Dozens of Educational Sessions to be Offered at 2015 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show

Dozens of Educational Sessions to be Offered at 2015 Florida Restaurant & Lodging ShowDOZENS OF COMPLIMENTARY CONFERENCE SESSIONS TO BE OFFERED AT THE 2015 FLORIDA RESTAURANT & LODGING SHOW

Top Local Chefs to Participate in Culinary Demonstration Theater
Orlando, FL – September 25, 2015 – The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show will bring together 450+ vendors and thousands of restaurant, foodservice and retail professionals to the Orange County Convention Center, Tuesday, October 6 through Thursday, October 8, 2015 in Orlando, Florida.  Attendees of the Show will have to opportunity to participate in over 30 educational sessions, all included with show registration, at the Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum, the gold standard, industry-leading educational conference dedicated to foodservice professional development. Industry experts will educate attendees on hot new trends, including increasing revenue and loyalty, operational excellence, delivering the optimal customer experience, and much more.
“The Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum is a valuable tool for professionals in the industry to gain new business insight and learn about the latest industry trends from leading experts and operators that they can apply directly to their operations,” said Ron Mathews, Vice President, Restaurant and Foodservice Events Portfolio. “This year, the Forum will offer a terrific line up of top chefs who will present in the culinary demonstration theater as well as sessions for attendees to learn how to produce winning teams, achieve operational excellence, improve leadership, manage catering, boost customer experience, maximize profits, minimize risks, and much more.” Highlights of the education program, include:
The Culinary Demonstration Theater (Booth #1383), will offer several educational, interactive and entertaining presentations, including.
  • Torch Award Presentation to Norman Van Aken, chef-owner of NORMAN’S in Orlando and the founding father of New World Cuisine. This new award, presented by the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show and Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum recognizes an individual whose achievements have enhanced and brought innovation to the restaurant and foodservice community. The presentation and demonstration will take place Wednesday, October 7 at 1:00 pm.
  • New Rapid Fire Cooking Competition will take place on Tuesday, October 6 at 12:00 pm.  This event will feature competitors, including Hari Pulapaka, executive chef and owner of Cress.  Each participant will get a mystery box of ingredients to make a dish for the judges in 20 minutes. Brandt Beef is the official beef sponsor.
  • Cooking Demonstrations will be conducted by Keith Esbin, Paramount Fine Foods; Susan Boyle, Sweet Miniature Deserts; Michael Moench, Keiser University; Peter Vossenberg, Le Cordon Bleu, and more.
Sessions in The Ferdinand Metz Foodservice will include:
  • Women’s Entrepreneurs Circle – Join leading Women Entrepreneurs in the foodservice business in a robust and highly interactive session on what it takes to win in business and life. Panelists including Kathleen Wood, Kathleen Wood Partners, Besty Craig, MenuTrinfo, Sandy Korem, The Catering Coach, and  Chef Michelle Noble.
  • How Technology and Innovation is Changing the Restaurant Customer Experience – Technologies such as Opentable, Seamless/Grubhub, Resy, and countless others facilitate the changing ways in which restaurant customers interact and experience their favorite restaurants. A panel of experienced multi-unit operators seek to make sense of topics such as online reservations and reviews, mobile payments, variable menu pricing, customer CRMs and other new technologies.
  • Top 10 Tips for Winning with Today’s Special Needs Diner– How to Keep What’s NOT Listed on the Menu from Hurting your Diners: Gluten-Free, Food Allergies, Menu Labeling and now Trans Fat finally taking the mystery out of today’s food allergies and gluten free menus so you can win with the special dietary needs diners and increase revenues.
  • New Catering & Events Track presented by Catering Magazine – Experts present sessions on How to Stop Giving Away Your Catering Profits, Understanding Outsourcing, What Works in Your Restaurant Will Not Work for Off-site Catering, and How to Pack for an Off-site Catered Event. Sessions will be heldon Tuesday, October 6th.
Education Station on the Show Floor:
  • A Closer Look at Today’s Menu Trends so you can Turn Diners into Regulars – National speaker, Betsy Craig, will clarify and simplify today’s toughest menu requirements looking at trends, preferences and what the government is requiring an operator change moving forward with a menu..
  • 9 Leadership Traits Required for Success in the Hospitality Industry– Darren S. Denington, CFBE, will share the specific traits required to take an entire management team to the next level because Leadership is not a position, it’s an action.
  • 7 Simple Ways to Control Your Food Cost and Explode Your Profits – In this presentation, David Scott Peters, founder of will teach attendees how to look deeper into the cost of goods sold calculation to take back control of their checking account and improve the bottom line to become a profitable restaurant.
In addition there will be education in the new Beer, Wine & Spirits Pavilion where attendees can enhance their learning opportunities with topics including trends in mixology, drink menu engineering, cocktail trends, and much more. There will be mixology demonstrations by St. Augustine Distillery with Florida Department of Citrus products, Trends in Spirits by Heaven Hill Brands, and presentations on how to best work with breweries, gluten free spirits, etc.
The Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum brings together the best faculty featuring representatives from operations and organizations including experts from Fishbowl, Technomic, Fishbowl, The Catering Coach, Kathleen Wood Partners, Service with Style Hospitality Group, MenuTrinfo,, The Lease Coach and more.
Ferdinand Metz, a Certified Master Chef and President Emeritus of the Culinary Institute ofAmerica, was selected to lead the Forum because of his breadth and depth of experience, and his achievements in the culinary industry. All sessions at the Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum are included with show admission.  To review the entire forum education line-up, click here.
The 2015 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show is managed and produced by Urban Expositions ( and sponsored by the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association ( For more information on exhibiting or attending, visit the official Show website at