Top 10 Best Conferences for Restaurant and Ghost Kitchen Entrepreneurs

Top 10 Best Conferences for Restaurant and Ghost Kitchen Entrepreneurs

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Restaurants Canada Show

The Restaurants Canada Show is specifically for those seeking food service conferences focused on Canadian businesses. While non-Canadians are more than welcome, the discussion focuses on highlighting Canadian businesses, entrepreneurs, and best practices in the Great White North.

The 2022 Restaurants Canada show will be the 77th edition of the event and boasts a wide range of features to watch, including:

  • Over 250 speakers,
  • Eight pavilions curated to specific niches,
  • Six competitions,
  • Four networking events,
  • And a virtual platform with live programming attached to a well-made online marketplace.

Speakers include Jeremy Gutsche, the CEO of Trend Hunter, Leadership Panels from leaders at top food service names, and numerous discussions focused on the future of food service technology. Tickets are available for online and in-person attendance and are discounted by 25% for those purchased before the beginning date. 

The Restaurants Canada Show runs from May 9-11, 2022, in Toronto’s Enercare Center. Click here to reserve a booth, and click here to buy tickets.

The Food Marketing Conference

Hosted by Western Michigan University, The Food Marketing Conference is a longstanding name in the food service industry. With the 2022 conference concluded, The Food Marketing Conference has been underway for over 56 years. This conference is clearly focused on American Midwest food service and hospitality professionals, though those from elsewhere are quite welcome.

The 2022 Food Marketing Conference saw over 800 attendees, along with many incredible opportunities for burgeoning restaurant and ghost kitchen entrepreneurs, including:

  • Over 30 speakers from industry-leading restaurants,
  • 20 hours of content,
  • Countless networking opportunities for growing business owners,
  • And a wide range of options to learn best practices for marketing your business in the best possible way.

While the 2022 conference has concluded at the time of publication, a 2023 iteration is already in the works - so don’t skip out, especially if you’re trying to grow your Midwest-based business.

Those interested in getting a booth, learning more, or getting attendance information can reach out through The Food Marketing Conference’s contact page.

Global Ghost Kitchens Summit

Those who follow Cuboh’s blog know that we love ghost kitchens. They’re a rapidly-growing field of the food service industry that Euromonitor estimated to be worth roughly $1 trillion by 2030. As such, we had to include the Global Ghost Kitchens Summit on this list - it’s a new conference but is quickly becoming the end-all, be-all of ghost kitchen entrepreneurial expositions.

The 2022 Global Ghost Kitchens Summit was hosted virtually on December 2, 2021, for the second time to uproarious reception. Why, you ask?

This conference focuses specifically on the rapidly-growing and incredibly effective trend of ghost kitchens. Those interested in starting up their own ghost kitchen learned from those that discovered best practices the hard way - through trial and error. And as a virtual event, it allows entrepreneurs from across the globe to network, connect, and share concepts that otherwise wouldn’t be shared.

Speakers included ghost kitchen founders, CEOs and consultants for leading restaurant software groups, and countless leaders in service industry data collection.

If you’d like to find a table, speak, sponsor the event, or attend, head to the Global Ghost Kitchens Summit’s contact page.

The Neighborhood Kitchens Strategy Summit

The Neighborhood Kitchens Strategy Summit focuses on bringing together industry thought leaders and pioneers for neighborhood kitchens. Whether you want to learn how to build your own neighborhood kitchen, discover best practices to drive traffic to your business, or network and build relationships in the industry, the Neighborhood Kitchens Strategy Summit is one of your best resources.

While the inaugural conference was held in 2020, it’s since been up in the air due to COVID complications. Should it return in 2022-23, you can expect to learn from numerous speakers, pinpoint specific sourcing processes to streamline your kitchen, and more!

Ghost Kitchen & Virtual Restaurant Conference

Another fantastic event for ghost and virtual kitchen entrepreneurs, the Ghost Kitchen & Virtual Restaurant Conference, is a new name in the food service industry. The second annual conference will be hosted in Dallas, Texas, from June 9-10, 2022. The speakers and experts at this conference have learned firsthand what does and doesn’t work in this growing industry and are incredibly passionate about the information they share.

