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Seminar Line-up

We’ve got a full line-up of training sessions designed to keep you current with the fast pace of change in the foodservice industry.

Experts from across the country will introduce you to new techniques, best practices and ideas that will help drive your business to be more efficient and profitable. Topics will cover marketing, trends, workforce engagement, technology, local purchasing and more!

Meet our speakers...

Monday
Annika Stensson

10 Things You Need to Know about the Restaurant Industry

Presented by:
Annika Stensson, Director of Research Communications at the National Restaurant Association

How will trends shape the future of foodservice? National Restaurant Association research provides a 360-degree view of the industry, covering trends, challenges and opportunities to help restaurant operators make smart, strategic decisions and grow their business. By understanding what’s going on today, you’ll have a better idea of what might happen tomorrow. Walk away with deeper insight into 10 key trends, including:

  • Economic operating environment trends
  • Workforce trends
  • Food and menu trends

Monday

9:00 –
10:00 am

Location
1st Floor - Outside Ballroom BC


Annika Stensson

Mapping the Restaurant Technology Landscape

Presented by:
Annika Stensson, Director of Research Communications at the National Restaurant Association

Consumers expect tech offerings from restaurants, but do you know which ones they prefer and how to implement them? This session will present research to help restaurant operators uncover the right tech options and serve up the best customer experience possible to drive loyalty and growth, as well as provide an overview of restaurant operators’ current tech adoption and interest in future exploration. Topics to be covered include:

  • Mobile payment opportunities
  • Smartphone apps and activities
  • Leading-edge tech interest

Monday

11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Location
1st Floor - 102C


Don Stanley

Video Marketing 101: Using Video to Build Your Business, Your Brand and Your Bottom Line

Presented by:
Don Stanley, CEO at 3Rhino Media

Do the unlimited options for using video for your business sometimes feel more overwhelming than empowering? Digital marketing coach and UW professor Don Stanley can help. He’ll teach you how to use video to attract an audience, launch your likability, build your business and grow your bottom line. You’ll leave with fast, proven and actionable strategies for leveraging video as a part of your marketing and sales plan for 2017.

This session will share:

  • Why video is critical to connecting with your customers
  • How to get started with the tools and time you have
  • How to choose the best social network for sharing your videos to connect with your customers

Monday

11:45 am – 12:45 pm

Location
2nd Floor - 202B


Jason Young

Lead Smart — Essentials of High Performance Leadership

Presented by:
Jason Young, former Southwest Airlines executive

Great leaders develop, motivate and empower people to achieve extraordinary results by providing vision, example, and support from a bottom up perspective. Truly smart leaders know that is more than a mere statement of fact, but rather a personal and professional challenge to be lived out every day.  Smart leaders understand what it means to become a person of influence and how it applies to everyone in the organization.

This session will share how to:

  • Develop and organize talent to build effective teams that creates an incredible workplace culture
  • Apply successful coaching skills to help your team excel
  • Handle change
  • Develop an effective management style that enhances team productivity

Monday

12:45 –
1:45 pm

Location
1st Floor - 102B


Ryan Doerr

Do Discounts Really Work?
Understanding Customer Acquisition Cost and Lifetime Value

Presented by:
Ryan Doerr, President at The Spire Group

How do you get customers in the door? Do you wonder if discounts and promotions are the answer? If you use them, how do you know if they are working? In this session, we will explore customer acquisition strategies and solutions to see if what you are doing (or not doing) is helping. Are you really growing your customer base or just giving discounts to customers who were coming in anyway? How do you know how much to invest in marketing and where you should spend your budget? These and many other questions will be answered in this session. Warning: this session is fun, educational and interactive, with audience involvement!

Key Takeaways:

  • How to test and measure the effectiveness of your marketing strategies
  • How to attract new customers and keep them coming back
  • How to calculate the lifetime value of your customers and how much you should or shouldn’t be investing in marketing

Monday

2:00 –
3:00 pm

Location
2nd Floor - 202B


Kyle Cherek
Sarah Baker

How to Engage and Retain Millennial Customers and Employees

Presented by:
Kyle Cherek, Host of Wisconsin Foodie; Scott Williams, The Bartolotta Restaurants; Ian Abston, Newaukee; Sarah Baker, The Pizza Man

For first time in recorded history, Americans are spending more at bars and restaurants ($54,857 billion in 2015) than they are on groceries ($52,502 billion in 2015), and millennials are by all indications, leading the charge.  In 2012, New York Magazine published an article "When Did Young People Start Spending 25% of Their Paychecks on Pickled Lamb's Tongues? Foodie-ism as youth culture". 

