Events

Legislative Day

Join the Iowa Restaurant Association’s Leadership under the gold dome of the Iowa State Capitol to share the concerns of our industry with Iowa legislators. This day includes an informational lunch with briefing notes and visits with local elected officials.

January 2018

Iowa ProStart Invitational

ProStart student teams from across Iowa demonstrate their business acumen and culinary skill to industry professional judges at the Iowa ProStart Invitational. Winning teams earn scholarships, honors and the opportunity to compete against the very best teams from other states at the National ProStart Invitational.

February 27, 2018

Career Fair

Seeking skilled and talented employees for your hospitality business? Exhibit at the Iowa Restaurant Association Career Fair and interview job seekers on the spot.

Culinary Affair

7 Courses. 7 Chefs. 7 Wines. An evening of culinary artistry translated through the creativity of Central Iowa’s most accomplished chefs. Enjoy a lavish seven-course gourmet wine dinner prepared by seven of central Iowa’s top chefs in one of Des Moines’ most elegant locations.

April 2018

Golf Classic

Are you the “World’s Okayest Golfer”? You don’t need to be a pro to enjoy this day on the course! Join us for the Duffers, Diners & Drives Golf Classic – A tasting event for golfers, and a golfing event for eaters and drinkers! Sample your way across the course, network with great people and play games to win prizes.

June 21, 2017

Mixology Regionals & Championships

Mixologists across the state have battled their way to the championship event, and you can judge their cocktails! Sample all competition drinks and cast a People’s Choice vote for your favorite.

September 7, 2017

Soy Salad Dressing Competition

Experience the Iowa State Fair’s healthiest competition! Professional chefs from across the state will prepare unique salad dressing recipes using silken soft tofu as the base. Try their dressings, learn their techniques, and take home their recipes to try them yourself! Hosted by The Soyfoods Council and Iowa Restaurant Association.

August 14, 2017

Culinary Competition

Enter the Dine Iowa Culinary Competition and create a one of a kind dish to be crowned Iowa’s Top Chef! A team of travelling judges will visit your restaurant to judge your competition dish featuring beef and soy. All competing chefs will then converge for a public sampling event at the Dine Iowa Grand Tasting Gala in Des Moines where guests will sample all of the culinary masterpieces and cast a People’s Choice vote for their favorite. All winners will be announced at the Gala.

October 5, 2017

Celebrating Excellence Awards Ceremony

Every year the Iowa Restaurant Association honors outstanding hospitality operators, employees, purveyors and more at the Celebrating Excellence Awards Ceremony in Des Moines. Do you know someone in the industry who deserves recognition? Nominate them today for one of the following awards: Restaurateur or Bar Operator of the Year; Chef of the Year, Employee of the Year; Purveyor Employee of the Year; Emerging Hospitality Leader of the Year; State Restaurant Neighbor Philanthropy Award; and the American Dream Award.

Nominations Close: June 30, 2017
Awards Ceremony: October 5, 2017

Grand Tasting Gala

Join the Iowa hospitality industry for a night of culinary tourism and mastery. Celebrate, sample, sip and savor cuisine and beverages from chefs and vendors across the state Taste all of the dishes of the 2017 Culinary Competition and cast a People’s Choice vote for your favorite. Enjoy wine samples, live music, a silent auction and more.

October 5, 2017

NRA VIP Luncheon

This invitation event for elected Iowa Restaurant Association leadership and top sponsors features the NRA Chairman as a keynote speaker. Attendees discuss top federal hospitality legislative issues, industry trends and future casting, the market place and much more.

October 5, 2017

NRA Chairman’s Breakfast

Once every year, the Iowa Restaurant Association hosts the chairman of the National Restaurant Association Board of Directors in an open forum that allows students and members of the industry to interact one-on-one with both the state and national hospitality leaders. Join us in discussing culinary trends, hot button legislative issues, and what’s on the horizon for our industry.

October 6, 2017

NRA PAC Fundraisers

Join Iowa’s hospitality industry in raising funds for the National Restaurant Association’s Political Action Committee (PAC). A PAC is a fund that people with shared interests contribute to. Funds are allocated to candidates in both parties that the group feels will best represent their interests. Through these funds, the hospitality industry as a whole can tackle top legislative issues pertinent to the success of our businesses.

NRA Show

Experience the NRA Show and see how four days of meeting, seeing, tasting, testing and more can change your business. RESTAURANT members of the Iowa Restaurant Association receive one free ticket to the show. Get more information here: https://show.restaurant.org/Home.

May 20-23, 2017

NRA Show Reception

Step away from the hustle and bustle of the NRA Show floor to relax and connect with other Iowa restaurateurs, operators, and industry professionals. No formal program – just cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from one of Chicago’s hottest spots. Food and your first drink is on us! Cash bar all afternoon. This by-invitation-only event is exclusively for Iowa Restaurant Association members, as well as other Iowa restaurant industry professionals.

May 21, 2017

NRA Public Affairs Conference

Every year the National Restaurant Association hosts the restaurant industry most important grassroots lobbying event in Washington, DC. The NRA Public Affairs conference is your chance to make a difference and make your voice heard among legislators. Head to Capitol Hill with Iowa’s hospitality leadership to educate lawmakers about top public policy issues affecting our businesses.

March 2018

Regional Restaurant & Bar Councils

The IRA is forming regional councils in communities across the state where there are high concentrations of members. The councils will work with members to identify shared issues of concern and form strategies to address those issues. All restaurants and bars in the districts are welcome to attend, however only IRA member establishments will receive the Councils’ local e-news, electronic updates after the meetings, and be able to vote on Council issues. If you’d like to form a local restaurant council in your area, contact the IRA: (515)276-1454.