What an incredible year we've had as an Association and an industry overall.

With your help, we've secured an extension of the James Beard Awards in Chicago through 2027, maintained an ongoing fight against restrictive scheduling mandates, awarded more than $180,000 in scholarships to the next generation of culinary leaders, and much more.

These successes would not have been possible without the support of our members, Officers, Board of Directors, Chairman Jim Kallas and all our corporate sponsors.

Click here to read more from IRA President & CEO Sam Toia.
Growing the Ranks of Restaurant Leaders in Illinois

IRA membership continued to grow this year throughout Illinois under the direction of Membership Committee Chair Kevin Vaughan. We were proud to offer expanded programming and roundtables throughout the state, and we welcomed new Silver Sponsor State Auto Insurance Companies and Endorsed Partner EMPLOYERS .

Click here to read more.
Working Day and Night to Protect Restaurants in Illinois

Throughout 2018, the IRA achieved several legislative goals and addressed regulatory challenges at the local, state, and federal levels. We made our industry voice known on issues ranging from restrictive scheduling, sidewalk cafes, tourism funding, plastic straws, immigration reform, and more.

Click here to read more about the IRA's advocacy efforts.
The Most Reliable Training Solutions for Your Business

The IRA is your number one source for all your restaurant training and certification needs. Our Education department trained more than 2,500 people in food service sanitation throughout 2018. 

You can sign up now for ServSafe Foodservice Sanitation Manager Certification classes through April 2019.

Learn more about the Education department and how we can help your business.
Building the Future of our Industry

This year, the IRA Educational Foundation (IRAEF) continued to grow the Illinois ProStart® program and worked on connecting culinary students with industry professionals through mentoring, job-readiness training, scholarships, and more.

The IRAEF awarded a total of $180,000 in scholarships to 88 hardworking students pursuing a post-secondary education in culinary arts or hospitality management.

Check out more highlights from the IRA Educational Foundation.
Year-Round Festivities for the Culinary Community

The IRA's 2018 special events brought out industry leaders, golfers, dancers, families, and foodies alike for a wide array of culinary activities.

Click here to read more.
Rock the Fork Was a Hit!

Guests, sponsors and chefs alike, were singing the praises of the 11th Annual Bon Appétit presents Chicago Gourmet! Known as one of the country’s top food and wine events, the festival presented a variety of city-wide activities from Wednesday, September 26 to Sunday, September 30, 2018.

Click here to read more.