For a city to attract, and retain some of the best and the brightest of millennial talent, it is now understood by CEO's and recruiters alike that a city must have a vibrant culinary culture. Is your restaurant doing all it should to develop or attract these consumers?  Kyle Cherek, host of the Emmy-Award Winning Wisconsin Foodie on PBS moderates this panel of experts that will cover key insights into millennial diners and employees, including:

  • Culture
  • Management
  • Purchasing priorities

Monday

2:00 –
3:00 pm

Location
2nd Floor - 201A


Pat Weber

Restaurant Marketing - 10 Things You Should Be Doing to Improve and Promote Your Brand

Presented by:
Pat Weber, President at Mise en Place Consulting

In today’s marketplace, the competition among restaurants is fierce and you’ll need every tool in the book to be successful. In this session you’ll learn 10 great restaurant marketing ideas and strategies that promise to help you improve your business and get attention from the customers you want to attract today.

Key Takeaways:

  • Craft Your Message- What’s Unique about your Brand?
  • Tips to Monitor and Direct your Online Reputation
  • Starting the Conversation: Best Practices for Being Relevant and Engaging with your Customers

Monday

3:15 –
4:15 pm

Location
2nd Floor - 202C


Andrea Michel

How to Make the Most of Restaurant Week

Presented by:
Andrea Michel, Channel Marketing Manager at Upserve

During typically slow months for restaurants, it’s become increasingly popular for cities and towns to organize restaurant week events as a way to bring in more traffic. Are you doing enough to capitalize on the influx of new guests and returning foodies to your restaurant?

Learn how capitalizing on your city’s Restaurant Week can allow you to:

  • Gain new customers
  • Build your relationship with them
  • Increase your presence in the local food landscape

Monday

3:15 –
4:15 pm

Location
2nd Floor - 202D

Tuesday

ServSafe logo

ServSafe® Food Manager Certification
Register in Advance by February 28

Members $137.95 – Non-members $172.95
Single day session blends lecture, video and activities and ends with the proctored exam. Includes the most current edition of the ServSafe Manager book sent in advance (a $70 value), lunch, live review session and proctored exam.

ServSafe English – Register in advance
ServSafe Spanish – Register in advance
See the full list of available sessions

Tuesday

8:00 am –
5:00 pm

12:45 –
2:15 break

Locations
English 203C

Spanish
203D


Laura Leszczynski

Escape the Social Feed:
How to Reach Your Customers in Real Time to Communicate, Engage and Build Loyalty

Presented by:
Laura Leszczynski, VP of Marketing at The Spire Group

With all the noise emerging in social media and new technology evolving constantly, how do you know which social strategy (if any) is right for you? In this session, we will explore a variety of social platforms to help you evaluate the best way to reach your ideal customers. Not every restaurant or business is the same, nor does it have the same market or customer base. We will share both high-tech and low-tech solutions that are cost effective to get you in front of the right customers more often, with a great ROI!

Key Takeaways:

  • Identify several mediums for marketing your business and which mediums are right for your specific business and audience
  • Learn key strategies and messaging to reach the three generations that exist in our society
  • Help you identify your ideal customer
  • Determine which strategies are right for your ideal customer

Tuesday

9:30 –
10:30 am

Location
2nd Floor - 202B


Will Allen

Growing Power and the Good Food Revolution

Presented by:
Will Allen, Founder & CEO of Growing Power, Inc.

(Book signing immediately to follow)

A pioneering urban farmer, MacArthur Genius award winner, and one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World -- Will Allen has transformed the planning, cultivation, production and delivery of good, healthy food to urban and rural populations.  

After a career in professional basketball and a number of years in corporate sales and marketing at Procter & Gamble, Will Allen, in 1993, returned to his roots as a farmer to purchase the last remaining registered farm in the City of Milwaukee, where he established and functions as Farmer, Founder and CEO of the world preeminent urban farm and non-profit organization, Growing Power.  Growing Power has proven that local food systems can help troubled youth, dismantle racism, create jobs, bring urban and rural communities closer together and improve public health.  Today, Will Allen is recognized internationally for his work in developing urban agriculture and food policy and helps develop community food systems across the country.

Allen will touch on his personal journey, the lives he has touched and the grassroots movement that is changing the way our nation eats.

Tuesday

9:30 –
10:30 am

Location
1st Floor - 102C


Dan Gartlan

 

Four Actionable Strategies to Improve Marketing Results

Presented by:
Dan Gartlan, President, Stevens & Tate Marketing

This session will explore a series of proven principles and tactics designed to attract customers in a crowded foodservice space. You’ll learn cohesive and integrated strategies that work in combination to create the ideal platform for enhanced success, specifically focused on inbound-driven techniques.

