The Texas Restaurant Association Marketplace is an annual trade show and convention going 80 years strong. It has risen to the ranks of the second-biggest restaurant industry trade show in the country, and last year it won an award for the fastest-growing trade show event, across all industries.
Thousands of people attended the TRA Marketplace this year to see over 500 exhibitors as well as talks, events, tastings, and more. The TRA Marketplace is one of the best places to see new products and hear thought-provoking presentations from industry leaders, and it also happens to be a great opportunity for networking!
We had a very successful show this year, handing out educational materials on how obtain affordable financing for restaurant/hospitality businesses, while engaging with restaurant owners directly to give them tailored advice.
Lone Star Bash
The restaurant industry has plenty of practice serving up great parties, so this event was an absolute blast. Every year showcases samples from local restaurateurs with unique culinary approaches. This year, we enjoyed morsels from Jeffrey Hobbs of the legendary Slow Bone, chef Abraham Salum of Dallas’s gourmet Salum Restaurant, and Henry Gentry of Henry’s Ice Cream.
Live music from Jay-B & the Zydeco Posse fit the party’s “Cajun Tex” theme of Creole and Cajun cuisine, made Texas-style. A variety of cocktails and craft beers were served, including the amazing 1934 BBQ kicker sauce Bloody Mary that has won awards for the best Bloody Mary in Dallas.
Presenter Gerry O’Brion has a resume that would make even our top executives blush. He helped Procter & Gamble grow their Crisco, Tide, Mr. Clean and Spic & Span brands in the early 2000s shortly after earning his MBA. He then went on to help manage huge brands like Coors Light, Quiznos and Red Robin, all billion-dollar names.
Over the weekend, O’Brion shared his experiences working with marketing and brand management across the country with his consulting agency “What Big Brands Know.” His “The Restaurant Formula” presentation explored the knowledge he earned over years of driving growth and keeping branding fresh for Fortune 500 companies. The information helped small business owners think big, and it was perfect for restaurateurs considering expansion loans.
Without a doubt, the most interesting-sounding vendor for the new product showcase was Coffee Fruit Preserve from Macaw Confections. Each preserve combines all-natural, preservative-free fruits mixed with Guatemala, Antigua 100% Arabica coffee. Sounds unusual but delicious, and it could no doubt become the start of a hot trend!
Attendees enjoyed and explored hundreds of booths from industry leaders like Coca-Cola, Sysco, Yelp, AceMart, EcoLab and more. One of the most amazing booths every year belongs to RAM commercial trucks, which always features interesting customized van concepts for delivery, catering, or even a mobile restaurant on wheels!
If you were unable stop by our booth this year, don’t worry! Visit our website to learn more about ARF Financial’s unsecured restaurant financing. We can help restaurateurs like you grow your business and tap into great new product lines from the TRA Marketplace show.
ARF specializes in restaurant-hospitality finance and has built relationships with banks around the country, so our clients can acquire a customized bank loan fast, without collateral and with limited paperwork. The loans feature manageable fixed payments, early payoff options, no hidden fees or surprises. Click here for a free no obligation quote!