Ireland was strongly represented at the recent global summit of restaurant, pub, hotel and industry associations, hosted by the National Restaurant Association in Chicago, Illinois - the largest of its kind in the world.
Being global and local or 'glocal' were central themes of the summit, where the respective industry associations from around the world shared ideas, developments and ways to improve the industry globally.
There has been massive growth in the sector over the last half century. In 1955 the industry was 25% of the US food Dollar. Today, it takes up 48%; a national sprawl that includes 15m employees, and over 1m individual units.
For 2019 - the 100th anniversary of the show - it is hoped that there will be an Irish Village bringing together all the Irish suppliers to the US food, drink and hospitality sectors to develop this massive market with a two way exchange of ideas.
Together with the organisers Grace Boyle and Perry Quinn, our photograph shows the international delegation along with Irish representatives Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, and Enda O'Coineen, President of the Irish Pubs Global Federation - a network of the owners and managers of Irish pubs and restaurants around the world.