This year marks the 100th anniversary of the National Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association Show. The Association formed after a group of restaurateurs in Kansas City, Mo., organized an egg boycott to protest rapidly rising prices from egg brokers. That action would launch a national organization that would help protect the foodservice industry from the negative impacts of Prohibition, the Great Depression and World War II rationing.
During the last hundred years, the restaurant industry has grown to be the nation’s second-largest private sector employer, employing more than 15 million people, and serving more than 170 million customers each day. Over the next decade, we expect the number of employees to increase by more than 1 million, and early projections indicate that restaurant and foodservice sales in 2019 will exceed $850 billion. Looking ahead, we are confident restaurants, and the people who put their hearts and souls into this industry, will continue to thrive and will remain the backbone of American communities.