Business

Tuesday AM June 28th, 2010

The Southwest Food Service Expo concludes today at the George R. Brown convention center. It’s a chance for the multi-billion Texas restaurant industry to showcase the latest culinary trends, equipment and technology. Ed Mayberry reports.

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Southwest Food Service Expo logoExhibitors are showcasing the latest technology innovations for restaurants, such as touch-screen tables and digital menu boards. Richie Jackson, CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association, says the restaurant industry has a huge annual impact.

“Well, we’re a $35 billion industry in Texas, and we employ about a million Texans that work in our industry. So we’re the largest employer — other than the government — in the state, and certainly a very dynamic industry that not only is the cornerstone of the economy, but also helps define the quality of life for a lot of folks.”

Sessions are being held on topics affecting the food service industry. One topic that’s being covered is the effect of the oil spill in the Gulf on the price and availability of seafood.

“There’s real concern over shrimp and oysters particularly, which are two great products that come out of our Texas Gulf coast, as well as other parts of the coast. And we’re beginning to see not only increased prices, but talking to restaurants who are finding that they’re beginning to run out of those products, and having a hard time getting the kind of supply they’d like to see.”

The expo has sessions that address how to comply with the latest nutrition standards. The expo concludes today at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

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