Restaurant Trade Shows in North America

Top 10 Restaurant Trade Shows in North America [Updated for 2024]

Are you a restaurant owner, food distributor, or retail food service professional? Display your company’s latest products, attract new customers, and show off your competitive edge at one of these top 10 restaurant trade shows.

“Anyone can cook, but only the fearless can be great.” – Ratatouille 

According to the National Restaurant Association, the restaurant industry has been exponentially growing, with over $898 Billion in annual sales in 2022. Restaurants require a variety of B2B and commercial services to operate successfully. Some of the categories in the restaurant industry include  

  • Equipment  
  • Food & beverage 
  • Technology 
  • Adult beverage  
  • Retail  

Where can you go to get your slice of the pie, connect with target buyers, and gain actionable insight into the state of the restaurant industry? These top 10 restaurant trade shows are a great place to start.  

What happens at a restaurant trade show? 

Live demonstration at a food and restaurant trade show
Bridor exhibiting at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) at McCormick Place, Chicago.

Restaurant trade shows make networking a breeze by providing exhibitors with a platform to engage with their target audience. While every restaurant-focused event is different, at these shows, you can generally expect to 

  • Meet with distributors and dealers  
  • Connect with major retail outlets like Costco and Walmart 
  • Demo your products to restaurant owners  
  • Learn from educational sessions with keynote speakers  
  • Discover recent trends  

American chef James Beard once said, “food is our common ground, a universal experience.” Attendees are looking to learn about cultures, participate in cooking seminars, see new cooking gadgets, and, most importantly, taste foods they have never tried before, which will happen at these trade show events.   

Now here’s a sample of the top 10 restaurant trade shows. 

1. Summer Fancy Food Show – Specialty Food Association 

When: June 23 – 25, 2024     

Where: Javits Center, New York City  

This event is a great opportunity for restaurant owners and operators to see the latest and greatest in specialty foods from across the globe. Educational seminars and networking events at this trade show make it a valuable experience for those in the restaurant industry.  

Registration link: Summer Fancy Food Show  

2. Winter Fancy Food Show – Specialty Food Association  

When: January 19 – 21, 2025   

Where: Las Vegas, Nevada   

From gourmet cheeses and charcuterie to unique spices and artisanal ice cream, the Winter Fancy Food Show has it all. This event is the perfect place to find new and innovative products for your restaurant; having over 2,500 exhibitors, you are sure to find everything you need to take your menu to the next level.   

Registration link: Winter Fancy Food Show  

3. Hotel Motel Restaurant Supply Show   

When: January 23 – 25, 2024  

Where: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina   

Featuring exhibits from tableware to furniture, attendees can find new products and services to help run their businesses more efficiently. This trade show also offers educational seminars and networking events, making it the perfect place to learn about the latest trends.  

Registration link: Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Supply Show  

4. International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York  

When: March 23 – 25, 2025    

Where: Javits Center, New York City  

Attracting over 570 exhibitors from around the world with over 18,000 attendees. Attend live culinary demonstrations, awards ceremonies, and food & beverage competitions. This event will also feature educational seminars on menu development and restaurant marketing.  

Registration link: International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York  

5. Louisiana Foodservice Expo   

When: August 3 – 4, 2024    

Where: New Orleans, Louisiana   

Come sample some of Louisiana’s best cuisine at The Louisiana Foodservice Expo trade show event. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet leading suppliers and attend educational seminars, making this event perfect for any food service professional looking to expand their knowledge on the latest food industry trends.  

 Registration link: LRA Showcase  

6. Texas Restaurant Association  

When: July 13 – 15, 2024    

Where: San Antonio, Texas  

The Texas Restaurant Association has over 85 years of industry leadership and 500+ exhibitors from all facets of the restaurant industry. The Texas Restaurant Association Marketplace allows attendees to network with industry leaders, learn about new products and trends and find solutions to their business challenges.  

Registration link: Texas Restaurant Association  

7. School Nutrition Association   

When: July 14 – 16, 2024    

Where: Boston, MA   

The School Nutrition Association is a professional organization representing school nutrition personnel. This event features keynote speakers, educational sessions, and an exhibit hall with over 200 vendors. The conference is open to all school nutrition professionals and provides an opportunity to learn about new products.  

Registration link: School Nutrition Association  

8. Produce Marketing Association Foodservice Conference  

When: July 25 – 26, 2024    

Where: Monterey, California   

The Produce Marketing Association Foodservice is a great conference for restaurateurs to learn about the latest trends in the food service industry. The conference features educational sessions, cooking demonstrations, and exhibitors from all over the country. 

Registration link: PMA Foodservice 2024  

9. International Foodservice Distributors Association   

When: September 23 – 25, 2024

Where: Kansas City, Missouri

The distribution solution conference will feature educational sessions on various topics, including marketing, operations and finance. This event will showcase new cutting-edge technology as well as expert speakers. 

Registration link: IFDA  

10. Council on Hotel Restaurant and Institutional Education  

When: July 24 – 26, 2024    

Where: Montreal, Quebec, Canada  

The Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education is the leading trade show for hotel, restaurant, and institutional educators. CHRIE provides educators with the latest resources and information on teaching methods, curriculum development, and careers in the hospitality industry.  

Registration link: 2024 ICHRIE Conference  

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Need help finding which show will bring the best returns and support your business objectives? Contact one of our marketing consultants below for advice. Aside from designing and building award-winning trade show exhibits, we also partner with clients to create a holistic strategy to generate the traffic you want.  

The Trade Group is a full-service trade show and event marketing company. We will work with you to create an exhibit or an event that brings in leads and helps you achieve your business goals. Contact us here or give us a call at 972-734-8585. 

Photo credit: Pexels

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