new products, new solutions and new trends -- and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show is their source! From insightful education to palate-pleasing food and drink trends to new product options and idea generating special events - don't miss this opportunity to fine-tune your business. The trade show and conference, produced by Urban Expositions and sponsored by the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association will be held Tuesday, October 6 - Thursday, October 8, 2015 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando and will offer educational programs, special events, new food products, and equipment and services from over 450+ leading industry suppliers.
"We are thrilled to be offering several new and exciting special features at the upcoming event including, the new Beer, Wine & Spirits Pavilion as well as returning crowd favorites including the Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum, the Food Trends Experience, the prestigious ACF Culinary Competitions and much more," said Ron Mathews, Vice President, Restaurant and Foodservice Events Portfolio.  "We know that a restaurant cannot survive on the food alone which is why we have created an education program to provide practical and relevant information as well as feature areas on the show floor to find fresh and new ideas.  For nearly 40 years, the show has been providing restaurateurs, chefs, foodservice and hospitality professionals with all the tools needed to stay motivated and inspired, find the newest products, and stay on top of the trends - or set them!"
Special Events for the upcoming Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show, include:

The new Beer, Wine & Spirits Pavilion was created to meet the demand from restaurant and foodservice professionals seeking access to the alcoholic beverage component of the market.  It provides the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the producers and distributors of adult beverages and is designed to enhance your learning and sourcing opportunities. Featured brands include: MillerCoors, Blue Moon, Jim Beam Brands, Heaven Hill Brands, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Constellation Brands, D.G. Yuengling & Sons to name a few.  The official ingredient sponsor of the Pavilion is the Florida Department of Citrus.

Culinary Demonstration Theater is an educational, interactive and entertaining area for restaurant and foodservice professionals who want to stay abreast of what's hot in the food world. Stop by this feature area at the Show and see how our chefs have put their spin on hot trends. This year's featured session will include the presentation of the new Torch Award to James Beard award winning chef Norman Van Aken for his contributions to the industry.

The Torch Award Presentation will take place in the Culinary Demonstration Theater on Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. The Food Shows and Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum are excited to present the inaugural Torch Award to Norman Van Aken for his outstanding achievements and contributions to the restaurant and foodservice community. Norman Van Aken, chef-owner of NORMAN'S in Orlando and the founding father of New World Cuisine, is the only Floridian on the James Beard list of Who's Who in American Food and Beverage, as well as an internationally acclaimed author. He will join Ferdinand Metz, Certified Master Chef, for a one-on-one on our Culinary Demonstration Theater stage open to all attendees.

The Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum - provides open access to the 30+ educational sessions focused on operational excellence, winning teams, maximizing profits, hot trends, and building loyalty. Features include:

  • The Women's Entrepreneurs Circle, a robust and highly interactive session on what it takes to win in business and life featuring Kathleen Wood, Kathleen Wood Partners, Betsy Craig, MenuTrinfo, and Sandy Korem, The Catering Coach.
  • New Catering & Events Track presented by Catering Magazine on Tuesday, October 6 with topics including maximizing catering profits, how to pack for offsite events and a closer look at outsourcing.
  • Industry leading expert consultants including Technomic, MenuTrinfo, Kathleen Wood Partners,, Service with Style Hospitality Group, The Catering Coach, Fishbowl with solutions to day-to-day business challenges  - menu planning and labeling, team building, customer service, marketing and social media, professional development and more.

Highlighted seminars include:

  • Tuesday, October 6 - 11:30-12:30: Building a Winning Hospitality Team in 8 Simple Steps; 4-4:45pm: LEADERChoice - The Four Essential Ingredients of Successful Leaders
  • Wednesday, October 7 - 1-1:45pm: What's Hot & Not in the Social Media World for Restaurants; 1-1:45pm: Top 10 Tips for Winning with Today's Special Needs Diner; 4-4:45pm: 2015 Outlook, Opportunities & Challenges
  • Thursday, October 8 - 1:30-2:15pm: 5 Ways to Increase Profits Through Your People in Any Economy; 2:30-3:15pm: The One System Your Restaurant Must Have to Survive

View the full program at

The 2015 American Culinary Federation Culinary Arts Competition presented by the American Culinary Federation (ACF)/ Central Florida Chapter (CFC) will offer over $27,000 worth of prizes that will be awarded during the following competitions. 

  • The NEW Two Man Team USA Culinary Cup Team Competition, sponsored by Bari Beef International, Creekstone Farms, US Foods, Rich's, Maple Leaf, MillerCoors, Barry Callebaut, McIlhenney Co., Wisconsin Cheese, Steelite International, and Bar Harbor Seafood.
  • The R.L. Schreiber Apprentice/Jr. Member Florida State Championship Team Skills Competition, sponsored by R.L. Schreiber Inc
  • Taste of Elegance Pork Signature Recipe Competition, sponsored by Iowa Pork Producers Association and Taste of Elegance.
  • The Florida Pastry Challenge, sponsored by The Culinary Source and Barry Callebaut.
  • The Freshpoint and Harvill's Produce Farm to Table Vegetarian Signature Recipe Competition, sponsored by Fresh Point and Harvill's Produce, Inc.
  • The Chef's Table Luncheons, a four-course surprise lunch prepared by the participating chefs.

The Food Trends Experience is a tasting adventure providing direct access to products, flavors and ingredients driving the most recent trends in the market - healthy, organic, sustainable, ethnic, artisanal, and more!

FRLA's Shades of Pink Installations and Awards Gala will be taking place October 7, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Orlando. Make sure not to miss this energy-packed party. Join industry leaders for a fabulous evening of networking and entertainment.
The NRA/FRLA Bob Leonard Golf Classic is scheduled for October 5, 2015 at ChampionsGate Golf Course in Orlando.  Key decision-makers from national restaurant and hotel chains and top independents return year after year for this exciting tournament.  Save your space early - not only has this event sold out the last 14 years - but this year is the 15th anniversary!
Tuesday, October 6, 2015 from 11am-5pm
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 from 11am-5pm
Thursday, October 8, 2015 from 11am-4pm
Location: The Orange County Convention Center, 9990 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
The 2015 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show is sponsored by the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association ( For more information on exhibiting or attending, visit the official Show website at  The tradeshow and conference is managed and produced by Kennesaw, GA based Urban Expositions, which offers a complete roster of trade show management services, including exhibit sales and marketing, operations, exhibitor/attendee promotions and services, media relations, seminar and event coordination, database development and management.  Through a logical, hands-on approach, Urban Expositions has become one of the fastest growing and most successful trade show companies in the United States.  Contact Urban Expositions at


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