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History

Our mission is to serve our members by advancing and protecting Oklahoma's foodservice and hospitality industry; and through our vision we lead Oklahoma's foodservice and hospitality industry by elevating its prosperity, prominence, and participation, enhancing the quality of life for all we serve. 

The Oklahoma Restaurant Association was founded in 1933; now representing more than 4,000 members, and is the state trade association of foodservice and restaurant operations.  

Today the ORA is recognized as one of the largest and most effective organizations in Oklahoma. With a strong presence at the state capitol, the ORA constantly monitors regulatory and legislative issues. Member services include food safety and alcohol server training, a video and reference lending library, group insurance programs, educational seminars, special bulletins, and the state’s largest trade show.

Our members are truly a cornerstone in Oklahoma’s economy. As the state’s largest private-sector employer, Oklahoma’s foodservice industry employs over 185,000 people or 11% of the total job base, according to a report by the National Restaurant Association. Research shows that one-third of all adults have worked in the foodservice industry at some time during their lives. These jobs lead to a continued growth in disposable personal income that, in turn, leads to more people dining out. Additionally, within Oklahoma, every dollar spent in these establishments generates an additional $1.60-1.79 of sales for the state economy. 

We encourage you to "Dine Out Often!"
What's Happening
06.07.21
The Culinary Cook-off is a cooking competition that takes place during the ORA Expo. Oklahoma's most talented chefs will race the clock to create dazzling dishes using a mystery basket of ingredients. Chefs will compete in various heats until the contest is narrowed down to the last two chefs. Judges will consist of a panel of industry professionals who will critique each competitor on plate presentation, creativity, product taste, and sanitation practices, among other things. For each contestant, the high and low scores will be discarded. Chefs will be competing for a trophy, medals, and cash prizes. Learn more by clicking the link! #CCO2021
06.07.21
Support Oklahoma’s most talented bartenders as they compete for prizes in the Oklahoma Restaurant Association Cocktail Shakedown. This exciting competition takes place during the first day of the ORA Expo. Bartenders from all over the state will put their skills and abilities to the test as they compete to move through four timed rounds of cocktail preparations including the Championship Round. As each bartender lifts a shaker and creates his or her requisite signature concoction, they race the clock to create innovative and crazy delicious cocktails that will be judged on taste and balance, originality, drink presentation, and stage presentation. Each round reduces the number of talented competitors until the four finalists compete for the grand prize! Applications will be available soon.
05.13.21
The ORA Expo at the OK State Fair Park in Oklahoma City is considered the best opportunity of the year for hospitality professionals to connect with food and equipment manufacturers, and a range of other suppliers who are eager to feature products and services to help you reach that next level of success. With restaurants back in full swing, we know that operators are more interested than ever in products and innovations to help save money and build upon their success. This is one Expo you won't want to miss!
06.07.21
Thirst for a Cause, an annual event started in 2009, raises funds to help with urgent medical expenses for members of Oklahoma's hospitality industry. Through our non-profit Oklahoma Hospitality Foundation, we are able to give something back to the hard-working employees in the hospitality industry. Thirst for a Cause was established to meet the extreme medical needs of persons employed in the restaurant industry in Oklahoma. Funds are limited and will be awarded based on demonstration of need to long-term employees in the restaurant industry. Aid to individuals may only be provided if such individual has no other means to receive needed support, such as from insurance, government assistance programs, etc. Monetary support will not be granted directly to the individual, but to the entity supplying goods and services to the individual, i.e. hospitals, physicians, etc. As you walk around and sample food from some of Oklahoma City's best restaurants, you'll be able to meet and interact with winemakers from all over the wine world. These vintners, who represent some of the best wines available in the country, are coming all the way to Oklahoma to help raise money for our cause. This is THE best wine tasting event of the year! Nowhere else will you be able to meet this many vintners, taste this many great wines, and sample this much amazing food under one roof - right here in OKC!
3800 N. Portland Ave., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73112
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