Nothing draws a good crowd like food and beverage samples. This was my first time attending the National Restaurant Association show
that took place at McCormick Place in Chicago from May 22-25. BUNN
proudly displayed our wide range of equipment offerings at Booth 1031 where the traffic was non-stop. It was a different perspective than SCAA
just a few weeks earlier. To your right you see restaurant managers wanting to sample the espresso and to your left you see students sipping samples of granita
. And behind you there is a constant flow of fresh brewed tea with lemon garnish leaving the table. It was great to see such a variety of customers sampling our coffee, iced tea, espresso, granitas
, and more. You can see a sample of the action on our Flickr postings.
One updated product, in particular, that gained some attention was the SmartWAVE?? Specialty Brewer
which has a large funnel to accommodate a wide range of coffees and a 17-hole sprayhead
to maximize turbulence and wetting. In keeping with our ongoing sustainability
efforts to achieve environmentally-friendly product designs, the SmartWAVE
now features an energy-saving LED read-out display that saves on annual kilowatt usage. This joins the Energy Saver mode that reduces tank temperature during idle times.
A few confused comments were overheard questioning where was the hot tea? You are absolutely right and we are working on making that much more visible and accessible in future displays. (In fact, BUNN
will be exhibiting at the World Tea Expo
Vegas, June 11-13, 2010.)
But, one comment stood out above the rest. And it wasn't even on the trade show floor! On Sunday, I happened to share a cab to McCormick with a very nice woman who was involved in culinary education programs. After a few moments of discussion about our backgrounds, I shared that I was actually working at the show and was heading to the BUNN
booth. Not wanting to assume too much, I followed up by saying she should be sure to go to the top of the main escalator in the South Hall and visit us. She immediately replied, "Oh, you don't have to tell me. I am always
sure to visit the BUNN
booth to see the latest that you have. I have appreciated how your company has taken time to talk to students about the equipment. You know they become purchasers someday."
Wow. A random encounter that started on Wacker
Drive in Chicago, IL with one of thousands of show attendees that ends up as an informal endorsement. Can't get much better than that.
Look for another post next week. Let's start talking coffee in newbie terms.