• Home
    Home We Serve America's Restaurants Representing nearly 500,000 restaurant businesses, we advocate for restaurant and foodservice industry interests and provide tools and systems that help members of all sizes achieve success.
  • Foundation
    Foundation Building & Retaining Talent The NRAEF is focused on developing a stronger workforce and building the next generation of industry leaders through education, scholarships and community engagement.
  • Show
    Show May 18-21, 2019 As the international foodservice marketplace, the National Restaurant Association Show provides unparalleled opportunities for buyers and sellers to come together, conduct business and learn from each other.
  • ServSafe
    ServSafe Minimize Risk. Maximize Protection. For over 40 years, ServSafe® training programs have delivered the knowledge, leadership and protection that have earned the trust and confidence of business leaders everywhere.

National Restaurant Association - Startup Alley 2018

Skip to navigation Skip to content


Supporting a Tech-Forward Future for the Foodservice Industry National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show® Opens Applications for Startup Alley


CHICAGO, IL – Restaurateurs, restaurant guests and investors all agree—technology that improves the dining experience remains at the forefront of the foodservice industry. Since 2015, the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show has showcased the best restaurant technology companies in Startup Alley, recognizing the critical role played by new, innovative players in the arena. Companies poised to make an impact in foodservice tech are invited to apply to exhibit in Startup Alley at NRA Show® 2018, which runs May 19-22, at McCormick Place in Chicago.
Restaurant tech entrepreneurs are looking to improve front-of-house experiences and back-of-house operations with advancements ranging from CRM and payments software to smart kitchens and tabletop devices. Most restaurant operators admit that they lag in technology adoption and want to catch up. Startup Alley puts the best technological innovations in front of the most operators likely to invest in the next 12 months.
Benefits to startups include an audience of 43,000+ NRA Show attendees, a reduced exhibitor fee, a small kiosk with a carpeted area, electricity, internet access and a graphic panel complete with the company name and logo. Marketing, promotion and signage will be provided by NRA Show as well. 
“We want our members to experience the latest in restaurant tech, breakthrough solutions that can impact their efficiency and their bottom line,” said Perry Quinn, Senior Vice President for Innovation and Business Development at the National Restaurant Association®. “Investment in foodservice technology is on track to break records in 2017, and there is explosive growth in this area. Startup Alley provides the perfect opportunity for these tech-savvy startups to work with us and our restaurant members.”
In its 2017 State of the Industry report, NRA® noted that restaurant guests are 30% more likely to use restaurant technology than they were two years ago. More than 65% of all adults said that they would be willing to use kiosk or tablet ordering, free Wi-Fi, tableside payment or electronic menu and ordering stations at a sit-down restaurant.
For their part, restaurant operators are looking for technology to make their operations more accessible for smartphone-using guests. They are also open to learning about technologies that address back-of-house efficiencies and general operations.
Startup Alley exhibitors must be new to NRA Show, less than three years old, have at least one paying customer and focus on technology that specifically addresses restaurant industry challenges. Additionally, they must bill less than $5 million annually. A limited number of booths are available. Review the complete criteria here. Applications are due by February 1, 2018.
The National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest annual gathering of restaurant, foodservice and lodging professionals in the world. NRA Show 2018 will be held May 19-22, 2018 at McCormick Place in Chicago. NRA Show attracts more than 66,000 attendees from all 50 states and 100+ countries, and showcases the latest products and services as well as up-to-the-minute information about trends and issues and growth opportunities. For more information, visit Restaurant.org/Show. NRA Show can also be found on Twitter (@NRAShow), Facebook and Instagram (@NRAShow). 

▲ Back to Top

We're glad you're here!®

® 2012-2017 National Restaurant Association. All rights reserved.

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