Chicago-based Restaurant Virtual Ventures, producers of the American Restaurant & Food Service Expo, announced today that Food News Media, publisher of top industry publications QSR and FSR, will join as media sponsor and content partner for next year’s Expo.

“We could not have asked for a better partner,” said Marc Lapides, Co-Founder of the new Expo. “Food News Media is the premier publisher in the restaurant industry, with award-winning content that appeals to every segment and every area of responsibility in food service.”

“Deciding to partner with Marc and his team made perfect business sense for us,” said Sam Oches, Editorial Director of Food News Media. “Our organization’s mission is bringing critical news and ideas to the entire industry. This new trade show and educational format provides us with even more reach and partners with whom to share that information.”

The American Restaurant & Food Service Expo is scheduled for February 21–22, 2021. Originally scheduled for March, the event was moved up one month due to exhibitor requests to allow for the event to have a bigger impact on their 2021 sales efforts.

“In-person restaurant shows are great,” said Lapides, “but COVID-19 has really placed a giant question mark on their viability for next year. The restaurant industry has been hit so hard by the pandemic. Even if there are in-person shows in 2021, will restaurateurs have the time or willingness to spend the money to attend?”

The Expo will be held completely online with everything from chef demos, new product exhibitions, a peek at the future of the industry, and, most importantly, the critical serendipitous meetings between industry buyers and sellers.

“The QSR and FSR teams have already begun to think about the kind of content we can offer,” said Oches. “Of course, we’ll be thinking about the impact of COVID-19 on the industry, but we also want to ensure we deliver innovative ideas about restaurant growth and success.”

“We just announced a couple of weeks ago, but The Expo is having a great launch,” said Lapides. “SevenRooms, one of the hottest tech companies in the restaurant and hospitality industry, has already signed on as a lead sponsor, and now QSR and FSR will be our content and media partner. We really couldn’t be more excited.”