Four key, interdependent strategies will be discussed that focus on:

  • Brand storytelling that connects emotionally with customers
  • Content creation on your website and beyond that engages customers and builds trust
  • Social media and SEO
  • The use of emails in combination with lead nurturing to move prospects through their journey of becoming a customer

Tuesday

9:30 –
10:30 am

Location
2nd Floor - 202C


Jessica Hoover
Tara Nowak

Modern Marketing for Bakery Owners

Presented by:
Tamara Mugerauer, Owner of Tamara's the Cake Guru; Jessica Hoover, Director of Communications & Marketing at Wisconsin Bakers Association; Tara Nowak, Owner of Sweet Lola’s Cupcakery

Focusing on a modern approach to marketing for the bakery industry, panelists will discuss how bakeries are marketing their businesses and staying relevant to the changing customer base. These industry leaders will talk candidly about their successes and challenges attributing to their insights.

Key discussion points will include:

  • Use of social media, wedding expos, mailings, television and radio advertising.
  • Goals on gaining new customers and retention through loyalty programs, promotions and word of mouth.
  • Benefits of POS systems, community and charity events.

Tuesday

10:30 – 11:30 am

Location
1st Floor - 102D


 

Cause Marketing Through the Eyes of Culvers

Presented by:
Emily Patterson, Director of Marketing and Jessie Corning, Senior Marketing Manager of Culver Franchising Systems, Inc.

A deep dive into the idea behind the “Thank You Farmers” initiative with Culver’s and how it is leveraged through a multitude of different vehicles to get the message across.

Points covered will include:

  • How to create a program that builds community relationships
  • Promoting a cause marketing initiative that resonates with restaurants and guests by advocating for agriculture
  • How to implement a fully integrated cause marketing campaign across all in-restaurant, outdoor, and online touch points

Tuesday

10:45 –
11:45 am

Location
2nd Floor - 201A


Joe Hastreiter

The Basics of Business Finances

Presented by:
Joseph Hastreiter, Sales and Marketing Director at EWH Small Business Accounting

Looking for a quick overview of the financials in your business? In this fast-paced, fun 60-minute introductory session you’ll receive insight on how to implement a numbers-based strategy in your business. Learning points include:

  • Implementing a bookkeeping system to keep track of all cash coming in and going out.
  • How to maintain a proper audit trail, with checks and balances and proper recordkeeping.
  • Tips to increase cash flow
  • How to understand and utilize your financial statements
  • Ways your business and personal finances are connected
  • How to set Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s)
  • The difference between cash and profit
  • Ideas on how to run your small business more profitably and successfully!  

This session is organized in a simple, easy, and fun format, enabling you to better manage your small business finances!

Tuesday

10:45 – 11:45 am

Location
1st Floor - 103C


Nicole Wagner

Search Marketing & Social Media Techniques for Foodservice Today

Presented by:
Nicole Wagner, Internet Marketing Director, Stevens & Tate Marketing

In today’s increasingly interactive, social and mobile world, having a solid online presence is essential for every company’s success. Creating a positive impression and having the tools in place to get your business found where customers are looking is the key to getting ahead. Learn essential strategies and tactics that can help build awareness, capture interest, generate leads, drive traffic, and engage your audiences—through social media, search engine marketing, website optimization, inbound marketing, and other online initiatives.
 
You will gain real-world perspective on how to:

  • Implement new initiatives for greater success
  • Create efficiencies to strengthen your programs
  • Utilize best practices for various online media outlets
  • Apply specific techniques to increase results in your marketplace

Tuesday

10:45 – 11:45 am

Location
2nd Floor - 202D


Jack Kaestner

Putting Local Food on Your Menu

Presented by:
Jack Kaestner, MATC Instructor & Former Restaurateur

As Executive Chef at a country Club, Kaestner went from 5% local food to 35% of his total food purchases.  Kaestner will review the six principles that he developed to do this and the challenges and benefits that he encountered along the way.

  • Step by step application of principles to incorporate local food
  • Challenges and benefits revealed
  • How to start out small and slowly build each season

Tuesday

10:45 – 11:45 am

Location
1st Floor - 102B


Kristin Booth

Social Media for Restaurant Owners:
How to Connect with Your Customers

Presented by:
Kristin Booth, Regional Development Manager at Main Street Hub

This fun and creative session will help you discover the benefits and challenges of new social media platforms to attract and drive customers to your business. Learn how to develop high-quality content to engage customers and attract new, and how to uncover value when responding to customer reviews. You’ll walk away with real-life examples, best practices, and practical solutions that you can apply immediately to impact your online presence in the ever-changing social media space.

