My Time With Chef Irvine: An Inside Look At The 2016 NRA Show

By: Chris Ciabarra, CTO and Co-Founder, Revel Systems

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show. With over 2,000 exhibitors and 60,000+ attendees coming together to share the latest and greatest from the food service industry, NRA is a dream conference to attend.

How can we improve? How can different players within the space work better together? What advancements have been made in the industry since last year? It all gets discussed over a few days’ time in Chicago over plenty of delicious food.

If you were there, I hope you had time to stop by the Revel booth for a look at our latest technology, some warm Cinnabons, and a signed copy of world-renowned chef Robert Irvine’s book, “Fit Fuel: A Chef’s Guide to Eating Well and Living Your Best Life.” As Point of Sales News noted, it was a “beautiful booth about the size of Rhode Island.”

nrachris2The Revel booth at NRA Show 2016

Everyone loves the Cinnabon brand and the Cinnabon bites kept disappearing -- over 1,500 Cinnabon bites on Sunday and another 1,500 on Monday and Tuesday! Joe Guith, President of Cinnabon, also led an education session at the conference, “On the Rise: Cinnabon’s Progressive POS.”

It’s always great spending time with Joe. His priorities are laser focused on bringing the customer experience to the next level, which is why the Revel-Cinnabon relationship makes so much sense. Revel helps do so many things that smooth the customer experience, like improving the efficiency of the checkout experience and, as Joe puts it, “As much as we're in the food business, we're in the customer business.” I couldn’t agree more.

The standout moment at the NRA Show for me, though, was spending time in the booth with Chef Robert Irvine, the man behind one of the Food Network’s highest rated shows, Restaurant: Impossible.

As you can imagine, security is a large concern for many our Revel clients, and in particular big name owners such as Chef Irvine. If a data breach were to happen, it would compromise the integrity of the brands involved.

For me, that’s a huge win because I’m extremely passionate about all things security related. We designed Revel with security being top of mind and its core features, like the ability to function without Wi-Fi, makes Revel POS a valuable tool even in one of the world’s most highly secure locations.

When Chef Irvine was recommending that other restaurant owners should consider using Revel’s technology, it was about more than just security. “Keeping our customers information safe and having the ability to manage performance is key to any restaurant’s success.” said Chef Irvine. Just like Joe Guith, Chef Irvine is focused on seamless execution to ensure an excellent customer experience every time.

The thing I’d say we all three have in common is an entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for caring about our customers as a driver and motivator. It was a pleasure spending time with both of them, Revel customers, and all of the attendees who stopped by our booth. The food service industry is near and dear to our heart at Revel because that’s where we started: building a tool specifically for the foodservice industry, with features like tableside ordering and custom menu building. We take pride in providing the #1 iPad Point of Sale system for table service and quick service restaurants and loved getting the opportunity to talk POS with people from a variety of sections within the foodservice business.

Make sure to check out all of our fun photos from NRA Show 2016 here.