The 2009 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show will deliver a year's worth of business solutions in one place, including professional development opportunities focused on helping restaurant and foodservice operators increase profitability and productivity. Held May 16 to 19 at McCormick Place in Chicago, NRA Show 2009 will feature more than 65 free education sessions led by recognized industry experts on a range of topics including menu trends, environmental sustainability, workforce development and profit-building.

Highlights of this year's NRA Show education sessions include:
  • Join the Green Restaurant Revolution: Learn proven "green" practices from industry leaders Ted Turner and George McKerrow, founders of Ted's Montana Grill. Turner and McKerrow will engage attendees in a candid discussion about their top-down initiative creating a green and sustainable restaurant chain. This spirited conversation will be moderated by Chris Koetke, Dean of The School of Culinary Arts, Kendall College.
  • How To Recession-Proof Your Business: Discover results-oriented strategies to ensure your business remains relevant in this changing economic environment. Bryan Dodge, an expert in the field of management and leadership in restaurant operations, will help attendees understand how passion, enthusiasm, positivity and focus all play a part to maintain a competitive edge and grow profits.
  • How to Stand Out in a Tough Economy: Drive traffic to your operation. Representatives from National Restaurant Association partner Fishbowl Marketing will lead a panel discussion on how restaurants can succeed even in this downturn. The session will cover innovative strategies to adapt to this economic environment, including monitoring and adjusting budgets, and allocating funds to create marketing buzz can improve business.
  • Crush The Box: Creative Leadership Ideas for Developing Managers: Improve your bottom line with engaged and effective managers. John Isbell, president of CHART (Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers) and director of training and development for IHOP Corp., will share insights on how to develop visionary managers to lead motivated teams.
  • On the Menu: What’s Hot, What’s Not, and What’s Next: Create patron-pleasing menus for any restaurant. Nancy Kruse, foodservice trends expert and president of The Kruse Co., will share the food, beverage and restaurant concept insights needed to successfully create innovative, on-trend menus.
  • Sodium and the Healthy Plate: Gain perspective on the challenges and opportunities related to the issue of sodium. Sodium reduction is a major industry hot topic and will continue to be at the forefront of nutrition issues in 2009. Moderated by Shelia Cohn Weiss, RD, director of nutrition policy, National Restaurant Association, this panel includes the following people, who will provide insights foodservice operators need to know about sodium: James M. Galloway, Assistant Surgeon General, Rear Admiral, U.S. Public Health Service, regional health administrator, Region V; Robert Earl, MPH, RD, vice president of science policy, nutrition and health, Grocery Manufacturers Association; Pam Smith, RD, consultant, Shaping America's Health; and Michelle Reinholm, International Food Information Council.

For a full schedule of sessions, visit In addition, a separate education program focused on beverage alcohol will be featured in the 2009 International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event, held in conjunction with the NRA Show May 17 and 18; see for scheduling.
The Holy Rosary Soup Kitchen in Port Chester, N.Y., will receive more than $40,000 in new, eco-friendly kitchen equipment from the Certified Green Commercial Kitchen Giveaway.

The Holy Rosary Soup Kitchen recently made going green a priority and, as part of its commitment, entered the Certified Green Commercial Kitchen Giveaway. The online giveaway was part of the August launch of the Certified Green Commercial Kitchen Program, a program aimed at saving money and reducing environmental impact through energy efficiency, water conservation and waste reduction.

In 2008, the Holy Rosary Soup Kitchen served more than 42,000 meals, 10,000 more meals than in 2007. Until now, the food has been served on paper and Styrofoam, but with a new eco-friendly dishwasher, Holy Rosary will be able to cut back on trash and reduce its environment impact by using ceramic plates and metal cutlery. The new kitchen equipment will also create more jobs for those employed to run it.