The National Restaurant Association, the leading business association for the restaurant industry, and Winsight LLC, a leading information services company in the foodservice industry, have announced the formation of an equity partnership, through which the National Restaurant Association will become an equity partner of Winsight, and Winsight will assume operational ownership and execution of the annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show.
The National Restaurant Association Show, the largest annual gathering of foodservice professionals in the world, will continue to be branded under the name of the Association as part of a 45-year sponsorship agreement for the exclusive branding, content, and promotion of the Show. The National Restaurant Association will have an advisory seat on Winsight’s board of directors. Winsight’s publication, Restaurant Business, will become the official magazine of the Association.
This partnership is intended to serve the emerging and changing needs of the foodservice industry. Through the partnership, the National Restaurant Association gains new opportunities to deliver best-in-class content, drive member value, broadcast advocacy messages, advance the industry’s stories, and provide data-driven insights to fuel the restaurant and foodservice industry’s growth and profitability.
“This collaboration will allow us to grow the impact and reach of our Show, while also elevating the level of service we provide to our members, including enhanced member benefits, advocacy, training and certification, and content,” said National Restaurant Association President and CEO Dawn Sweeney. “The new relationship with Restaurant Business gives us an additional avenue to expand and amplify the stories important to the industry and our members.”
This agreement will result in an enhanced Show experience and greater opportunities for all Show stakeholders, including members, sponsors, partners, and Show exhibitors and attendees. Building on the Show’s success, the partnership will accelerate programming and content to drive attendance and enhance the value the Show provides for the industry’s senior-level operators and executives. Perennial favorite features of the Show, including the Signature keynote session, “Future of Restaurants” super-session, Innovation Hub, and World Culinary Showcase will continue, along with a special Restaurants Rock celebration.
The most recent National Restaurant Association Show drew 65,000 attendees and covered more than 700,000 square feet of exhibit space. In 2019, the Show will celebrate its centennial anniversary, at Chicago’s McCormick Place, from May 18-21. The Association’s Board of Directors and related meetings will continue to be held during this time.
Mary Pat Heftman will become President of the Restaurant Show Group at Winsight, and the current Convention team will move to Winsight as well. “This strategic partnership accelerates our efforts to bring Show attendees and exhibitors better and deeper programing and expedites the digital transformation taking place throughout the industry,” said Heftman.
“Collaborating with the National Restaurant Association provides a tremendous opportunity for Winsight and its team. Through products such as Technomic’s company profiles, menu insights, and consumer trends, combined with our media business’s vast market knowledge and audience intelligence platform, we look forward to serving the ever-increasing needs of the Show and the industry,” said Winsight CEO Mike Wood. “We welcome Mary Pat and her team to Winsight, and we are confident our resources, combined with those of the National Restaurant Association, have created a partnership dedicated to the success of the restaurant and foodservice industries of today and tomorrow.”
Financial terms were not disclosed. The companies signed the agreement Sept. 28 and expect to close the transaction in Q4 2018.