CHICAGO — The National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, the largest industry event focused on foodservice trends and innovations, felt more like a celebration when it wrapped up in late May. Among the tens of thousands of attendees and exhibitors from the foodservice industry that was hit so hard by the pandemic, the sense of joy in being together again at a live event for the first time since May 2019 was palpable.
The National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, held May 21-24 at McCormick Place in Chicago, met or broke several trade show records, with the largest Kitchen Innovations Showroom in the event’s 100-plus year history, an increased number of dealer and distributor registrations compared to the 2019 event, and an equal percentage of international trade show registrations to 2019.
The trade show drew 51,000 restaurant owners and operators, retail foodservice professionals, food and ingredient suppliers, and equipment manufacturers to McCormick Place for four days of education and a packed trade show, with more than 1,800 exhibitors in three exhibit halls occupying nearly 600,000 square feet of space. Even with the current travel restrictions for international attendees, the show’s participants represented all 50 states and more than 110 countries, an equal percentage of registrations to 2019. The trade show floor featured the largest Kitchen Innovations Showroom in the event’s 100-plus year history, and an increased number of dealers and distributor registrations in 2022 compared to the last event, held in 2019.
On the education side, Alexis Ohanian, Seven Seven Six Founder and Reddit Co-Founder, gave the keynote address and there were close to 100 educational sessions, in addition to paid workshops for deeper dives. In the featured session, experts from the foodservice research and consulting firm Technomic and restaurant operators answered questions about the industry’s most pressing issues, including inflation, supply chain management and the labor shortage.
The trade show is owned and operated by Winsight LLC, in partnership with the National Restaurant Association. “The 2022 show was one of the most anticipated events of the year, and after three long years, we couldn’t wait to bring the foodservice community back together to celebrate the advancements that drove the industry forward,” Tom Cindric, President of Winsight, said.
Reach Tom Cindric at email@example.com