Food Service Associations and Organizations

While association fees can be expensive, the benefits of joining at least one can far exceed the costs involved. The size of the organization’s membership often determines the extent and quality of its benefits, but most associations offer continuing education, seminars, networking, and an annual conference. They also usually keep up with the latest news and trends and seek to keep their members informed as well. There are trade associations for every facet of the food services industry. Here are the most prominent associations for each industry segment.

Food Service Providers

Commercial Food Equipment Service Association Members of this association are food equipment parts, suppliers, and service technicians. An online inventory system, certification of skills, training classes, and conferences are also part of membership benefits. Certified members are more likely to get jobs or customers. 2216 West Meadow view Road, Suite 100, Greensboro, North Carolina, 27407, (336) 346-4700 ( )

Food Marketing Institute Food retailers and wholesalers can join this association that develops and promotes policies and programs for its members. Food service operators will find exclusive food safety research and information, a 24/7 Crisis Hotline, and access to the industry’s most comprehensive consumer and operations research services, the world’s largest collection of industry resources, and a variety of print and electronic resources, good reasons to join this association. The organization also conducts and publishes research and information for the public. 2345 Crystal Drive, Suite 800, Arlington, Virginia, 22202, (202) 452-8444, ( )

Food Processing Suppliers Association This global association serves suppliers to the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries through market research, education, events, and industry advocates and councils. Members gain access to the largest face to-face marketing event in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industry in the United States, the latest market intelligence to help them more effectively make decisions for their business, and leverages the purchasing power of more than 500 member companies to obtain the best rates possible for goods and services. 1451 Dolley Madison Boulevard, Suite 101, McLean, Virginia, 22101-3850, (703) 761-2600, ( )

International Food Service Distributors Association This association represents food service distributors throughout the United States, Canada, and internationally and has more than 170 members that provide food, equipment, and other products to restaurants and other food service providers. 1410 Spring Hill Road, Suite #210, McLean, Virginia, 22102, (703) 532-9400, (

North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers More than 625 food equipment manufacturers hold membership in this association. It provide

Hospitality and Restaurants

American Beverage Institute ABI represents restaurants that serve adult alcoholic beverages. ABI sponsors research and educational materials involving alcohol and its effects on consumers. It also seeks to provide information on responsible adult beverage consumption to the public and policymakers. 1090 Vermont Avenue NW, Suite 800, Washington, D.C., 20005, (202) 463-7110, (

American Hotel & Lodging Association Educational resources,networking among 11,000 industry executives, and exclusive bottom line savings are some of the benefits reported by this trade association. Members also receive national advocacy on Capitol Hill, public relations and image management. The organization also offers educational materials and research. 1201 New York Avenue NW, #600, Washington, D.C., 20005-3931, (202) 289-3100, (

American Institute of Baking Several segments of the food processing, distribution, food services, and retail industries are served internationally by this association, through education, research, food safety education, and audit services. 1213 Bakers Way, PO Box 3999, Manhattan, Kansas, 66505-3999, (785) 537-4750,

American Institute of Wine & Food This association promotes the enjoyment of food and wine by bringing together professionals in the culinary industry with non-professionals. The primary benefit of joining is networking opportunities both locally and nationally, with well-known chefs, authors, restaurateurs, wine and food producers and purveyors, as well as other professionals and enthusiasts. Founding members include Julia Child and Robert Mondavi. AIWF also provides scholarships and educational programs. 26364 Carmel Rancho Lane, Suite 201, Carmel, California, 93923, (800) 274-2493, ( )

Food Service Consultants Society International, the Americas Consultants in the food service industry can become certified, take continuing education courses, keep up to date on the latest industry trends, and network with other professionals. Other members can advance their careers through professional recognition and numerous networking opportunities with colleagues. 15000 Commerce Parkway, Suite C, Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, 08054, (503) 223-9504, ( )

Food service Educators Network International Culinary teachers get the opportunity to network, share ideas, and better prepare for their students through this organization. The FENI provides a forum for educators to present papers and discuss the latest concepts.20 W Kinzie Street, Suite 1200, Chicago, Illinois, 60654,
(312) 849-2220, ( )

Green Restaurant Association Teaching and encouraging restaurants to be environmentally sustainable is what this association is all about. Restaurants can earn certifications and find green suppliers and products. 89 South Street, Suite 401, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, (617) 737-3344, (

International Association of Culinary Professionals Devoted to providing continuing education and development for its more than 3,000 members worldwide, IACP serves as a resource and support system for professionals in the food and beverage industry. Joining this association gives members a listing on its directory, the opportunity to purchase its mailing list, and member-to-member discounts. 1100 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite 300, Atlanta, Georgia, 30342, (404) 252-3663, (

International Food Service Executives Association Networking, mentoring, and community service are the primary focal points of this organization for food service industry leaders. Education, development, and certifications are also offered to members worldwide. 500 Ryland Street, Suite 200, Reno, Nevada, 89502, (775) 825-2665, (

