3 stealable ideas from the National Restaurant Association Show

The Show floor is full of innovations noncommercial operators can take back to their teams.
pancake art
Pancake artists at work during the 2023 National Restaurant Association Show. / Photos by Benita Gingerella

There's been no shortage of ideas at the 2023 National Restaurant Association Show, taking place from May 20-23 at Chicago's McCormick Place.

From new takes on ice cream sandwiches to pancake art, here are three innovations spotted on the Show floor that could find a home in your operation. 

1. Use potatoes to create a sweet and salty treat 

Philadelphia-based chef Jen Carroll put a spin on an ice cream sandwich using McCain's potato Mini Mashers as the cookies. Carroll pressed the spuds into a cookie shape with a stroopwafel iron and used vanilla ice cream for the filling. The treat was then finished with sprinkles.

ice cream sandwiches

2. Refresh your breakfast options with novel toppings 

At the Kelloggs Away from Home booth, waffles were kicked up a notch by replacing maple syrup with whipped cream that was dusted with espresso powder and chocolate shavings. Berry parfaits were also given a makeover with the addition of Fruit Loops cereal. 

fruit loops yogurt

3.  Spice up small catered events with pancake art 

Artists were on site at the Kodiak Cakes booth to create works of art using pancake batter. The artists used squeeze bottles filled with different colors of batter to create everything from famous cartoon characters to attendees’ pets. 



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