It’s official: we’re less than two months away from the 2023 Restaurant Show! If this is your first time at the show, there’s a few things you need to know so you can have a great time. 

What is the Restaurant Show?

Before we dive in, what is the Restaurant Show? And what happens there? We can answer both of those questions for you.  

The annual Restaurant Show is hosted by The National Restaurant Association. They advocate on behalf of the restaurant industry and is the largest foodservice trade association in the world. They have individual chapters located in every state plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The official Restaurant Show is the largest gathering of foodservice professionals in the Western hemisphere. Thousands of people from all over the world travel to see everything the show has to offer – which includes almost 2,000 exhibitors. The show kicks off on May 20th in Chicago and lasts until the 23rd 

Now that you have all the facts, there are a few things you need so you can make the most of the Show.  

7 things to bring (or not bring) to the National Restaurant Association show 

The downloaded The Show To Go app. The Show app allows you to view the floor plan, check out the exhibitor list, and learn when product showcases/demonstrations are. Using the app, you can plan out your time at the show. You can also view this information on the web, found here. 

Contact information. Whether it’s a physical business card or a way to send contact info electronically. This is the best foodservice networking event of the year and you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to make important connections, personal or professional. 

Something to take notes with. Because there’s so much to see and do at the show, you’ll want to travel pretty light. But having somewhere you can take notes is important. There will be a ton of great information during the sessions and as you walk around the exhibitions. We suggest using your smartphone, but you can also bring a small notepad if you prefer.  

Comfortable shoes. Chicago’s McCormick Place is the largest convention center in North America. It’s over 2 million square feet. Which means that your feet will be doing a lot of work. Prioritize comfortability over style. You’ll thank us later.   

An open mind. The National Restaurant Association Show is full of innovative ideas, products, and people. You may have an idea of how you want to spend your time while you’re there, but there’s so much to see and do. Don’t limit yourself. Take advantage of everything the Show has to offer.  

Your appetite. No need to grab breakfast on the way to the Show. You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to food and drink samples.  

Don’t bring a bag (if you can help it). If there’s no need for you to bring a backpack or large bag, then don’t. Exhibitors will have totes and drawstring bags as part of their giveaways. You can keep everything you need (like other giveaway items) in there.  

The 2023 National Restaurant Association Show promises to be a great event with tons to do and see. With this above in mind, you’ll be prepared to have an amazing time while you’re in Chicago. Make sure you stop by to see the LGC team at booth 9624 while you’re there. 

Learn more about the 2023 National Restaurant Association Show by visiting their website.