The International Restaurant & Food Show or How many variations of frozen pizza can you shove in your mouth?

I think the title says it all….

I think I saw this guy at the show

I think I saw this guy at the show

I remember in college that if they wanted students to attend a meeting, they would offer free food. If the president of the university was speaking, they would give you enough food to last a week. Well, the food show is no different. It is basically a trade show where they try to give you enough food so you will slip into a food coma and forget that you are at a trade show. Frankly, there is not enough food in the world to forget that you are being continually besieged by salesmen who smell from old spice after shave, and saleswomen wearing inappropriate attire from the late eighties, think Daryl Hannah from Wall Street.

I think the reason I want to lash out at these trade show lifers is that I was one. I was a food salesman for the worst year of my life. I have compassion for the salesman. I want him to succeed. It is a tough life.  I feel it is because they work on commission, it gives the transaction a sense of desperation.  They rehearse the ABC’s of sales, A-always, B-be, C-closing. The only way I survived that year in the trenches was to feel that I was better than them.  It is cathartic for me to say this…I was not better than them.  They work hard, so what if they all slick their hair back, make bad jokes, and drink too much…  Imagine trying to raise a family and never knowing how much you are going to make that month. I guess you can tell which way I vote.

Of course I took no pictures at the show (I am still getting used to blogging).  I think that the trade show was an accurate snap shot of our economy. It was less crowded than usual and it had a third fewer booths. To my surprise, I was sent a free ticket.  That is a sure sign that attendance is down. The restaurant industry is in trouble, but that small fact will not stop people from dreaming. Sadly, I am one of those dreamers. I also play mega millions. To my horror and dismay, my herbivore girlfriend had the nerve to tell me I wasn’t going to win. I almost didn’t get up this morning.

This sums up the show
This sums up the show

Anyway, I wanted to report a new product or something unusual…well nothing to report here. Just a line of booths giving away free frozen pizza.  If you are selling an oven…give away free pizza. If you are selling cheese….give away free frozen pizza. If you are selling table tops…give away free frozen pizza. I felt sick within an hour. The irony is that people rush, fight, and stomp their way to the free pizza, even though five feet away there will be another opportunity. They have other freebies – if you are aggressive, you could manage to eat your weight in poorly made Kobe Beef or cold squishy sausage, and top it off with chocolate rabbit crap. Who goes to this even to design and plan their menu. Let me help you, do not bother…

The only reason to go….the free pizza

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