Restaurant Canada Show 2023 kicks off in Toronto

The Restaurant Canada Show 2023 makes its return to Toronto

Food has always been something that’s connected us intergenerationally and interculturally for many years, and that was very much demonstrated at the 2023 Restaurants Canada show. We had the opportunity to walk around the Enercare Center, which was filled with new innovations in restaurants and in food, tasty bites, and talks/lectures/demonstrations for those in and out of the Industry.

 The theme of this year’s show was “Heart and Hustle” which calls to the literal hustle that we saw in the restaurant industry during the pandemic. During the recent time of chaos in the world, food and restaurants have been there for all of us, being forced to innovate to stay alive. And we are thankful for their drive, ambition, and of course their love of food. 

Walking around the show was absolutely incredible, mainly because we got to sample many delicious bites from local and national brands. We started off our journey wandering through the food truck section, sampling some of the best food on 4 wheels in the city. We got to sample foods from companies such as Funnel Cake Dream, The Arepa Republic, Real Empanada Co, and Mustache Burger. Everything was fresh and delicious, and it was so nice getting to meet and connect with the owners. I felt like they really appreciated all the love and support that everyone was giving them, which made me want me to support them again in the future. 

It was also quite interesting getting to see all the different innovations, from how robots are gonna be helping to clear tables and deliver food to tables, from single-serve ice cream pods and more. It’s easy to appreciate the fact that the restaurant industry needs to go through innovation and change to keep up with the constant need and wants of the consumer, while still being reasonably affordable.

 As we walked through and got to sample even more delicious treats and bites from such brands as Impossible Foods, Rubicon Juices, The Shed Coffee and more. We noticed that a trend was starting to appear. It looks like in the food and restaurant industry, now more than ever, the focus is shifting to more local food, more plant-based food, and in the drink world looking at how to make even more delicious mocktails using alcohol-free spirits which to be honest with you is an incredible move. There are many people who would love to have a cocktail with friends but for many reasons cannot. This will allow more doors to open and more enjoyment to be had overall. 

We are also quite fortunate to get to watch a few demonstrations and a few lectures. From the power of new pizza ovens to the Indigenous impact in the restaurant industry, and how we should not only strive for more Indigenous restaurants but how we should work to ensure that they become a normal staple in our world of food. We also got to listen to lectures about mental health and burnout in the restaurant industry, and how restaurants and food brands can use social media such as Instagram and TikTok authentically in order to gain a larger following and hopefully more sales.

 We were at the event for over 7 hours, and I can safely say that we still didn’t see, or eat at all. I understand now why this trade show lasts over 3 days because you really can easily fill all that time learning, tasting, and drinking. I highly recommend that even if you aren’t in the restaurant industry, that next year you strive to get a ticket to this show. I learned a lot, I left absolutely stuffed full, and I’m now excited at the prospect of going again next year. 

Congratulations to the entire Restaurants Canada team, and thank you once again to all the restaurants that have continually served us And made sure that not only we were fed, but that we were also happy through the pandemic.

To learn more about Restaurants Canada visit here 

[Review by Shan Fernando]