The association was organized as a 501(c)(6) corporation in 1929 as the Kansas Restaurant Association (KRA) by bringing industry leaders together to promote quality food and beverage operations.
KRA leadership and board of directors founded a members owned self-insured workers compensation fund in 1990, which is now known as the KRHA Self Insurance Fund. The corporation has put together very competent in-house staff to manage the fund's administration, sales, loss control and claims. A board of directors selected from fund members oversees the fund. Net income from each closed fund year is paid to fund members proportionately to their premium in the form of a dividend.
In 1993, KRA added the lodging industry to its representation and became the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association (KRHA). With growing momentum the KRHA Educational Foundation, a 501(c)(3) corporation, was founded in 1996 to enhance the quantity and quality of the food service and lodging industries work force in Kansas through member training, ProStart School-to-Career programs, and post secondary scholarship opportunities.
In 2000, the Kansas Lodging Association officially merged with KRHA. In 2004, KRHA reached an agreement with the Missouri Restaurant Association (MRA) for Kansas retail members in the counties of Johnson, Leavenworth and Wyandotte, to have cooperative membership in the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association (GKCRA), which is a chapter of MRA.
Today, the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association is the leading business association for the restaurant and lodging industries in Kansas, which is comprised of 7,602 locations, a work force in excess of 97,000 employees, which is 9.2% of the total private sector employment, retail sales volume of $2.99 billion per year, $158 million in state sales tax collections and $21.9 in transient guest tax collections. Along with the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association Education Foundation, the association works to represent, educate and promote the rapidly growing industry of hospitality.