Restaurant Industry Events to Attend in 2020
Restaurant industry events are great venues to network with fellow operators, sample and source food and beverage vendors, and check out the latest and greatest trends in hospitality technology. Deciding which food and beverage tradeshows, conferences and events to attend can be overwhelming. Whether you are in operations, technology or finance, are looking for a national or regional show, or just really love pizza, we’ve rounded up what we think are the best tradeshows for you.
The Big Event
National Restaurant Association Show – Chicago, May 16-19
The National Restaurant Association Show (NRA) is the Super Bowl of restaurant tradeshows. The largest event of the year, it brings together operators and vendors of all types from across the country. At NRA, you’ll find everything from food and beverage vendors, to paper goods suppliers, to cutting edge technology solutions. It may be a bit overwhelming for first time attendees so make sure to plan ahead for this event.
Operations & Technology Events
MURTEC – Las Vegas, March 9-11
MURTEC is an event devoted to restaurant technology solutions. Bringing together providers and technology leaders, it facilitates networking and discussion about the newest innovations in hospitality tech.
MUFSO – Denver, September 28-30
MUFSO is an executive-focused show that encompasses all facets of managing a restaurant group. At MUFSO, you’ll find sessions ranging in topic from best practices for managing labor costs to strategies for reducing waste as well as a mix of technology and food and beverage vendors. Check out xtraCHEF’s biggest takeaways from MUFSO 2019.
FSTEC – Dallas, October 25-27
FSTEC is a smaller event, with only a couple hundred attendees and a manageable number of exhibitors. Focused on technology, FSTEC provides a healthy mix of sessions and booth time, allowing operators to learn about trends in technology while shopping for solutions.
CohnReznick Restaurant Technology Summit – New York and Los Angeles, Dates TBD
CohnReznick’s Restaurant Technology Summits are one-day events for industry leaders to learn about and discuss technology in the restaurant space. Here’s what we learned at the 2019 event.
TechTable Summit – New York, Date TBD
TechTable is a curated event, presenting the best in food, beverage, and technology. It features panels of industry influencers and entrepreneurs as well as networking opportunities.
RFDC – Las Vegas, November 9-11
RFDC is a finance-focused, deal making event. It attracts all parties interested in restaurant finance, from investment banks and private equity firms to real estate developers and merger and acquisition specialists. While RFDC does offer sessions relating to restaurant business and an exhibit hall, the best way to get value out of this event is to schedule meetings with finance executives and solution providers.
BDO’s Restaurant CFO Bootcamp – Location and Date TBD
BDO’s Restaurant CFO Bootcamp is an intimate event that delves into the specific challenges of restaurant finance while providing ample networking opportunities for executives. Check out our recap of this past year’s event.
Pizza and Pasta Expo – Las Vegas, October 7-8
As the name implies, the Pizza and Pasta Expo is specifically designed for Italian restaurant operators. It showcases the best supplies, ingredients, and technology for Italian concepts.
CaterUp – San Diego, April 22-24
CaterUp is a tradeshow that addresses the unique challenges and opportunities presented by running a catering business. From sales and marketing to food prep and delivery, this event covers every facet of the catering biz.
Coffee Fest – Various Dates and Locations
CoffeeFest, co-located with several regional shows (more on those later), features “everything found on either side of the counter.”
Regional Restaurant Industry Events
National events provide opportunities to learn about up-and-coming technologies and network with executives from all over the country. But regional shows are great for connecting with local vendors and operators (while saving on travel costs).
Check our list of regional shows to find one in your area:
Toast Food for Thought – Various Dates and Locations
New York International Food Show – New York, March 8-10
New England Food Show – Boston, March 22-24
Northwest Food Show – Portland, April 19-20
Texas Restaurant Association Marketplace – Dallas, June 14-15
Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo – Anaheim, August 9-11
Florida Restaurant and Lodging Show – Orlando, September 22-23
Want to meet xtraCHEF at a restaurant industry event near you in 2020? Check back often to see which restaurant industry events and tradeshows we’ll be attending.