Whn you looked at the cover of the January issue Restaurant Business, did you notice anything new? Specifically, a bar across the top that says “Official Magazine of the National Restaurant Association”?
We are proud to be the first magazine to receive this honor. And we’re excited to help the Association share its valuable insights. Starting with this issue, you’ll see a new section, called Association Insider, that will provide information to you and your business. It’ll hit on legislation and lobbying efforts, economic indices, the local view from the state associations and community efforts such as ProStart.
Our partnership with the National Restaurant Association, however, goes much deeper than the pages of the magazine. In November, we forged a strategic alliance with the Association, part of which means we’ll assume operational execution of the National Restaurant Show. Yeah, that show. The big one in Chicago. The one at which, when I first attended in 2013, I was struck by the optimism and got the distinct feeling that important decisions were being made, business was being conducted and people were connecting.
The team of 30 people that puts on an amazing show, led by Mary Pat Heftman, is now a part of the Winsight team, and moved into our office.
So what does this mean for you, the operator?
To answer that question, I want to share a story that started, serendipitously, at a restaurant in Washington, D.C. My father and his business partner Mike Hanley had lunch with Marshall Freeman at The Palm in 1998. Freeman was a well-respected businessman and a mentor to my father and Mike Hanley. His company’s claim to fame: Every day of the year, somewhere in the world, Miller Freeman was producing a trade show. He convinced them that a great media company needs to operate trade shows as well as produce magazines and data. They left lunch telling each other they needed to buy a trade show—and did so within a year.
The Hanley Wood strategy has informed the Winsight strategy. We have extensive experience producing foodservice events, including the Restaurant Leadership Conference, FSTEC and more. We own the leading industry researcher, Technomic. And in addition to Restaurant Business, we have media brands in noncommercial foodservice, convenience and grocery. Every single day, we provide news, data and insights to every channel through which Americans buy their food and beverages.
And we’ve been looking for the right trade show—a well-respected one we knew we could make even better—since 2012.
Our goal is to make the Show more valuable for you than ever before. More educational content geared toward top-of-mind trends and challenges. More data and insights informing the future of the industry. More industry leaders to hear from and connect with. We’re bringing in the expertise that will allow you to have a truly personalized, curated experience, even at a large trade show.
Our industry is one of great opportunity. Sometime in the near future, foodservice in the U.S. will be a $1 trillion market. This growth is driven by innovation—in menus, in service, in technology. But there are also challenges around labor, changing consumer preferences and, well, tech.
We are committed—at Winsight, at Restaurant Business, at the National Restaurant Association Show—to helping you leverage those opportunities and navigate those challenges.
This May, the Show will celebrate its centennial: 100 years serving this great industry. I hope to see you there.