Event preview: National Restaurant Association Show 2024

The 2024 show, taking place May 18-21 at McCormick Place in Chicago, US, will boast more than 2,240 exhibitors, which includes 700+ first-time and 600+ international participants

The National Restaurant Show, May 18 – 21, 2024 in Chicago, US, offers visitors a trade show floor that is, staggeringly, larger than 12 football fields. The sheer size and scale is just one of the reasons that the show is a compelling destination for foodservice professionals, including consultants, to source inspiration and check out the latest innovations from 900+ product categories, including food, beverage, equipment, technology, tableware, sanitation and much more.

More than 55,000 industry professionals are anticipated to attend the National Restaurant Association, Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show®, to give it it’s full name. Set to be one of its largest shows since 2019, the 2024 iteration will boast an expanded show floor by 10% compared to 2023, with 2,240 exhibitors. Of these exhibitors, 68% – more than 1,500 companies from across the world – are returning to the Show and will be joined by a 700+ companies debuting products and equipment for the first time.

A comprehensive snapshot of the industry’s trajectory

“The Show remains unparalleled in its ability to showcase the industry’s vitality and drive innovation forward. With each passing year, the Show provides a comprehensive snapshot of the industry’s trajectory, shaped by the collective contributions of our diverse exhibitors. We eagerly anticipate the influx of new voices and ideas, alongside the continued insights from our returning participants,” says Tom Cindric, president of the Show.

The 2024 Show will impress with its expansive exhibit space covering 700,000+ square feet, the size of over 12 football fields. With over 900 product categories on display, ranging from food and beverage to equipment, technology, AI-powered solutions, bespoke tableware products, emerging global flavors, and more, attendees will experience a comprehensive showcase of the latest innovations driving the foodservice industry forward. 

This year, the Show will welcome international exhibitors from diverse countries worldwide, including Canada, China, Brazil, India, and more. Participation in the Show “not only provides exhibitors with invaluable networking opportunities and exposure but also catalyzes business growth, cementing its status as an essential platform for both new and returning exhibitors worldwide,” says the Show in a statement.

Fresh ideas for the foodservice industry

The eight pavilions on the Show floor provide dedicated spaces for both new and returning exhibitors to showcase their offerings and innovations. These pavilions offer curated experiences tailored to specific interests, such as A Taste of the States, Bellavita Italian Pavilion, Iberica Spanish Pavilion, The Beverage Room, Global Food Expo, Organic & Natural, and the TECH Pavilion. Additionally, the Startup Alley will highlight first-time exhibitors and emerging organizations presenting food and beverage items, equipment, technology, and more, contributing fresh ideas to the foodservice industry.

Having received specialty awards, both new and returning exhibitors will also be showcased in designated areas on the Show floor. This year’s Food and Beverage (FABI) Awards are recognizing 35 recipients for their industry-altering products shaping the future of food and beverage, with 10 FABI Favorites selected by the judges for their unmatched influence and visionary contributions to the industry. Additionally, the 2024 Kitchen Innovations (KI) Awards celebrate their 20th Anniversary, honoring 25 recipients who define the gold standard of foodservice equipment innovations, elevating automation, efficiency, safety, and sustainability.

Meanwhile, The Upper Midwest Chapter of FCSI The Americas is hosting its annual networking reception during the Show on Sunday, May 19, between 5:00-7:00pm at The Exchange, 224 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago. There will be appetizers and a cash bar. Please contact Penny Price if you would like to attend.

Further details:

For the complete list of companies exhibiting at the 2024 Show, click here. For more information and to register, visit nationalrestaurantshow.com. Connect with the Show online on FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn.

Michael Jones