National Restaurant Association Show® Opens Applications for the 2023 Kitchen Innovations Awards

KI Awards celebrate forward-thinking, cutting-edge equipment that elevates the foodservice industry

Contact: Julie Franks; FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 14, 2022

CHICAGO (September 14, 2022)—The National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, the premier event to learn about foodservice technology innovations, unique ingredients, and emerging trends in the restaurant industry, is now accepting applications for the 2023 Kitchen Innovations (KI) Awards. Each year, the KI Awards program recognizes the year’s most forward-thinking and cutting-edge kitchen equipment and product innovations that meaningfully improve foodservice operations. KI Awardees are given the exclusive opportunity to feature their award-winning equipment and products in high-profile, dedicated showroom, providing additional exposure within the industry. The National Restaurant Association Show brings together more restaurant and hospitality buyers and equipment manufacturers than any other industry event and will be held May 20-23, 2023, at McCormick Place in Chicago.

“For 18 years, the Kitchen Innovations Awards program has recognized new and enhanced technologies that elevate automation, efficiency, safety and sustainability within the foodservice industry,” said Tom Cindric, President of Winsight Exhibitions. “The 2023 Show will mark the newest wave of foodservice innovation as the Show continues to lead the way in groundbreaking technology and equipment developments that help solve for challenges including workforce shortages, labor costs, and overall operational efficiency. This year, we look forward to seeing all the new innovations in the KI Showroom, which is highly regarded as one of the must-see features on the Show floor.”

All KI Awardees receive additional industry-wide exposure throughout the Show channels and their media partners. This prestigious endorsement opens doors to new business opportunities and recognition from operators, media and dealers. This year, KI Awardees will again be featured in a dedicated showroom and highlighted in special programming onsite. 

National Restaurant Show
Additional benefits of receiving the award include:

  • Recognition in press release announcement with significant media and social media coverage leading up to, during, and after the Show.
  • Promotion to Show attendees through the Show’s website, emails, social media, and online planner/mobile app.
  • Crystal award and portable standing banner promoting the innovation.
  • Turnkey exhibit space in the KI Showroom, the primary Show floor destination for dealer and distributor attendees. Booth space includes installation and dismantling of a booth structure, carpet, and utilities (electricity and plumbing) needed to demonstrate the innovation.
  • Material handling for the innovation to and from Show booth to the KI booth.
  • Limited food storage, including frozen and refrigerated storage, specifically for KI Showroom exhibitors.
  • Five additional exhibitor badges.
  • Lead retrieval scanner for lead capture use in the KI booth.
  • Use of the 2023 Kitchen Innovations logo with innovation promotions for the life of the product.

“I couldn’t do enough marketing to receive the benefit I get from exhibiting at the National Restaurant Association Show. We have the best conversations with customers, we show our equipment, and we see so many new people,” said Sally Ray, Director of Marketing for Hoshizaki and a 2022 Kitchen Innovation Awardee.

Photo from Show 2022

Sean Hsu, Co-Founder of Botrista Technology and a 2022 Kitchen Innovation Awardee, added, “It was an absolute honor to be recognized as a KI Awardee and the opportunity to be featured within the KI Showroom was a significant benefit. This allowed us to draw traffic from big chains, mid-chain restaurants and emerging brands.”

The KI Award recipients will be selected by an independent panel of judges comprised of industry leaders and internationally recognized food facility consultants, multi-unit executives, and design experts. The 2023 KI judges are:

  • Dan Bendall (Principal, FoodStrategy, Inc.)
  • Lenny Condenzio (CEO, Ricca Design Studios)
  • Richard Eisenbarth, FCSI (President, Emeritus, Cini-Little International)
  • Foster F. Frable, Jr., FCSI, Associate AIA (Founding Partner, Clevenger Frable LaVallee)
  • Cha Nye Farley (Vice President of Construction and Facilities, Smashburger)
  • Randy Homer (Program Manager – Food & Beverage Experience Development, Disneyland Resort)
  • Frank Inoa (Vice President, Design & Engineering Innovation, Inspire Brands)
  • Jim Krueger, Jr., CMCE, NRAMF (Chief, Air Force & US Space Force Food & Beverage, Air Force Services Center (AFSVC) 
  • Jim Thorpe (Senior Food Service Designer, Aramark)

The deadline to apply is December 7, 2022. To qualify, all equipment innovations must have been introduced within 24 months prior to the 2023 National Restaurant Association Show. Application information for the 2023 KI Awards is available online.

As the global restaurant and hospitality industry’s premier trade show, the National Restaurant Association Show is the place to explore everything that’s happening in the hospitality industry, from the latest food and beverage trends to emerging technology. It’s all here! For more information, visit and connect with the Show online on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

The National Restaurant Association Show, Hotel-Motel Show is owned and operated by Winsight LLC in partnership with the National Restaurant Association.

About Winsight LLC 

Winsight LLC is a business-to-business information, event and market intelligence company serving the restaurant and noncommercial foodservice, convenience and petroleum retailing and grocery industries. Winsight provides research and analytics, branding solutions, face-to-face opportunities, lead generation initiatives, and content marketing services through products including subscription data products, reports, research tools, research programs, fully custom studies, conferences, custom marketing services, meetings, print, digital trade media and tradeshows, including the National Restaurant Association Show.

Latest from Press Releases

Now accepting submissions for the 2024 FABI Awards, which honor exceptional food and beverage breakthroughs in taste, profitability, creativity and market appeal

KI Awards celebrate inventive foodservice solutions to address labor efficiency, waste reduction, sustainability and more

As a culinary visionary and humanitarian, Andrés to inspire with insights into the power of food to foster innovation, nourish communities and strengthen economies