International Franchise Association The IFA protects, enhances, and promotes franchises of every business category internationally. Members include hardware stores, appliance repair, and home decor businesses as well as restaurants. 1501 K Street NW, Suite 350, Washington, D.C., 20005, (202) 628-8000, (

International Hotel & Restaurant Association This association promotes and protects the interests of hotels and restaurants worldwide through events and news reports. Members receive benefits that include access to industry best practices, networking with other executives, and other benefits. 87, rue Montbrillant, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland, +41 22 734 80 41, (

National Ice Cream Retailers Association Ice cream and frozen dessert retailers can network at the association’s annual conference, share promotional and marketing ideas, take part in continuing education, and receive the latest news and other benefits of this organization. 1028 West Devon Avenue, Elk Grove Village, Illinois, 60007, (847) 301-7500, (

National Restaurant Association This association is the nation’s largest for the restaurant industry, and has more than 380,000 member restaurants. Legislative representation, access to important research that impacts your operations and bottom line, top rated professional training and education, and tools and resources are included in member benefits. 1200 17th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 20036, (202) 331-5900, ( )

U.S. Personal Chef Association This relatively new segment in the food services industry (it started in 1989) is supported by this association offering training, certification, insurance, menu planning software, and equipment. 610 Quantum, Rio Rancho, New Mexico, 87124, (800) 995-2138, (

Women Chefs & Restaurateurs Started by some of the top women chefs in the industry, this association seeks to promote and enhance the role of women in the restaurant industry. Members gain access to job banks, research, discounts, and more. P.O. Box 1875, Madison, Alabama, 35758, (877) 927-7787, (

Institutional or Noncommercial Food Service

The National Association of College & University Food Services The NACUFS provides its more than 600 members educational opportunities, technical assistance, scholarships, industry information, a jobs bank, and research. 525 Jolly Road, Suite 280, Okemos, Michigan, 48864-3680, (517) 332-2494, (

The School Nutrition Association Formerly the American School Food Service Association, the SNA’s more than 55,000 members receive benefits that include education and training, certification, and legislative representation. The association represents the nutritional needs of all children. Members can enhance and further their careers through SNA Certification and Credentialing, and increase their wealth of knowledge with professional development materials and up-to-date industry news. 700 South Washington Street, Suite 300, Alexandria, Virginia, 22314, (703) 739-3900, (

The Society for Food Service Management The goal of this association for on-site cafeterias in corporations, hospitals, and other locations is to enable its members to achieve their career and business objectives through networking, research, publications, and other member benefits. A membership directory, regional events, and advertising and sponsorship opportunities are also available. 15000 Commerce Parkway, Suite C, Mount Laurel, New Jersey, 08054, (856) 380-6829, (

Food Service Providers

Food service Equipment & Supplies. Distributed monthly for dealers and distributors of food service equipment and supplies and for those who design food service facilities, this magazine reports on industry trends, forecasts, and people and events. (

Food Service Equipment Reports. Supplies objective reviews and evaluations of equipment and supplies. It also publishes in-depth coverage of distribution and specification channels and a yearly buyer’s guide. It is published monthly. (

Hospitality Design. This magazine publishes ten times a year and includes information about renovation, design, and construction of restaurants, hotels, resorts, cruise ships, and other hospitality-oriented locations. ( )

Hospitality Technology. This magazine can provide reviews, reports, and information on the latest technology in the field and what it can do for restaurants’ bottom line. It prints 10 issues a year. (

NAFEM in Print. This is a quarterly publication of the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers. Its goal is to provide comprehensive coverage of the industry. Its sister publication, NAFEM for Operators, publishes articles on the latest equipment trends and news for operators in the food services industry.

Hospitality and Restaurants

Chain Leader. Turn here for information about managing restaurant chains at the corporate headquarters level. The monthly magazine discusses topics like finances, human resources, leadership, and brand management. (

Chef. This magazine is written for culinary professionals, with ideas for new menu items, keeping kitchen costs down, and using seasonal ingredients. Chef publishes eleven issues per year. Its sister publication, Chef Educator Today, serves the teaching culinary professional and is the official publication of the Food Service Educators Network International. (; (

The Consultant. This is published by the Food Service Consultants Society International for its members. Articles are written by members and key industry professionals. The Society also publishes presentations and conference material in this quarterly magazine. (

Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. This is an academic journal of Cornell University publishing research in the field of hospitality management. It also publishes case studies and industry perspectives. (Cornell Hospitality Quarterly (CQ) | Cornell Nolan)

Fast Casual. This magazine serves the fast casual restaurant segment by reporting on specific departments each issue. These departments include new concepts, fastest brands, menu concepts, restaurant design, metrics, statistics, and marketing ideas. (

Food and Drink. This magazine’s readers are CEOs, executives, and leaders of restaurant, food processing, manufacturing, service, and distribution companies. Articles present ideas of best practices in many facets of operations, including supply chain management, productivity, and food safety. (

Hotel F&B. Targets hotel, resort, and casino food services operators, one of the largest sectors of the industry. This bimonthly publication “covers profitable and effective strategies in the development, operation, and marketing of hotel food service,” according to the publication’s Web site.( )

