N.R.A. show review

Once again, the magnitude of the NRA was overwhelming. To see every exhibitor at the show you have to really dedicate yourself to the task. The 2001 NRA show had 2,039 exhibitors displaying their services and goods and once again PMQ was there checking out all of them in the never-ending quest to find the latest and best ideas out there. The 2001 NRA show attracted 76,702 attendees from all around the world. We walked, we talked and we weeded out the good, the bad and the ugly and have the best ideas from the show here for those who were too busy tending the shop to attend.

Idea 1 – Need Employees?

Hire exchange students for up to four months without paying any recruitment fees. Council Exchanges is an agency that coordinates an information web site connecting foreign exchange students with businesses who need employees. You can either go to their web site and post job openings at no charge and the potential students contact you. That service is free, but for a fee you can have Council Exchanges match students who are coming to the U.S. with the city you are in and students looking for work in the restaurant industry. Council Exchanges serves all cities and states, too.

Council Exchanges • Claire Kinselley • 633 Third Avenue 20th Floor • New York, NY 10017 • 800-COUNCIL • Fax 212-822-2649

www.councilexchanges.org

Idea 2 – Sink Your Teeth into This

We had to come up with at least one unusual topping from the show so we thought this one would have the best marketing appeal. Imagine if a pizzeria near Florida State University offered an alligator pizza before the big game. What about a real Cajun alligator pizza or even an alligator pasta? Just some ideas. Ocean's Catch has farm-raised alligator meat you can use to create something unique and even get a little talk going about the pizzeria who offers alligator pies.

Ocean's Catch • David Jedrey • 1111 S. Main Road • Westport, MA 02790 • 508-636-8288 • Fax: 508-636-070 • dave@oceanscatch.com

Idea 3 – Suggest the Perfect Wine

Here's something our industry could use. Wine is a natural choice for many readers, but since we generally use a young and inexperienced wait staff, their knowledge of which wine goes best with what entree may not be up to par. Is your staff intimidated by suggesting a wine to customers? Now they can learn the tips that will help them better serve your customers. If you have wine on your menu, here's a complete training system that will allow your staff to feel confident talking about and selling wine.

Getting to Know Wine • Don Miksch • 18731 131st Drive SE • Snowhomish, WA 98296 • 360-668-3444 • Fax: 360-668-3315

www.gettingtoknowwine.com

Idea 4 – Eye-Catching Decor

Looking for neat ways to improve the decor of your restaurant? Make those ugly support post disappear with this new product straight out of Germany. Art Trees has surprisingly real looking, fake tree trunk coverings you can use to jazz up the look of your dining area. The tree trunk is a strong existing idea in Germany and now you can be the first to install them in your restaurant.

Art Trees • Rumen Hadjisky • P.O. Box 8389, JAF Station • New York, NY 10116-8389 • Phone/Fax: 212-696-9140 • arttrees@yahoo.com

www.arttrees.com

Idea 5 – Countertop Displays and Promotions in Seconds

In just seconds you can change the name of the Employee of the Month because the name just slides into a hidden slit on the front of the counter top display. No need to dismount the frame. They have a marketing application, too, because these displays also work great for displaying the specials of the day, week or month. What if you had a number of these displays placed strategically around your restaurant and replaced them with a weekly or monthly marketing message?

PlaqueMaker Plus, Inc. • Paula Olivera • 5713 Park Plaza Court • Indianapolis, IN 46220 • 800-367-5556 • Fax: 317-913-0530

www.plaquemakerplus.com

Idea 6 – Your Best $200 Ever Spent

Here is a printer that any kind of POS system or register can print to or through. Once the signal is sent to the printer from the POS or register, it's up to you what is printed. Now the receipt your customer gets can function as a boxtopper containing a message designed to bring them back, a coupon or any message you want. Make your receipt double as a coupon, a menu, a lucky contest number or frequent diner program. The printer can print in black, blue, red, green, or any combination of two, and can even print your logo.

TransAct Technologies • Barbara Clise • 20 Bomax Drive Ithaca, NY 14850 • 877-7 Ithaca (877-748-4222) • Fax: 607-257-8922

www.transact-tech.com

Idea 7 – Best Idea Since Sliced Bread

Ever wonder where that expression came from? Well, this is the company that invented the first commercial bread slicing machine in 1933. This has nothing to do with pizza, but if you need a bread slicer, these guys were the first to make one. They also manufacture pizza sheeters.

Oliver Products • Paula Dibley • 445 Sixth Street NW • Grand Rapids, MI 49504 • 616-456-1447 ext. 164 • Fax: 616-456-7791

www.oliverproducts.com