You can expect to find many draws at the Ghost Kitchen & Virtual Restaurant Conference, such as:

  • Insights from industry analysts,
  • Speakers with proven experience in the field sharing how they gained success,
  • Countless networking opportunities in a wide range of food service-related industries,
  • And several technology solutions that are certain to make your life (and the lives of your staff) drastically simpler.

The first 150 people to register can do so for a discounted price of $695, and the remainder of registrants can do so for $895. 

The International Restaurant and Food Service Show of New York

The International Restaurant and Food Service Show of New York (IRFS) is one of the leading food service conferences in North America. While the 2022 conference just wrapped up at the time of publication, we had to include it in the list - seriously; it’s that helpful.

You’ll find a wide range of things on offer at the IRFS 2023, including:

  • Educational programs that build knowledge in industry best practices, inform on growing trends, discover menu and design trends, and help new entrepreneurs in the industry to get their feet under them,
  • Networking with countless industry leaders,
  • And opportunities to learn about growing technology that will streamline your business, like PoS middleware and delivery/online order streamlining options.

The IRFS New York is held in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, NY, from March 5-7. You can book a booth here if you’d like to be a part of the talent at the IRFS conference.

The Northwest Food Show

Those in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) know that people and businesses are just… different here. As such, the Northwest Food Show has come about as the best way for local PNW restauranteurs to learn about industry best practices, discover new products, and work with local leaders to improve the restaurant scene.

If you’re in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, or northern California, don’t skip out on the Northwest Food Show. You’ll find:

  • Local, farm-to-table samples of the finest produce, wine, and beer,
  • Best practices presentations and seminars to cut overhead, improve margins, and make the life of you and your chefs drastically less hectic day-to-day,
  • And network with local professionals in data analysis, marketing, and (obviously) food service to bring out the best in your business.

The Northwest Food show will be hosted in the Portland Expo Center from June 26-27, 2022. You can grab tickets here and look for a booth right here.

Western Food Service and Hospitality Show

The Western Food Service and Hospitality Show (WFSH) is another fantastic resource for restauranteurs on the American west coast.

WFSH offers all of the usual suspects: panels on best practices, thoughts on data-driven insights from food service data analysts, and software highlights that will streamline your restaurant or ghost kitchen more than anything else. Some highlights of the 2022 show are sure to include:

  • The Hip Sip: Battle of the Modern Bartender
  • Rapid Fire Challenge
  • Countless networking opportunities with industry thought leaders and professionals,
  • And the “gold-standard, industry-leading educational content” for practical, relevant use in restaurants and ghost kitchens alike.

The Western Food Service and Hospitality Show is hosted in the Los Angeles Convention Center from August 28-30, 2022. Grab your tickets here, and you can book a booth here.

National Restaurant Association Show

The National Restaurant Association Show (NRAS) is perhaps America’s best-known food service conference. 

During the 2022 NRAS, attendees will find a swathe of highly-valuable information, ranging from the usual networking to data and marketing insights that will drive traffic to your kitchen and help build brand recognition. And with COVID still proving an ongoing challenge, seeing how other restauranteurs handled the pandemic will surely inspire some improvement in many joints across the country.

The National Restaurant Association Show will be held at Chicago’s McCormick Place from May 21-24, 2022. You can find tickets here - note that members of the National Restaurant Association are given preference for attendance/booths, but it’s not required.

Food On-Demand Conference

And finally, we make it to the Food On-Demand Conference (FODC). This is the leading conference for those whose joints focus on off-premises and delivery-focused food service. Among the newer parts of the industry to be highlighted are ghost kitchens, which is excellent news if you’re here to learn how to grow your ghost kitchen! 

The first FODC was hosted in 2018, and the program has since grown steadily. Industry leaders on ghost kitchens, delivery-focused restaurants, and cloud kitchen concepts have flocked to the FODC by the boatload. While it may be partially due to the conference taking place in Las Vegas, I like to think that it’s just that interesting!

You’ll find marketing and optimization insights, data analysis, information on how to use this information effectively, and the usual networking opportunities. 

The Food On-Demand Conference generally takes place in the latter portion of the year and is planned to occur, once again, in November-December of 2022 - so start planning now; tickets go fast.

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