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Takeaways from Italy’s World-Class Restaurant and Hospitality Trade Fair

While I feel slightly remiss in reporting on this unique hospitality event after the fact, consider this your inspiration to attend next year’s gathering. I’m referring to the world leading restaurant and hospitality trade fair known as Host Milano. The next one takes place from October 22 to October 26 in the fine art and fashion capital known as Milan, Italy. Yes, Milan. I’m sure that got your attention.

Now, on to the one that you may have just missed, the one that took place for five days beginning October 18. This year there were 2,249 exhibitors visited by almost 200,000 attendees. The topic of conversation was sustainability, innovation, and the emerging trends coming into vogue.

While these themes are certainly common subjects, what makes Host Milano unique is the sense of global enterprise. A total of 54 nations were represented including Argentina, Colombia, Iran, Albania, and Lebanon.

Let’s take a look at some of the top takeaways—emerging concepts that are sure to shape the future of the restaurant industry.

Beverage-Top Media

The name says it all—media in (or on) a beverage. The latest technology allows your brand to place high-resolution images or messages on top of any foam-based drink, be it coffee, beer, or a cocktail. Using natural ingredients, images are imprinted on the foam. This marketing platform is perfect for the current digital age, and even allows customers to make their own images by submitting them via Facebook chatbot. One company in the forefront of this technology is Ripples.

A few of the many options include selfies, logos, hashtags, greetings, and holiday-inspired images or phrases.

Talk about Instagrammable!

Robots as Bartenders

While the friendly and amiable bartender whose personality inspires a local following will always be in high demand, the wave of the future for some venues may be Barney, a robot bartender. Customers order and pay for their drink on a touchpad. A robot picks up a glass, makes the drink, and hands it back to your guest. Barney can make up to 120 drinks an hour and is created by F&P Robotics AG.

Equipment for Smaller Footprints

As space becomes increasingly limited and cost prohibitive, restauranteurs are looking at equipment that is suited for smaller footprints. This was a popular topic at Host Milan where cities such as Paris are also finding real estate at a premium. Companies that address this pain point include True and Alto-Shaam.

True specializes in space-saving, slim refrigeration and is a company that continually searches for environmentally friendly components and processes. Their hydrocarbon refrigerants are natural, nontoxic highly refined propane that has no ozone depleting properties and low global warming potential.

Also-Shaam features Vector H and F Series multi-cook ovens—three to four cooking chamber zones within one compact unit. Each chamber offers independent temperature, fan speed, and cook time control. Their H model is a ventless operation, eliminating the need for an exhaust hood.


Did you know that an average restaurant produces about 100,000 pounds of garbage every year? Solutions to this increasing environmental problem are on the rise. One of these is ECODYGER, a company that offers an innovative solution for reducing organic waste by up to 90 percent in weight and volume.

This solution manages any wet-organic waste, including plates and biodegradable/compostable cups and cutlery. From this organic waste, it produces organic-mineral fertilizer that can be used in the agriculture and gardening sector.


The Evogrow system is presently used by some of the UK’s leading restaurants and hotels. Their state-of-the-art coolers use LED lighting and hydroponics to allow chefs to grow plants and herbs right in their kitchens. How perfect is this solution in the age of fresher is better?

For those without a green thumb, have no fear. Evogrow uses environmental sensors and smart cloud software to monitor the crops.

These are just a few of the many products and services that were found at the Host Milano global professional hospitality event. This world trade fair is dedicated to expanding the awareness of restauranteurs by immersing them in the latest innovative solutions—showcasing everything a bar or restaurant needs to become best-in-class. In addition to products, experts in their field offer cooking shows, competitions, conferences, and case histories. And it also offers an incredible opportunity for global networking. Maybe we’ll see you at the next one, at the Fiera Milano, in 2021.

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