NORWALK, Conn. — Reed Exhibitions and the California Restaurant Association (CRA) have announced plans to relocate the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo to the San Diego Convention in 2009. The 2009 Show will be held Sunday, Aug. 30 through Tuesday, Sept. 1 at the San Diego Convention Center.
The 2008 Show will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center Saturday, Aug. 23 through Monday, Aug. 25, 2008.
"The San Diego restaurant scene is booming, so we see this as a perfect time to make a move to a perfect venue," said Jot Condie, CRA president and CEO. "The San Diego County Chapter of the CRA is vibrant and excited to welcome us, and we are confident that the 2009 event will offer fresh, new and exciting elements."
US Food and Sysco Foodservice of San Diego have already committed to participating in the 2009 event, and the members of the CRA San Diego County Chapter support the venue change. Members of the CRA San Diego County Chapter represent Cohn Restaurant Group, Jack In The Box (HQ), Karl Strauss Brewing, Anthony's Seafood Group, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill and Phil's BBQ, to name a few.
A large majority of respondents to surveys about the move said they would be extremely/very likely to attend if the show was to rotate to San Diego in 2009. Those surveyed included industry professionals who attended the show in 2006 or 2007, those who did not attend the show both years and restaurateurs and foodservice professionals who work in the San Francisco area and did not attend the show in Los Angeles in 2007.
With more than 88,000 eating and drinking establishments currently operating in California, an estimated $54 billion in food and drink sales in 2007 and the generation of $4.5 billion in California sales tax per year, restaurants are a driving force in both the state employment and revenue sectors, according to the CRA.  More than 1.4 million food-industry jobs are currently in existence and there will be 1.6 million jobs in this field by 2017.
San Diego is within driving distance from Los Angeles, Arizona, Mexico and other large markets. It has an international airport that is a short distance to the convention center.

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