Trends, equipment, technology: 100 years of the Restaurant Show

Posted on


The National Restaurant Association Show 2019, the largest foodservice trade show in the US, celebrates its centennial this year

For 100 years, the Restaurant Show has kept industry professionals informed about international culinary trends, the latest equipment, and the newest technology. At its centennial celebration, the Show will bring back floor features and programs that made it a staple and new attractions that will be worth waiting for.

Industry issues

The event was created in the early 1900s, when World War I was ending and the emerging US restaurant industry was determined to keep growing. At that time, many foodservice professionals were involved with their local Rotary clubs and other local groups.

Understanding the benefits of collaborating on common issues, a small group of rotarians and restaurateurs from Kansas City launched a national association. In 1919, about 200 members of the foodservice industry from 14 US states and Canada met to discuss the major issues affecting the industry. They held the first meeting of what is now the United States National Restaurant Association’s Fair on March 13 in Kansas City.

The Show is a truly global marketplace for an increasingly global industry. It is a place to celebrate international cuisine with demos by famous chefs & mixologists, discover the most exciting new offerings by the world’s biggest brands, meet with exhibitors from around the world, hear globally renowned leaders discuss critical issues and make connections that transcend boundaries and build your business.

At the 2019 Restaurant Show you will find hundreds of marketing and tech exhibitors, trendy chefs and culinary inspiration, the best in revolutionary equipment, and more than 700 food exhibitors.

Besides these amazing attractions, attendees will also find the following unique features especially designed for the event’s 100-year anniversary:

Culinary Experience CenterThe place to learn applied techniques and the latest trends in culinary, featuring new products that inspire creative and unique dishes.

ShowCentralThe place to connect, and find the answers to help move your business forward. Engage with the larger-than-life interactive display filled with live-streamed Show sessions, proprietary research, and interviews with industry heavyweights, just to name a few. Highlighted on the 2019 ShowCentral display will be the Operator Answer Center,  where subject matter experts will be there sharing data, offering insights, answering questions, and helping you understand how to bring this valuable content back to your business.

Digital Media SlamNew digital media solutions are launched at fast speed and what is new today is sometimes viewed as a waste of investment and time tomorrow. The Digital Media Slam was created for attendees to learn to navigate the digital landscape and grow business at quick-paced presentations showcasing restaurant and foodservice companies leading the way in digital media.

More than 100 free educational sessions

The educational sessions of the Restaurant Show offer free education opportunities like no other event in the food industry. This is your chance to increase industry knowledge.

Select one or more topics to develop to your professional abilities and the needs of your business.

100th anniversary celebration

This year all networking after-hour opportunities were combined in one big celebration. Enjoy food, drinks, and entertainment at our special events. Join Show attendees on Monday 20 May at the newest, hottest restaurant Tao Chicago, to celebrate the Show’s centennial.

The mission of the organizers of the event expresses the objective of the Show emphatically, having been created to bring together the global foodservice industry and create business opportunities and professional development.

Over the years the Show has gotten stronger and in 2018, overall international registration increased 5.6% and international exhibitors increased by 4.0%. The Show is the place to address current problems, find opportunities and preview the future. Join the industry to celebrate the Show’s centennial anniversary as together we discover what’s next for our industry.

The opportunities offered to international participants are enriching. The Restaurant Show is the only event with more than 100 FREE educational sessions, opportunities to make connections with a wide variety of participants from around the world, the opportunity to discover new products in other markets and the chance to interact with today’s best chefs.

Interested parties can participate in the event individually or join one of several groups that will be participating in the 2019 event. For a list of contacts in your country, please read the 2019 Show brochure.

To learn more about the event, visit the website Join the food industry outside the home to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Fair, which took place May 18-21 in Chicago, and to find out what’s next for our industry.


About the National Restaurant Association:

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises one million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of more than 15 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf.

The Association operates the industry’s largest annual trade show (National Restaurant Association Show); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); and a unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF’s ProStart).

For more information, visit and find us on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Tatiana Vieira Green