NRA 2017: Suppliers focus on food transport, security

Takeout, delivery and catering was top-of-mind for restaurant industry suppliers at this year’s National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago. Suppliers focused on food transport systems and inventory management based on what they see as an industry need. Here is a breakdown of four recently unveiled items that were on display in Chicago.


Cambro‘s new line of insulated food transporters include temperature-retention features to prevent time and temperature abuse. The Cam GoBoxes can be used in conjunction with the company’s line of Camchillers and Camwarmers, in addition to the ThermoBarrier, which was created to keep hot or cold air concentrated within the front-loading carrier. The item was created based on customer requests and has an inter-stack feature for increased storage capabilities.  The Cam GoBoxes “are one of the most popular products we’ve tested,” said Michael Rabakon, the company’s director of sales, south central. The box has been used in Germany for several years and recently launched in the U.S.




The Metro MightyLite weighs between nine and 11 pounds (depending on size) when empty and has eight handles for easy carrying. The environmentally friendly carriers are made using a polymer base and come in either 4- or 6-pan carriers. The company also has created a wire-frame adapter caddie for transport of soups, dressings and beverages. Additionally, thermal partitions can be used to separate cold and hot foods and can safely store foods for up to five hours. The MightyLite is stackable and the accompanying dollie features straps and a lockable wheel base. Metro president John Nackley said the products were developed to address the challenges restaurant and professional catering companies have faced when transporting food.



Salesmaker Carts

For more than 30 years, Salesmaker Carts has been making collapsible equipment carts that service a variety of industries. The company’s new Clax cart weighs 14 pounds and comes with a folding storage crate. The top crate can hold 44 pounds while the weight capacity for the bottom shelf is 88 pounds. Additionally, the cart includes a back wheel brake for loading and unloading, and easily folds up to be stowed away. The cart is ideal for catering deliveries because of the way it can easily and quickly fold for transport. Salesmaker carts are in use in industrial and hospitality sectors of business.



Apex Supply Chain Technologies

Apex Supply Chain Technologies showcased its Intelligent Controlled Space. The space allows restaurant or professional caterers to turn any shelf room or space into a secured area. The ICS is intended to reduce shrink and give operators a secure area where they can hold high-value inventory and supplies. It can be used in any pre-existing space or outdoors. Employees and even customers can have their own unique access codes to unlock the area. Additionally, a cloud-based data platform can be accessed through a secure web portal or mobile app, giving real-time visibility into who has accessed the area and when. The ICS is available in tabletop and floor models and also can monitor inventory levels using Smarter Spaces® technology from Apex.

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