Key topics include:

  • Social media as an extension of great customer service
  • Search and claim your business online
  • Optimize your social media pages
  • How customer review sites (Google+ and Yelp) play a role in your business
  • Finding your ‘voice’ and responding to reviews (even the negative ones!)

Tuesday

12:00 –
1:00 pm

Location
2nd Floor - 202B


Kyle Cherek
Dan Sidner
Drew & Jamie Baker

Farm to Fork:
How to Use Local Farm Ingredients Throughout the Year

Presented by:
Kyle Cherek, Host of Wisconsin Foodie

Panelists:
Dan Sidner, Co-owner of Black Shoe Hospitality Group
Drew & Jamie Baker, Co-owners of Love Rock Farms
Zak Baker, Executive Chef of Pizza Man

The current pressure on restaurateurs and purveyors alike to embrace seasonal and regional ingredients is at a national all-time high. Restaurants once considered immune from the demand of offering local items are now losing market share to those who make it a cornerstone of their menu. This talk will feature real strategies, so that every restaurateur can incorporate more of what is grown locally into their business.

  • How to find a farm or purveyor who can meet the challenges of scale, consistency and cost requires a new set of skills and relationships.
  • How to synchronize pricing, inventory flow & supply chain.
  • How high-volume restaurateurs are able to purchase substantial amounts of local ingredients for daily use on their menus.

Tuesday

12:00 –
1:00 pm

Location
1st Floor - 102D


Ryan Doerr

7 Essentials to Building and Retaining a Winning Team

Presented by:
Ryan Doerr, President at The Spire Group

Let’s face it, good help is hard to find and great team members are even harder to find. In this 90-minute workshop, we will unlock the secrets used by great businesses to attract and retain top talent without breaking the bank. As the labor market tightens, keeping an impressive team becomes more and more challenging. As restaurant owners and hospitality professionals, you'll take a fresh look and learn about an essential tool box attracting and retaining the best talent to be successful and competitive. Sneak Peak: Money is not one of the 7 essentials!

Key Takeaways:

  • Proven strategies to attract and retain great talent
  • Increased employee satisfaction
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Increased employee performance
  • Real solutions that you use immediately in your business

Presented by Badger Club Managers

Tuesday

12:00 –
1:30 pm

Location
1st Floor - 102C


Scott Iversen

Gen Z — How Your Restaurant Can Market to the Next-Generation of Consumers

Presented by:
Scott Iverson, Vice President of Marketing, Toppers Pizza

With Millennials emerging fully into the consumer landscape, restaurant operators are assessing the next big demographic group: Generation Z. Members of Gen Z, born after 1995 or 1996, make up about a quarter of the U.S. population — the eldest Gen Z’ers are just entering their 20s, and the younger ones are helping form youth culture. This generation is influencing everything from restaurant design and technology to marketing and menu offerings.

Key Points Covered:

  • Investing in technology
  • Authenticity and transparency
  • Menu: bold flavors, customization

Tuesday

1:15 –
2:15 pm

Location
2nd Floor - 202C


Chris Holman

 

Chef and Farmer – A Symphony at Work

Presented by:
Patrick Depula, Owner/Chef of Salvatore’s Tomato Pies and Chris Holman, Co-Owner of Nami Moon Farms

The concept of local food menus means something different to everyone. Hear about how to facilitate business growth for both you and your farmer and what it takes to utilize local produce year round. This session will also focus on how buying local can and cannot work for you when it comes to perception vs reality. These topics and clear, direct answers to the questions you have about local purchasing will highlight the session.

  • How to orchestrate dependable partnerships necessary to effectively source local in your establishment
  • Strategies for meal planning months in advance
  • Greenwashing: What is it and are you doing it
  • How to make customers aware of your local purchasing efforts

Tuesday

1:15 –
2:15 pm

Location
1st Floor - 102B


Corey Walton

The Nuts and Bolts of the Fair Labor Standards Act

Presented by:
Corey Walton, Community Outsource and Resource Planning Specialist at US Department of Labor/Wage & Hour Division

This presentation will provide valuable information on the minimum wage, overtime, child labor and recordkeeping requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The training will be specifically tailored towards the restaurant industry and will address such issues as: 

  • How to be in compliance on tip employee issues
  • How to determine which employees are exempt from overtime
  • How to distinguish compensable hours from non-compensable hours

Tuesday

1:15 –
2:15 pm

Location
1st Floor - 103C


Chef Ellen Ritter

A Road Map to Local & Sustainable Purchasing Practices

Presented by:
Ellen Ritter, Executive Chef for UW Health & