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International Attendees

Come to the Restaurant Show to encounter people, products, solutions and information from across the global foodservice industry. From technology to new products to innovative ingredients, we showcase what’s new and what’s next.
Download the 2018 Brochure

New ideas, trending products and new equipment

Explore new companies disrupting the industry with technology and innovation. Find in-demand products and menu items that will cater to consumer demands.


Explore these topics with our special videos:

Cutting-edge, industry-relevant education

Education at the 2018 Restaurant Show

From meal kits and off -premise strategies to sales training and foodservice trends, learn how your operation can capitalize on the latest developments in technology, staffing, menu selection and more.

Learn more about the 2018 program

International Reception

Saturday, May 18, 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

Connect with colleagues at the International Reception, which brings together key trade executives, exhibiting companies interested in expanding their operations, and people who matter most to your business. All international registrants are welcome. Please note you will need your Show badge to attend the International Reception. 

North Building, Level 4, Room N427 

Powerful connections, strong relationships

Networking Opportunities at the Show

Focus on building strong relationships with buyers who face similar challenges, from whom you can learn, and with whom you can share knowledge. Also, establish connections with suppliers from more than 100 countries and socialize on the show floor or at one of our after-hour events.

Explore these topics with our special videos:

Special Services for International Guests

  • Overview
  • International Buyer Program
  • Regional Travel Partners


Every year, foodservice professionals from over 100 countries come to Chicago to experience the largest annual foodservice trade show in the United States — and the world. Find information specially tailored to our international guests, including brochures in multiple languages, information about obtaining a visa, and much more.


The U.S. Department of Commerce's International Buyer Program recruits thousands of qualified foreign buyers, sales representatives, and business partners to U.S. trade shows each year to expand business globally.

Traveling to the Show with an official International Buyer Program delegation allows you to take advantage of the following benefits:

  • Complimentary registration for the National Restaurant Association Show

  • Access to the International Trade Center

  • International Reception

Learn more at and or contact your local representative in order to learn more about joining a group. 

Regional Travel Partners

Get help planning your international trip with our regional travel partners.


Obtaining a Visa

  • Overview
  • Visa Waiver Program
  • Application Process
  • Obtain Letter of Invitation
  • Resources and Links


Applying for a United States visa can be a lengthy process, and while we have no influence or role in the approval or denial of visas, we want to help make the process as quick and hassle-free as possible.

We recommend beginning the application process three to four months prior to travel to maximize your chances of gaining admittance into the U.S. to attend the Show.

Visa Waiver Program

The United States has a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) which allows eligible citizens of 36 participating countries to travel to the U.S. for tourism or business for a period of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.

VWP travelers are required to have a valid authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to travel. An approved ESTA is required to enter the United States and is generally valid for two years, or until the passport expires, and allows multiple entries into the U.S. VWP travelers are screened at the port of entry into the United States, and are enrolled in the Department of Homeland Security's US-VISIT program.

Detailed information about admissions and entry to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program can be found on the DHS Customs Border Protection website at Visa Waiver Program and Admission to the United States.

Application Process

When applying for a visa to enter the United States, it is highly recommended that travelers apply early to allow enough time for the screening processes at their local U.S. Embassy. The U.S. Consular Services suggests travelers begin the visa application process at least three to four months prior to the date of travel; however, it is also recommended that travelers contact the Consular Services of their local Embassy to find out how long the wait is for an interview.

Obtain a Letter of Invitation

Acquiring a letter of invitation from the National Restaurant Association is a good idea. The letter of invitation should be presented to the Consular Officer during the visa interview as a supporting document. The National Restaurant Association cannot assist you with the interview process, nor can anyone representing the Association call the embassy or consulate on your behalf to provide support granting a visa.

If you are denied a U.S. visitor visa, you may reapply if there is new evidence to overcome the basis for the refusal. In the absence of new evidence, consular officers are not required to re-examine such cases.

Request a Visa Letter

Resources and Links

Want to find more information on traveling to the United States? Use any of the links below to search for more information on the process of obtaining a visa.

Please note: The National Restaurant Association does not officially endorse these sites and cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided.

International Brochures

  • English
  • Spanish
  • German
  • Chinese
  • French
  • Portuguese
  • Russian