News

TRA's Renowned TRA Marketplace Foodservice Expo Event Returns to San Antonio

Jul 6
2021

AUSTIN, TX (July 6, 2021) – This weekend, the Texas Restaurant Association will host TRA Marketplace, the largest in person restaurant trade show and education conference happening this year. The event pivoted to a virtual experience in 2020 but is back live, in person July 10 – 12 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. TRA organizers anticipate more than 4,500 attendees and vendors will gather for the 84th annual event.  

“We are thrilled to be back in person for TRA Marketplace,” said Emily Williams Knight, Ed.D., President and CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association. “Every restaurant owner experienced the collective exhaustion of the pandemic, and it’s time we get together to share stories, celebrate our resilient industry, and look toward the future. We are excited to be in San Antonio this year, home to so many great Texas restaurants.”  

With more than 270 vendors exhibiting, guests will find everything from kitchen to curb, including artisan food products, linens, dinnerware, cookware, online ordering, point of sale, technology, security, flooring, apparel, equipment, and supplies. 

Featured educational sessions include a deep dive into finding and retaining talent, a panel discussion with ranchers and farmers, ghost and host kitchen business models, restaurant design, immigration, trend and research presentations from National Restaurant Association and Coca-Cola, and a unique culinary demo with the authors of a recent historical book: The Lost Restaurants of Galveston’s African American Community.  

Located on the show floor, the TRA PAC Lounge is an exclusive area for supporters of the TRA’s Political Action Committee. The area will feature timely topics and speakers as well as a live feed from the Capitol as Texas’ first special session will be underway.  

Keynote sessions include lessons on growth and resilience with Wow Bao, Velvet Taco, and Dutch Bros. Coffee as well as the relationship between private equity and restaurant owners with Brandon and Zane Hunt of Via 313 and Andrew K. Smith from Savory Restaurant Fund.  

A full day of pre-conference education with the restaurant manager in mind happens on Saturday, July 10 is provided by a partnership with Austin Community College, including sessions on leadership, using digital tools for collaboration, and social and digital marketing.  

Sunday night, TRA and the Texas Restaurant Foundation will host the annual Lone Star Bash featuring the Texas Restaurant Awards at the Briscoe Western Art Museum. In addition to 13 chefs sharing their food, attendees will enjoy live music from Mike and the Moonpies. In addition to recognizing the annual Hall of Honor inductees, the awards portion features nominees from all over the state and three new awards: the Rising Star presented by Savory Restaurant Fund, the Deep in the Heart Award, and the Texas Restaurateur of the Year Award.  

On Monday, TRA hosts their annual TRA Young Guns event, an event-within-an-event for young and young-at-heart restaurant entrepreneurs, featuring a robotics showcase, what to know about Clubhouse, the new social media platform, appearing on restaurant podcasts, as well as a discussion on mental health in the industry.  

Support for TRA Marketplace is provided by major partners Coca-Cola Southwest Bottlers, Sysco, and Heartland as well as Texas Mutual, Ben E. Keith Foods, Ace Mart, ECOLAB and Higginbotham. 

TRA Marketplace tickets are free for TRA restaurant members and $75 for non-members. Tickets for non-exhibiting suppliers are $150. To attend TRA Marketplace as media, see this page for details. 

Additional Links

About the Texas Restaurant Association 
The Texas Restaurant Association was formed in 1937 to serve as the advocate in Texas and the indispensable resource for the foodservice industry. Today, as a leading business association, TRA represents the state’s $70 billion restaurant industry, which is comprised of more than 50,000 locations and a workforce of 1.3 million employees. Along with the Texas Restaurant Foundation, the Association protects, advances, and educates the growing industry. 

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