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What is the NRA (National Restaurant Association) and what does it do?

National Restaurant Association

The National Restaurant Association is the largest foodservice trade organization in the world representing over 500,000 restaurants and suppliers.  The National Restaurant Association was founded in 1919 and is headquartered in Washington DC.  The organization is often referred to as "the other NRA" not to be confused with the National Rifle Association.

The NRA is a powerful lobbying force in Washington and at the state level. 

In addition to lobbying, The National Restaurant Association develops food safety training and certification programs for restaurant employees. The NRA offers scholarships to foodservice and hospitality management and culinary students through NRAEF which is the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation.  The NRA runs a national program for high school students and also presents a series of awards including the Faces of Diversity, the American Dream Awards, and the Restaurant Neighbor Award.

This is a very prestigious organization and many famous people have been members and leaders of the NRA.  One of the most famous members was NRA president 1996-1999 Herman Cain.

The association works closely with its state restaurant and hospitality association partners and provides its members with tools and solutions to improve their business. The NRA organizes conferences and networking events for its members.  The local branch of the NRA in Illinois is the IRA or Illinois Restaurant Association.  Most states and major cities have a partner organization.

There are six NRA membership categories:

  1. Restaurant
  2. Allied
  3. Faculty
  4. Student
  5. Nonprofit
  6. International

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