Illinois Restaurant Association

About Illinois Restaurant Association

Founded in 1914, the Illinois Restaurant Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, protecting, educating and improving the restaurant industry in Illinois. The foodservice industry in Illinois is the largest private sector employer in the state, with projected employment in 2018 of 577,000 people and more than $25 billion in annual sales. To serve the needs of this important industry and support its future, the Illinois Restaurant Association works to provide restaurant operators and suppliers in Illinois with valuable business services, networking opportunities, cost saving programs, and vital advocacy.

The IRA owns and produces Chicago Gourmet – the annual food and wine festival held in Millennium Park that unites hundreds of restaurants, chefs and beverage experts for a weekend filled with food and drink tastings, entertainment, cooking demonstrations, book signings, interactive seminars and more. The Association is a proud host of the James Beard Foundation Awards, which will be held in Chicago through 2021 and celebrates excellence in cuisine, culinary writing, and culinary education throughout the country.


Special events intern

January 2017 - September 2017 Chicago, IL
“This was my first internship or real world experience in the event planning industry. Since the Restaurant Association is a non-profit, I learned a lot because I had to allocate my resources and think outside of the box to help the company save money. It was very hands on, and whenever I couldn't find an answer to something I would use my resources and try to figure it out myself before asking for assistance. Which is the real world I can't have someone hold my hand every step of the way. So I like feeling important and helpful in regards to bringing new ideas to the table. ”
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Questions & Answers

Looking for some pointers to help me get prepared to interview for an event planning internship at the Illinois Restaurant Association!

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I'm interested in an event planning internship at the Illinois Restaurant Association! Can anyone discuss what this position is like?

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