Special Events

Restaurant show offers high-and low-tech products

The National Restaurant Association expects that more than 73,000 visitors from more than 100 counties will have visited its four-day Restaurant, Hotel-Motel show, which ended yesterday in Chicago.

President George Bush addressed the group on Monday, offering a 20-minute speech followed by nearly 45 minutes of Q&A. For an industry largely dependent on immigrants as employees, Bush said that he is concerned about the debate on immigration reform. "We are a land of immigrants," he said. "If that debate tends to divide this country, or cause people to wonder about their worth as an individual, it will be a debate that will be harmful."

WHAT'S NEW?

More than 2,000 exhibitors displayed goods and services in nearly 900 product categories. Innovative products at the show ranged from high-tech guest-management systems to charming tchotchkes.

The company Wireless Webforms enables employees working in the field to complete forms electronically, sending and receiving data including text, pictures, GPS, voice, video, and bar-code and credit card data over a wireless network. The system can reduce the risk of improper billing, cut travel and processing time, and ensure accurate reporting, the manufacturer says.

The SepraShot (at right, above) combines a shot glass with a built-in chaser. A patented baffle design keeps the 1 ¾-ounce chaser and 1-ounce shot liquor--such as Jagermeister and Red Bull "Jagerbombs"--separate. The polymer glasses, which can be printed with logos, are reusable but priced as disposables.

Named winner of a "Kitchen Innovations" award, the Moo Bella ice cream machine lets guests create single servings of custom-flavored, premium ice cream in only 45 seconds. The system offers 12 flavors and three mix-in options.

The "Red Volcano" (at left) from Red Vanilla is a tabletop flaming centerpiece that uses potato-based ethanol to yield a clean-burning flame with low odor. The acrylic chimney can be filled with any nonflammable decor item--such as sand or seashells--and sits on one of three different bases: rustic stone, stainless steel or tiers of colored glass.

Watch Eventline's "Product Gallery" section every week for innovative products and services for special events.

Photos by Special Events Magazine

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