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National Restaurant Association - Logo History

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About Us

Logo History

Like other associations our age, our visual identity has been modified many times over the years. We’re excited that our brand reflects our innovative programs, expanded focus, and growth to meet the changing needs of our industry.

March 13, 1919
In 1919, Kansas City restaurateurs launch a national organization, holding the first meeting of what is today's National Restaurant Association on March 13 in Kansas City. The fledgling organization represents an industry of 43,000 restaurants.


To appeal to customers during the Depression, the National Restaurant Association tries out two advertising slogans: "Enjoy Life - Eat Out More Often" and "Take Her Out to Dinner at Least Once a Week."

Two key national promotions were also inaugurated during this time -- the Early Bird Breakfast in 1936 and National Restaurant Week one year later with its slogan "Good Food For Good Health."

Early 1940s
World War II gas rations and travel restrictions resulted in the cancellation of national restaurant conventions from 1942 to 1945. In their place, the National Restaurant Association instituted a program of wartime conferences dealing with such concerns as food, equipment and labor shortages.

Post-war pride: Post-WWII restaurant sales hit a new high. The number of meals served tripled from a prewar level of 20 million meals per day to a postwar level of more than 60 million meals per day. The National Restaurant Association launched an Educational Department and produced its first film, "America's Heritage of Hospitality," to promote the industry and recruit new employees.

1955: Dior Decal
Dubbed the “Dior Decal,” this logo was launched in 1955 to conform with the time’s modernistic building and style. The long, thin shape replaced the oval decal that had been used in the past and the familiar symbol of the knife, fork, and spoon was retained in honor of the previous emblem.

1950s - 1960s: TV Age
During the “TV Age,” the acronym for the National Restaurant Association partially emerged, we supported a new type of dinner — the "take home" meal — that families could enjoy at home in front of their new black and white television sets. To whet customers' appetites for eating out, the National Restaurant Association commissioned two songs: "Pass the Meat, Pass the Potatoes" and "Let's Go Out to a Restaurant."


1969: 50th Anniversary
The NRA celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1969 at the National Restaurant Association Convention and Exposition. The theme: "Golden Opportunities."

The National Restaurant Association fully embraced the disco era with this logo. It also marked the total (at the time) move to the acronym.

The massive "We're Glad You're Here" campaign promoting the pleasures of hospitality kicked off at our 1970 convention, attended by 84,718 people.

1987-2012: “Star” is Born
A star became part of the National Restaurant Association identity in our logo of more than two decades. During this time, the Association became more politically active and one of the NRA's most successful marketing slogans -- "We're Glad You're Here" - is resurrected.


In July 2012, we unveiled our new branding architecture and visual identity, which applies to all of our programs, advocacy, services and products. The new brand visual is designed to reflect the richness and diversity of the restaurant industry. We sought input from industry professionals, state restaurant associations and policy makers to create a logo concept that resonates with a wide audience and that illustrates the restaurant and foodservice industry in multiple ways.


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2055 L St. NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 331-5900 | (800) 424-5156