Meet the Next Generation of Workers at the National Restaurant Association Show

The event will welcome 350-plus students from Chicago-area high schools to explore career paths in the restaurant industry.

  • The National Restaurant Association Show offers operators a chance to connect with hundreds of high school students looking for a career path in the industry.
  • David Fuller of Chicago Vocational High School said the students are the next chefs, restaurant managers, culinary creatives and food entrepreneurs.

Related: National Restaurant Association Show to feature 500-plus new exhibitors

Want to meet the next generation of restaurant industry professionals? You’ll get your chance at the upcoming National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, taking place May 21-24 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

In collaboration with the Illinois Restaurant Association, the event will welcome more than 350 students from Chicago Public High Schools and other regional high schools as part of the show’s 2022 High School Visitation Program. With more than 1,500 exhibiting companies and 100-plus educational sessions and demos, these young people will get to explore every facet of the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industries for possible career opportunities.

“Our High School Visitation Program is designed to give students first-hand experiences with everything our industry has to offer in order to build a future pipeline of foodservice professionals,” said Tom Cindric, president of Winsight Exhibitions.

The High School Visitation Program was created to cultivate the next generation of foodservice professionals by providing face-to-face interactions and experiences to learn about all aspects of the industry.

David Fuller, chef and chef instructor for the Chicago Vocational High School, said the program “serves as a gateway to the food and beverage industry for our students.” He has been bringing culinary students to the event for the past 18 years. “The show floor gives our students a comprehensive view of the hospitality business, which inspires them to dream about where they see themselves in the future,” he said. “Exposure is essential to cultivation, and the student participants are the next chefs, food scientists, brand managers, hotel executives, restaurant managers, culinary creatives and food entrepreneurs.”

Students have pre-registered to attend the show either Monday, May 23, or Tuesday, May 24, and will take part in a short orientation program before exploring the show floor. They’re encouraged to watch celebrated chefs in action as they lead culinary demos, taste award-winning food and beverage products, and learn from industry leaders about what’s next in foodservice. Students also have the opportunity to connect directly with an array of professionals to further their industry knowledge.

The National Restaurant Association Show brings together more restaurant and hospitality buyers and equipment manufacturers than any other industry event. For more information and to register, visit nationalrestaurantshow.com.