Restaurant Conferences & Trade Shows to Attend in 2024

Restaurant Conferences & Trade Shows to Attend in 2024
AJ Beltis

By AJ Beltis

In the restaurant business, it’s easy to focus so much on the day-to-day that you lose sight of the bigger picture. Sometimes you need to pause and reflect to make sure you’re set up for success in this rapidly-changing landscape. What better way to do that than to meet face-to-face with restaurateurs and industry leaders at restaurant conferences?

With so many different events on the horizon, you'll need to plan accordingly. Here are some of the most noteworthy restaurant conferences and events to attend, as well as some information to help you decide which ones are the best for improving your restaurant business.

7shifts Staff at a trade show with Shawn Walchef of Cali BBQ
The 7shifts team at a trade show with Shawn Walchef of Cali BBQ

BITAC Food and Beverage

BITAC — short for Buyer Interactive Trade Alliance and Conference — offers a more personalized environment for executives looking to improve their restaurant business with strategic investments and purchases. Advertised as a place for “uninterrupted private meetings between decision-makers and solution providers,” BITAC allows for several in-depth conversations between attendees and suppliers of equipment, furnishings, and technology needed to scale and sustain a restaurant business.

  • Website: BITAC Food and Beverage
  • Topics: Restaurant Equipment and Technology
  • When: January 21 - 23, 2024
  • Where: Miami, Florida
  • Ideal Attendee: Restaurant Group Owners and Executives

New England Food Show

With a large focus on speakers and restaurants native to New England, this show is a great opportunity to connect with local hospitality professionals. Sessions cover various topics relevant to those working in restaurants, like using AI, retaining staff, and social media branding. Plus meet some TV stars like former Patriots player Ty Law and editor-in-chief of Cook’s Illustrated, Dan Souza.

  • Website: New England Food Show
  • Topics: Wellness, Staffing, and Finances
  • When: February 4 - 5, 2024
  • Where: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Ideal Attendee: Foodservice Professionals in and around Boston

Workforce Management in Fast Casual and QSR Summit

Get up close and personal with execs from major and growing restaurant chains like bartaco, Smashburger, and Hart House. The labor shortage has been on employers’ minds for years — operators reported their biggest challenges in 2023 were hiring and retention. With an intimate guest count compared to other industry shows (less than 200 attendees in 2023), you’ll get quality face time to talk about wage discrepancy, talent development, and training with peers.

Black Box Intelligence - Best Practices Conference

With speakers like Taco Bell, Cheesecake Factory, and Hardee’s executives, this data-focused conference is perfect for hospitality leaders who value research along with expert advice. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with peers, hear from industry leaders, and gain new ideas for improving their businesses. They’ll also hand out awards (based on data) for things like staff customer voice, employer choice, and best-in-class in the segment.

  • Website: Best Practices Conference
  • Topics: Employee and Guest Experience
  • When: February 26 - 28, 2024
  • Where: Dallas, Texas
  • Ideal Attendee: Restaurant Group Executives

Vibe Conference

Vibe is the first trade show of the year with a focus on beverages. Hear from hospitality experts about how to create a beverage program, maintain draft quality, and create a unique guest experience. Catch the 2024 Vista Awards for categories like Best Alcohol-Free Beverage Program, Best Spirits Program, and Best Beverage LTO. The conference also supports CORE, a charity that helps provide financial relief to F&B employees with children when they face health issues or a natural disaster.

  • Website: Vibe Conference
  • Topics: Beverage Menu Development and Distributor Relations
  • When: February 26 - 28, 2024
  • Where: San Diego, California
  • Ideal Attendee: Bar Operators and Beverage Executives

The International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York

Been pining for a visit to the Big Apple? Or maybe you're a New York local who doesn't want to travel too far.

Either way, this New York restaurant show is for you. Spanning three days in one of the world's most renowned food destinations, this conference has something for everyone, with courses for independent owners and multi-unit operators. The show advertises “emerging trends abound on the show floor” as you learn from and network with countless like-minded restaurateurs.

Multi-Unit Restaurant Technology Conference

This event (abbreviated MURTEC) is the restaurant conference to attend if you run a multi-unit restaurant business and are on the lookout for the right technology to help scale and support your business. The event's benefits are twofold: attendees get to meet other multi-unit restaurateurs to learn what solutions work for them, and they get to interact with dozens of restaurant tech companies to see these solutions in action. Since restaurant technology is always evolving, attendance at this conference ensures your restaurant group is staying ahead of the tech curve.

  • Website: MURTEC
  • Topics: Restaurant Technology
  • When: March 11 - 13, 2024
  • Where: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Ideal Attendee: Multi-Unit Restaurateurs
7shifts Staff at MURTEC
The 7shifts team at MURTEC

Bar & Restaurant Expo

Attended by more than 13,000 bar and hospitality professionals in 2023, this event is ideal for bar owners, as well as proprietors of restaurants with a bar that want to improve their liquor program. 2024 speakers include beverage execs at Four Seasons, Marriott, Heineken, and other mixologists. Classes and sessions planned for the 2024 conference include raising the bar on guest experience, essentials for starting a bar or restaurant, and how to run a profitable restaurant or bar.

