Membership Benefits

Are you considering becoming part of the AIR family?

Since its inception in 2003, Asheville Independent Restaurants has fostered a network of restauranteurs, chefs, suppliers, partners, farmers, sponsors, culinary teachers and students in our community. The organization strives to connect restaurants with each other in the spirit of collaboration and camaraderie, sharing beneficial industry information and ideas. AIR is actively engaged in giving back to our town through local events and causes, culinary scholarships, and support of local businesses.

The following are just some of the many benefits available to AIR members, including everything from education, to marketing, to ways that we can help save you money…


AIR Dining Guide: Each restaurant member receives a free ad in the guide. 30,000 of these guides are distributed each yeah across the region to places such as the Asheville Visitors’ Center, Asheville Regional Airport, Asheville Downtown Association, AAA, as well as various hotels, bed and breakfasts and event venues.

Internet Marketing: Members are proudly featured on our website, including contact information, business hours, a business description and Google map accessibility.

Social Media: Restaurant Members are highlighted on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Anything in particular that you want featured? Send it our way and we will do our best to get it posted!

Taste of Asheville: AIR’s signature event and fundraiser, the Taste of Asheville showcases the AIR Restaurants who are featured in the Passport which represents over up to a $700 value to AIR members’ customers.

AIR Passport: Restaurants are heavily promoted through the sales of the Passport. This is free to participate in and with over 1,000 sold this is a great way to grow business.

Marketing and PR: AIR works closely with the Chamber of Commerce, Asheville Convention and Visitors’ Bureau and the Asheville Downtown Association to capitalize on multiple marketing opportunities throughout the year. Events that promote our area regionally and nationwide, hosting press and food writers, providing groups with dining material sand opportunities and partnering with other organizations, all add muscle to your own individual marketing efforts.

AIRmail: Each week our specialized e-newsletter provides information on upcoming AIR events, educational opportunities, relevant issues and ideas, as well as, news about our membership and the organization.

AIRfare: Our monthly public e-newsletter that connects our local food lovers to you! Each month we feature three chefs and/or owners with a professional photo and an interview. We also highlight openings, events, AIR related products, and any other foodie news.


Discounted ServSafe Courses: Through our partnership with Goodwill Industries we are able to offer discounted ServSafe courses ranging from $90-$100, in both English and Spanish.

Industry Focused Courses and Workshops: Many of our AIR Partners provide classes and workshop focused on various industry topics ranging from management workshops, senior leadership classes, owners only discucussions, to best business practices and service standards to legislation and regulation.

Please visit our calendar to stay up-to-date on upcoming educational classes. 


AIR Partners: Our website allows you to easily search through several vendors who are AIR Partners. These vendors have joined AIR to work closer with your business. You can easily navigate this list by category.

Job Board: Adding someone new to your team? Email with your exact job description and we will get it posted for you.


AIR only advocates for issues that will positively affect the majority of our members. Here is an example of a recent change we were able to create: bars and restaurants can now have their ABC tax ID stickers on the back of the liquor bottles. The organization will continue to cautiously pursue issues.


Chefs of Tomorrow Scholarship Fund: Established through AB-Tech’s national accredited culinary program, AIR works on your behalf to provide future hospitality industry professional with financial assistance.

Green Opportunities & GO! Kitchen Ready: GO Kitchen Ready is a kitchen-training program that will prepare graduates for employment in food service. Classes cover basic food service and technical skills including culinary, baking, food safety and sanitation, food vocabulary and kitchen math. A portion of the class is devote to life skill training, covering nutrition, resume writing, interviewing, job search, job retention skills and managing personal finances.

The Welcome Table: Do you want to work closer with The Welcome Table? This is a perfect way to give back to the community. Let us know and we will help you get connected.


AIR Restaurant Membership ($495): To become an AIR Restaurant Member your business must have seating, food/beverage service and be independently owned and operated within Buncombe County.

AIR Partnership ($550): To become an AIR Partner your business must work alongside the local restaurants, providing services or products relevant to the food and dining industry.

AIR Sponsorship: Please contact our office at 828.575.9220 or email to discuss sponsorship opportunities.

 Still have questions? Reach out to the AIR team via email at or by phone at 828.575.9220.