This weekend, the National Restaurant Association, Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show will welcome tens of thousands of industry professionals to Chicago’s McCormick Place. This year, attendance is projected to increase by 15% at the world’s most influential forum of foodservice innovation and inspiration.
From May 20-23, the trade show will bring together more buyers, suppliers, and manufacturers than any other industry event, said the National Restaurant Association.
Industry professionals will have the opportunity to explore and celebrate everything that’s happening in the industry, from the latest equipment, technology, and trends in food and beverage to creative solutions for today’s challenges from industry thought leaders.
“Each year, the National Restaurant Association Show becomes the epicenter of the foodservice world, attracting the brightest minds and boldest ideas,” said Tom Cindric, President of Winsight Exhibitions.
“From the vibrant show floor to the captivating keynote speakers and the groundbreaking FABI and KI Awards to the immersive chef and beverage demos, this year’s Show promises an unparalleled experience that will ignite passion, foster collaboration, and propel our industry forward,” Cindric noted.
This year’s Show highlights include:
Vibrant Show Floor: With more than 11 football fields (659,000+ sq. ft.) worth of exhibit space, the Show floor will serve as the ultimate sourcing destination for restaurant and hospitality buyers looking for cutting-edge products across 900+ categories, including food and beverage, equipment, technology, tableware, sanitation and more.
This year, the National Restaurant Association Show will feature more than 2,100 manufacturers and suppliers as they showcase their products and services at the 2023 event. Of those companies, over 800 will make their show debut—a 61% increase over 2022’s first-time exhibitor total—and over 1,300 will return.
Food & Beverage Specialty Pavilions (All Halls): Many of this year’s new exhibitors can be found in one of seven featured pavilions: A Taste of the States, Bellavita Italian Pavilion, Iberica Spanish Pavilion, The Beverage Room, Global Food Expo, Organic & Natural, and The Culinary Experience.
Startup Alley (South Hall): The Startup Alley will also feature many first-time exhibitors showcasing food and beverage items, equipment and supplies, technology, and more that are helping the industry move forward with fresh, new ideas in foodservice.
TECH Pavilion (North Hall): This pavilion will feature the leading products, tools, and processes that can help make businesses more modern, efficient, and profitable.
KEYNOTE & FEATURED SESSION
Keynote Featuring Restaurateurs Danny Meyer and Pinky Cole (Grand Ballroom S100 – South Building Level 1):
New York restaurateur Danny Meyer and Slutty Vegan owner and CEO Pinky Cole will headline the event as the 2023 keynote speakers, with the National Restaurant Association’s Michelle Corsmo serving as the moderator.
During the session, these two restaurant visionaries, who have had entrepreneurial success both individually and in collaboration, will speak about the challenges and opportunities that paved the way for their business growth. The keynote will take place Sunday, May 21, at 2 p.m.
Featured Session with Technomic (Grand Ballroom S100 – South Building Level 1):
Attendees will embark on a journey through the future of the restaurant industry in a session titled, “Chart Your Course: Traversing What’s Next for the Restaurant Industry.”
Expert insights leaders from Technomic and Winsight Media, along with top industry operators, will discuss the latest labor, menu trends, innovation, and more in this highly interactive session. This featured session will take place Monday, May 22, at 1 p.m.
FABI & KI AWARDS
Food and Beverage (FABI) Awards (All Halls):
The 2023 Food and Beverage (FABI) Awards has selected a record-setting 42 recipients of industry-altering products that shape what’s new and next for the future of food and beverage.
Tastings will take place Sunday, May 21, at 2:30 p.m. and Monday, May 22, at 1 p.m. in the Connections space (located in The Culinary Experience).
FABI Favorites Demos and Tastings (The Culinary Experience in Lakeside Center Level 3 – Booth 10448):
Eight of the FABI Awardees have been selected by the judges as FABI Favorites as the most groundbreaking and influential of the year.
New this year, attendees can join the FABI Judges as they share “F&B Products You Need to Know: Judge-Selected FABI Favorites,” where judges will share their top picks of the year and how they are changing the industry.
This session will be offered Saturday, May 20, at 2 p.m. and Monday, May 22, at 3:15 p.m.
Different FABI Favorites will be featured at The Culinary Experience Saturday, May 20, at 3 p.m. and Monday, May 22, at 3:15 p.m., each followed by FABI Favorites Tastings in the adjacent Connections space.
Kitchen Innovations (KI) Awards (Kitchen Innovations Showroom – South Hall):
The KI Awards will celebrate 20 back-of-house innovations that improve operations and generate growth through advances in automation, sustainability, efficiency, space-saving, and more.
KI Awardee Session (Education Super Center – South Hall):
In this session titled “Kitchen Innovations Changing the Face of Back-of-House Operations,” panelists will explore the 2023 Kitchen Innovations Awardees. This session will take place Saturday, May 20, at 4:15 p.m.
EDUCATION at the National Restaurant Association Show 2023
Education Lineup: The 2023 education program features an array of sessions, deep-dive workshops, and live culinary and beverage demos designed to provide forward-looking insights, new perspectives, and strategies to facilitate growth.
Over 100 sessions and demos covering eight education tracks, Culinary Insights, Marketing Matters, Off-Premise, Operations Solutions, Technology Strategies, Trends in Adult Beverages, Wellness, and Workforce Recruitment and Retention.
The full education program and speaker list can be found here.
Deep-Dive Workshops: In addition to the robust education lineup, the National Restaurant Association Show will feature four business strategy and leadership workshops: “Menu Optimization to Grow Business,” “Funding Your Restaurant Business’ Growth,” “Branding and Digital Media Bootcamp,” and “ServSuccess Restaurant Leader Workshop.”
Additional advanced registration is required to attend workshops. Space is limited.
CULINARY & BEVERAGE DEMOS
Celebrated Chef Demos (The Culinary Experience in Lakeside Center Level 3 – Booth 10448):
Attendees will have the opportunity to see chefs and culinary leaders as they demonstrate techniques, discuss the industry’s biggest issues, and show off the latest trends and innovations in food and beverage.
Book signings with select chefs will take place immediately following demos.
Beverage Demos (The Beverage Room in Lakeside Center Level 3 – Booth 11155):
The Beverage Room will showcase the top mixologists and beverage experts to demo their creations and share their outlooks on cannabis-infused beverages, off-premises alcohol strategies, big-impact zero-proof beverages, and more.
The full list of beverage demos can be found here.
The National Restaurant Association Show 2023 is expected to exceed 2022 international attendance, with thousands of attendees registered from a range of countries, including Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, China, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
Additional information about the International Delegation Program and other services for international attendees can be found here.
International Inspiration on the Show Floor (All Halls): The Show floor will showcase more than 280 international exhibiting companies from all over the globe, including a strong return of participation from China, Japan, and South Korea. Specialty pavilions inspired by international cultures and cuisines, such as the Global Food Expo, Bellavita Italian Pavilion, and Iberica Spanish Pavilion, will showcase the trendiest international flavors and products, as well as live cooking demos to inspire new techniques.