  • Website: Bar & Restaurant Expo
  • Topics: Alcohol, Bars, and Nightclubs
  • When: March 18 - 20, 2024
  • Where: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Ideal Attendee: (Restaurant and) Bar Owners
7shifts Staff at Bar & Restaurant Expo
The 7shifts team at Bar & Restaurant Expo

International Pizza Expo

There's no better restaurant conference to attend if you own a pizzeria than this one. There are dozens of seminars, education sessions, workshops, keynotes, and competitions. It's simply impossible to accomplish everything that you want to. This year, attendees will learn how to craft a brand and media strategy, make vegan cheese, and whether to use tips vs. service charges. Not to mention the ongoing World Pizza Games, where you'll witness the world's fastest box folders and dough stretchers work their magic. The show balances fun with practical tips for helping your profit margins rise.

  • Website: International Pizza Expo
  • Topics: Pizzeria Operations, Marketing, Staffing
  • When: March 19 - 21, 2024
  • Where: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Ideal Attendee: Pizzeria Owners and Professionals
7shifts Staff at International Pizza Expo
The 7shifts team at International Pizza Expo

Restaurant Franchising and Innovation Summit

The opportunities and challenges that franchises face aren't always the same as their single-unit counterparts. This conference is dedicated to utilizing the resources that franchises have available to them to help franchisors ensure their franchisees succeed. Topics on the 2024 agenda include how to reduce food waste, why your loyalty program isn't working, and how to talk to Gen Z. Executives and leaders from Blaze Pizza, Mad Greens, Nektar Juice Bar, and other prominent franchises are speaking this year.

Food Marketing Conference

How'd you like to hear marketing tips from folks who have worked for PepsiCo, Kroger, and Meijer? With more than 30 speakers and 1000 attendees at the 2023 event, the Food Marketing Conference — hosted by Western Michigan University — is the event for restaurateurs hoping to spread the word of their business to the right audiences in the most cost-effective ways. Key themes include industry trends, experiential partnerships, and supply chain management.

  • Website: Food Marketing Conference
  • Topics: Marketing
  • When: March 26 - 27, 2024
  • Where: Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Ideal Attendee: Restaurant Marketers

Restaurants Canada Show

The Restaurants Canada (RC) Show is Canada's leading destination for connecting with, learning from, and becoming hospitality experts. The RC Show is a three-day extravaganza with vendors to meet and an ongoing series of stages to keep you entertained (and educated).

Last year's lineup featured stages dedicated to restaurant tech, green initiatives, bar & beverage panels, and a general speakers stage. Plus, attendees have the chance to attend an industry night out and watch the RC awards show.

  • Website: Restaurants Canada Show
  • Topics: Restaurant Trends, Marketing, Staffing Challenges, World Cuisine Influences, and More
  • When: April 8 - 10, 2024
  • Where: Toronto, Ontario
  • Ideal Attendee: Canadian Restaurant & Hospitality Professionals

Restaurant Leadership Conference

While the speaker list is yet to be released at the time of writing, Derek Jeter spoke at RLC last year. The topics at 2023's conference were valuable and compelling — such as plant-based foods in the supply chain and a fireside chat with the CEO of Subway. Plus, when you're not attending awesome sessions, you can take a trip to the spa at this Phoenix hotel or partake in the event after parties.

  • Website: Restaurant Leadership Conference
  • Topics: Leadership, Thought Leadership
  • When: April 14 - 17, 2024
  • Where: Phoenix, Arizona
  • Ideal Attendee: Restaurant Executives
7shifts Staff at Restaurant Leadership Conference
The 7shifts team at RLC with Jason Wang of Xi'an Famous Foods

The Northwest Food Show

Local to the PNW region? The Northwest food show is a great option for those in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, and Northern California. Topics covered include everything from marketing best practices to labor trends, with the opportunity for private consultations with foodservice experts. Not to mention — chef demonstrations, an alcohol pavilion to find new suppliers, and plenty of technology exhibitors and equipment demonstrations to improve your operations.

  • Website: The Northwest Food Show
  • Topics: Operations, Food Cost, Labor Trends, Restaurant Branding
  • When: April 21 - 22, 2024
  • Where: Portland, Oregon
  • Ideal Attendee: Pacific Northwest Restaurateurs

Craft Brewers Conference

Get ready to be immersed in all things beer, from the nitty gritty of enzymes and canning processes to the operational, such as event planning and team management. With 9 comprehensive tracks including legal, marketing, and ingredients, you’ll be well-equipped to take your brewery or pub to the next level. Catch a conversation with Fawn Weaver of Uncle Nearest Premium Whisky, then watch who is awarded the World Beer Cup.

