Your Essential Guide to NRA Show 2017

    Heading to the annual NRA Show in Chicago this month? Here’s a rundown of how to spend your time in the Windy City.

    thinkstock / 271221

    Visit with QSR at booth #5415!

    2 Sessions Per Day That You Shouldn’t Miss

    While the educational sessions are a little different this year—hosted on the show floor and divided into several different tracks—the NRA Show features great content designed to help you in your everyday business. And be sure to drop int Saturday’s Fast Casual & Pizza Summit, where QSR editor Sam Oches will be on hand to moderate sessions and talk future innovation in the fast-casual category.

    Saturday, May 20

    • Today’s Workforce Challenges: Innovative Strategies to Address Recruitment, Retention, and Rising Costs

    10 a.m. / Fast Casual & Pizza Summit

    • The Pizza and Fast Casual Game Changers

    2 p.m. / Fast Casual & Pizza Summit

    Sunday, May 21

    • Menu Trends 2017

    10:30 a.m. / Food & Nutrition

    • GENerating Success: Empowering NextGen Leaders in Your Restaurant

    2 p.m. / Workforce Development

    Monday, May 22

    • Conflict Avoidance Strategies for a Multicultural, Multigenerational Workplace

    11 a.m. / Business Operations

    • Key Trends Shaping the Future of Foodservice

    12 p.m. / Business Operations

    Tuesday, May 23

    • Global Innovation: What We Can Learn from the Best New Concepts

    10 a.m. / Business Operations

    • Controlling Restaurant Costs Through Training & Development

    12 p.m. / Workforce Development



    13 Home-Grown Chicago Fast Casuals

    Feeling hungry and need to take a break from McCormick Place? Check out these innovative fast-casual brands in downtown Chicago.

    • Xoco / 449 North Clark Street

    Authentic Mexican tortas, enchiladas, tacos, and more from chef Rick Bayless.

    • Blackwood BBQ / four locations

    Premium pulled pork, pulled chicken, and beef brisket on sandwiches, salads, and platters.

    • Honey Butter Fried Chicken / 3361 North Elston Avenue

    Southern comfort food finds a hip, fast-casual home, along with beer, wine, and cocktails.

    • Naansense / two locations

    Build-your-own Indian flatbreads, rice bowls, and salads.

    • Smoque / two locations

    A neighborhood barbecue joint with a little something for everyone.

    • Urbanbelly / two locations

    Asian fusion fare from chef Bill Kim in a casual, communal-seating space.

    • Nonna’s / 925 W. Randolph Street

    Authentic Italian sandwiches and marketplace next door to fine-dining sister restaurant Formento’s.

    • Q-BBQ / four locations

    Several regional barbecues come together in one place (and don’t miss the ribs).

    • Brown Bag Seafood Co. / three locations

    Fresh fish served affordably in salads, tacos, sandwiches, and more.

    • Eastman Egg Company / three locations

    The morning meal goes fast casual with upscale breakfast sandwiches, sliders, and omelets.

    • Antique Taco / three locations

    An upscale Mexican menu in a counter-service format from husband-and-wife founders.

    • DOX Quality Greek / 1566 N. Damen Avenue

    Chef-driven Greek cuisine from the founders of GRK Greek Kitchen.

    • Spotted Monkey / 335 S. Franklin Street

    The tastes of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Guatemala combine with those from Vietnam, Thailand, Korea, and China at this lunch spot.



    4 Food Halls to Get Lost In

    If you’re tired of the show floor but still feel like wandering a foodie haven, these food halls should do the trick.

    • Revival Food Hall / 125 S. Clark Street

    15 concepts

    • French Market / 131 N. Clinton Street

    32 vendors

    • Latinicity / 108 N. State Street

    10 concepts

    • Foodlife / 835 Michigan Avenue

    14 concepts