CHICAGO – The National Restaurant Association (NRA) has turned to nostalgia for the good ol’ days of dining out to rescue the US foodservice industry that has been hard hit by pandemic-related closures and skittish consumers.

The association’s first national consumer ad campaign, ‘Sounds We Crave’, leverages the sights and sounds associated with dining out and asks diners, “Doesn’t dining out sound good?” The NRA worked with The Richards Group to develop the campaign and partnered with Coca-Cola, DoorDash, Stella Artois, Ecolab, Beam Suntory, Cargill, Tyson Foods, Hormel Foods, International Foodservice Distributors Association, and GP Pro to launch the campaign nationwide.

“Support for this campaign spans the entire industry — from well-known, trusted brands to the suppliers and distributors restaurants rely on, every part of the foodservice community is coming together to help restaurants recover,” said Tia Mattson, executive vice president of marketing communications. “As the nation’s second-largest, private sector employer, a strong restaurant revival can help fuel our nation's economic recovery.”

The NRA and ServSafe, its food safety partner, launched the ServSafe Dining Commitment as part of the campaign. The initiative showcases restaurants that have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the health and safety of their employees and customers. Participating restaurants are assuring their customers that the operation is following recommended reopening guidance and is ready for business. Consumers can see what restaurants are doing to keep them safe and use a locator tool to find participating restaurants that can be found on the website.

“This campaign is about reigniting the memories we cherish about dining out. While diners have been able to enjoy some restaurant meals through take-out and delivery, we all have missed hearing the words, ‘our table is ready,’ and the unique experiences that dining out provides,” said Tom Bené, president and chief executive officer. “We know safety is top of mind for returning diners — it’s top of mind for us as well — so, the ad pairs the familiar sights and sounds with new visual safety cues, including servers wearing masks and the ServSafe Dining Commitment door decal.”

Watch the full ‘Sounds We Crave’ ad.