My Food Service News. This is a bimonthly national publication for independent restaurateurs and chefs. The goal of the publication is to serve as its subscribers’ primary source for news and information about the food services industry. Subscribers can also receive an electronic version of the publication and a weekly e-newsletter (

Nation’s Restaurant News. This is a weekly publication that brings in-depth coverage of all aspects of the industry to its readers. It looks at independent restaurants, chains, suppliers, operations, employment, and research. Subscribers can also sign up to receive e-newsletters and daily news faxes. (

Pizza Magazine. This is published by Pizza Marketing Quarterly. The goal of both media is to provide marketing and promotion tips for this large sector of the industry, with more than 75,000 restaurants in the United States in 2008. Pizza Magazine is published monthly. (

Pizza Today. Presents money-making tips, ideas, marketing, restaurant management, a vendor directory, and more. This is a monthly publication of the National Association of Pizzeria Operators. (

QSR Magazine. Serves up the news for the quick service restaurant segment. Departments include menu, operations, technology, and equipment. The magazine prints thirteen issues per year. (

Restaurant Business. Strives to meet the business needs of restaurant owners, whether they are independents or franchisees. The monthly magazine focuses on information that improves the bottom line from growth strategies to innovations. (

Restaurant Hospitality. Targets full-service restaurant operators and employees (versus fast-food chains and restaurants) as its readers. Professionals at hotels, motels, fast casual restaurants, and clubs will find information on all aspects of operating a successful business, including labor issues, menu innovations, new technologies, and emerging new concepts. (

Restaurants & Institutions. Readers find business-critical information in this publication. This monthly magazine provides information on the broadest range of food services segments: noncommercial organizations, hospitals, convenience stores, supermarkets, and hotels, as well as independent restaurants and chains. (

Restaurant Startup & Growth. Readers are entrepreneurs in the industry. This monthly publication features start-up profiles, case studies, start-up resources, menu ideas, chef training, and more.(

Slammed Shares in-depth restaurant industry expertise through expert-led round tables, guest columnists, and business profiles. It offers more than a discussion of problems—it proposes solutions for front-of-house as well as back-of-house issues. It also features content for suppliers. (

Institutional or Noncommercial Food Services

Campus Dining Today. Published by the National Association of College & University Food Services this news magazine for those in college and university food services is published twice a year and serves the association’s members. (

Food Management. Offers operators or employees of noncommercial food services organizations helpful information. Each monthly issue contains ideas and how-to information about food and management. (

Food Services Industry Web Sites As the official Web site of the Green Restaurant Association, examines the most prevalent environmental problems restaurants encounter, and proposes solutions. ( This is among the original online communities for the food services industry. Daily features include job postings, a virtual food show, daily industry news and editorials, culinary schools and discussion forums. (

Food Service Central. Look here for food service community industry news, opportunities to buy and sell products online, a job marketplace, event equipment rentals, and market research. Membership includes a free e-newsletter. ( This site is owned and produced by the same company as Restaurant Business magazine. It is a customizable site loaded with useful information and tools, such as human resources forms, downloadable worksheets, templates, and video tutorials. The site also reports on the latest menu trends and posts hundreds of recipes. ( Started by a former chef and a former waiter, features active news groups, bulletin boards, press information, job postings, Web site posting and free e-mail services are all part of this industry Web site. ( Discover free downloads of reports and articles for money-saving and profit-generating ideas for those in the hospitality business. A Members Only area provides more in depth information. Membership rates include an up front payment plus monthly fee. (

Restaurant Doctor. From industry consultant Bill Marvin, this site offers free information, a library of resources, and schedule of industry events and programs. ( This is an online community of thousands of independent restaurant owners. The site contains how to articles, training manuals, forms, business form templates, and other tools designed to aid the budding restaurateur. ( This Web site posts restaurant marketing ideas and solutions. It provides tools and support services, and membership to the organization is free. Once a member the site e-mails you marketing tips and advice. (

Restaurant News Resource. Find news releases, articles, interviews, stock quotes, appointments, and the latest trends related to the restaurant and hospitality industry on this site. ( knows that every restaurant’s goal is to provide a quality dining experience. So the site posts information to aid restaurant owners, operators, managers, and staff members to do that. The site’s information covers marketing, management, accounting, service, operations, public relations, and design. Its sister site is Running, a and it offers exclusive information, forms, and audio files to its members. (

Food Service Director. This monthly publication serves the noncommercial food service sector by reporting the latest industry news and business resources and information. (

Journal of Child Nutrition & Management. This is published by the School Nutrition Association and provides its members with the latest research and discussions on child nutrition. It is published bi-yearly. (

School Nutrition Magazine. This is published monthly by the School Nutrition Association for its members. Professionals in school food services programs can turn to this magazine for discussions of many aspects of efficiently running their operations. 

s these members opportunities to showcase their latest innovations, as well as certifications, publications, and educational seminars. It also provides members the research, educational opportunities, and business forums they need to make them more competitive. 161 North Clark Street, Suite 2020, Chicago, Illinois, 60601, (312) 821-0201, ( )