  • Website: Craft Brewers Conference
  • Topics: Brewing Techniques, Finance, Staffing, DEI, Wellness, Legal
  • When: April 21 - 24, 2024
  • Where: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Ideal Attendee: Managers and Owners of Breweries

National Restaurant Association Show

The granddaddy of all restaurant events, the National Restaurant Association Show bills itself as the “largest annual gathering of foodservice professionals in the Western Hemisphere” since 1919. It's the ideal show for anyone who wants to improve their restaurant business — there are educational tracks on culinary insights, workforce management, and technology strategies, among others. Plus, see chef and mixology demos.

You'll leave this show with expert knowledge on new marketing tactics, an understanding which tech can improve your business, and plenty of new connections. And we’ll be there in 2023, so come say hi!

  • Website: National Restaurant Association Show
  • Topics: Restaurant Operations, Technology, Health & Wellness, Workforce Recruitment & Development
  • When: May 18 - 21, 2024
  • Where: Chicago, Illinois
  • Ideal Attendee: Any Restaurant Professional
7shifts Staff at National Restaurant Association
The 7shifts booth at the National Restaurant Association Show

FAB Conference

Just one-third of restaurants are majority woman-owned. The FAB Conference wants that number to be higher with its two-day workshop for women in the hospitality space. They bill themselves as covering “the tough shit and the honest truth of being a woman in the industry”. Topics covered at previous events balanced issues like sustainability, vulnerability, and working while supporting a family with tactical tips on media training, navigating the supply chain, and — above all else — staying profitable.

  • Website: FAB Conference
  • Topics: Running a Successful Hospitality Business as a Woman
  • When: June 2 - 4, 2024
  • Where: Charleston, South Carolina
  • Ideal Attendee: Female Hospitality Professionals

Digital Transformation in Fast Casual and QSR Summit

This two-day workshop's focus is on the continuous pivots that fast casual restaurants and QSRs have had to make. From taking advantage of AI for online ordering to using tech to improve the customer experience, guests will leave equipped with the knowledge of which technologies are worth investing in to appeal to a wide audience. Hear from execs at Salad and Go, Slutty Vegan, and Pollo Loco in 2024.

Texas Restaurant Association Show

Saddle up for three days of learning about how to help your restaurant thrive. There will be plenty of educational opportunities — from interactive sessions, to live demos, to a keynote presentation. Plus, it's an opportunity to (re)connect with thousands of Texas restaurateurs. When you're not taking notes on new tactics to try in your restaurant, buddy up with someone at the Lone Star Bash and Texas Restaurant Awards Show and enjoy live music from a Texan artist.

  • Website: Texas Restaurant Association Show
  • In-Person or Virtual: In-Person
  • Topics: Technology, Trends, Marketing
  • When: July 13 - 15, 2024
  • Where: San Antonio, Texas
  • Ideal Attendee: Texas Restaurateurs

Western Foodservice and Hospitality Show

The Western Foodservice and Hospitality Show welcomes restaurant professionals to the LA Convention center for three days of education and networking, with hundreds of vendors and purveyors to learn from and meet. In addition to live culinary performances, expert roundtables, and awards ceremonies, there are dedicated program tracks to hyper-focus on where you want your restaurant to grow the most: including Bar & Beverage, Marketing & Social Media, Operational Excellence, and more.

  • Website: Western Foodservice and Hospitality Show
  • Topics: Restaurant Trends, Beverages, Marketing, Operations
  • When: August 25 - 27, 2024
  • Where: Los Angeles, California
  • Ideal Attendee: California and LA-Area Restaurateurs


Speakers at FSTEC — one of the leading events for learning about restaurant technology — have included leaders from CAVA, Panera, Honeygrow, and other restaurants that have revolutionized the way technology is used in both guest-facing and owner-facing ways. With more than 1600 attendees and 70 speakers last year, conference-goers have a forum for learning concrete strategies for implementing technology to improve their restaurants. 2023 sessions don't just cover the state of restaurant tech, but also highlighted how to use data and AI for the customer experience, tip management, and dealing with supply chain issues.

  • Website: FSTEC
  • Topics: Restaurant Technology
  • When: September 16 - 18, 2024
  • Where: Grapvine, Texas
  • Ideal Attendee: Tech-Savvy Restaurateurs (or Those Who Want to Become Tech-Savvy)
7shifts Staff at National Restaurant Association
The 7shifts team at FSTEC 2023

Restaurant Finance and Development Conference

While you'll still see technology and food vendors at this event, the focus of this restaurant conference is the business's bottom line. Sessions cover topics pertaining to finances, the economy, accounting, growth strategy, and restaurant technology. The conference, which takes place over three days, has several specialty workshop timeslots dedicated to bringing and keeping a restaurant business in the black. Investors, journalists, restaurant executives, and other speakers will be there to provide their recommendations on where restaurants need to invest heavily and cut back substantially in order to see the largest return on their investments and purchases.

7shifts Staff at National Restaurant Association
7shifts staff at Race to RFDC 2023

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AJ Beltis
AJ Beltis

AJ Beltis is a freelance writer with almost a decade of experience in the restaurant industry. He currently works as a content manager at HubSpot, and previously as a blogger at Toast.