National Restaurant Association Show Announces New Expo + Education Programming for 2024 Event

Expo + Education badge gives attendees an enhanced experience with exclusive access to operator-led sessions, roundtable discussions and networking

Contact: Julie Franks, mdg; FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January, 23, 2024

Sample Image of Chicago Skyline
CHICAGO (January 23, 2024)—The National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show®, the epicenter of culinary innovation and a showcase of emerging trends in the foodservice industry, is excited to announce the Expo + Education programming for the 2024 event. Developed to infuse a heightened focus on immersive learning, collaboration, and meaningful connections into the Show’s education offerings, this designated badge category offers exclusive access to 40+ operator-led sessions, intimate roundtable discussions, and networking refreshment breaks provided by Keurig Dr. Pepper. Positioned just off the Show floor in a dedicated, distraction-free setting, the 2024 education sessions are meticulously designed to grant operators increased flexibility to select sessions that best meet their needs and to leverage extended interaction with industry peers. Limited space is available for the Expo + Education program, so attendees are encouraged to register early to secure their spot. The National Restaurant Association Show will take place from May 18-21, 2024, at McCormick Place in Chicago. 

Tom Cindric, President of the National Restaurant Association Show, highlighted, “The introduction of the Expo + Education badge underscores our commitment to fostering growth and innovation in the foodservice industry. This exclusive offering provides growth-minded attendees with a focused learning experience, featuring innovative solutions and fresh perspectives. It reflects our dedication to advancing education at the National Restaurant Association Show, ensuring attendees gain unparalleled insights and future-forward ideas that drive industry excellence.”

“There’s a proliferation of competitors, so the opportunity to learn from others continues to increase as more brands join the industry,” Deborah Von Kutzleben, Chief Marketing Officer at Tropical Smoothie Café and 2024 Expo + Education speaker, shared her insights. “More concepts, more marketing styles, more menu innovation, the list really goes on. As a whole, this [Show] can be viewed as an opportunity for the bigger players to learn from emerging brands as they have something new to bring to the table.”

The exclusive Expo + Education badge, complemented by sessions featuring industry leaders, thought-provoking speakers, and food and beverage innovators, enriches the overall learning environment. While on-the-floor programming, keynotes, and featured sessions remain accessible to all attendees through a general registration pass, the Expo + Education badge promises an expanded exploration of key topics impacting the industry today. This year features six education tracks—including Culinary Insights, Operations Solutions, Marketing Matters, Technology Strategies, Trends in Adult Beverage, and Workforce Management—designed to deliver business solutions on the most pressing topics within the industry.


LTOs that Pop: How Exclusivity Can Boost Engagement and Your Bottom Line
Speaker: Rian McCartan, CEO at Swig

Budget-Friendly Benefits to Attract and Retain Top Talent
Speaker: Patrick Yearout, Director of Innovation at Ivar's Restaurants; Adam Barringer Founder at SoNapa Grille

Cracking the Gen Z Code
Speaker: Erin Newkirk, Chief Brand & Marketing Officer at Caribou Coffee; Marianne Radley Chief Marketing Officer at Smoothie King; Tom Carr, Chief Marketing Officer at Chicken Salad Chick

Raise Menu Prices or Lower Food Costs? Do Both Optimally with These 5 Tools
Speaker: Ray Villaman, CEO/Owner at Tahoe Restaurant Group

Revolutionizing Hospitality: The Journey of AI and Robotics in Enhancing Guest Experiences
Speaker: Dr. Rachel Fu, UF’s THEM Chair and EFTI Director at University of Florida; Bob Schalow, Senior Vice President at Diversified Restaurant Group; Ryan Hicks, CFE, Managing Partner at Franchise Supplier Network

The Disappearing Daypart
Speaker: Cindy Syracuse, Chief Marketing Officer at BurgerFi; Deborah Von Kutzleben, Chief Marketing Officer at Tropical Smoothie Café; Randy Gier, Chief Executive Officer at NRG Restaurant Group; Tom Sebok, Managing Partner and Principal at New England Consulting Group

Patrick Yearout, Director of Innovation at Ivar's Restaurants and 2024 Expo + Education speaker, shared why it’s critical for operators to learn from each other, “The power of shared experiences among operators cannot be overstated. Join us to learn how these experiences can shape a successful benefits strategy at your restaurants.”  

“There’s nothing more invigorating than collaborating with our fellow operators, and I’m honored to be included in such an incredible lineup of panelists,” Rian McCartan, CEO of Swig, added.
The Education + Expo badge can be added to general attendee registration for $250. For more information and to register, visit  Connect with the Show online on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

About The National Restaurant Association Show
The National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show® is the Western Hemisphere's most influential foodservice event showcasing industry innovations and trends. Each year (starting in 1919), the Show brings together restaurant operators and foodservice professionals for four days of celebrity-led demos, exhibits, sampling, education and networking. The Show unites a global community and enables exploration of the latest advancements in food, beverage, equipment, technology and solutions driving the industry forward. The Show is owned and operated by Informa in partnership with the National Restaurant Association. Visit for more information.

About Informa 
Informa is a leading international B2B markets, live and on-demand events and digital services group. They connect businesses and professionals in 30+ industries with the knowledge they need to learn more, know more and do more. Informa has hundreds of global brands, products and services and employs 11,000 employees in ~30 countries worldwide.  

Informa Connect is a content-led, live and on-demand experiences business which connects professionals with knowledge, ideas and opportunities. Informa Connect, a community of over 1,000 colleagues globally, offers connection through events, media and research. They service a number of different industries including Foodservice, Finance, Bio Tech and Pharma, Pop Culture, Marketing, Law, Energy, HR, Sustainability, Construction. Visit for more information. 

Latest from Press Releases

Global Participation from 124 Countries and 9% Increase in Exhibit Space Highlight the Event’s Remarkable Success

National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show® kicks off tomorrow at Chicago's McCormick Place.

With more than 2,240 exhibitors, including 700+ first-time and 600+ international participants, the 2024 Show serves as the epicenter of cutting-edge industry insights and innovations