WELCOME TO TORONTO
What better way to experience Toronto’s diverse cuisine than during Canada’s largest foodservice and hospitality trade show. The RC (Restaurants Canada) Show took place May 9–11, 2022 at Exhibition Place, attracting 20,000 delegates, sponsors and exhibitors over three days.
The sold-out show was attended by restaurant and bar owners, chain operators, hotels, institutions, large food service companies, caterers, chefs, designers and others from across Canada as well as international exhibitors from Peru, Brazil, Italy and Japan, says Lerna G, director, show operations. “This industry was definitely ready to meet in-person and reconnect,” she says.
Attendees got a taste of Toronto’s thriving street cuisine via food trucks that served globally inspired fast-casual dishes during the show. Two off-site events—the Industry Night Out event at Bar Mordecai and a VIP reception at Coffee Oysters Champagne—provided opportunities to get to know the city better.
CONNECT TO CITY CULTURE
Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel just unveiled an extensive renovation designed to help travellers feel more connected to the city. The revitalization includes community tables, tech-enabled studios, purpose-built workspaces and soundproof booths in Sheraton Centre’s expansive lobby as well as two new food and beverage experiences: Dual Citizen, a coffeehouse-style grab-and-go that transitions to a lobby bar in the evenings, and 43 Down, a beverage-forward restaurant offering handcrafted cocktails that “tell a great local story,” says Scott Turyk, Sheraton Centre’s director of sales and marketing.
Turyk adds that the Sheraton Centre works with local suppliers, including minority, LGBTQ2S+, disabled, veteran, women and Indigenous-owned businesses, and the renovation has allowed the hotel to “really bring Toronto to life through design elements, such as featuring the work of local artists who represent different communities around the city.”
With Toronto welcoming business visitors back to the city, Monica Gomez, founder of The Concierge Club, offers meeting and event planners these tips for enhancing the attendee experience.
> First impressions are everything. Event guests feel more comfortable when they’re not clustered at an entrance. Stagger entry times to help control the flow of traffic and to reduce wait times.
> For indoor events, Gomez suggests booking below 100% capacity so that guests have plenty of space to move around.
> Although restrictions are easing, be ready to pivot at the last minute so that guests feel comfortable. Be sure to post the latest public health rules in the venue, make masks available and be prepared to alter room setups to allow for physical distancing.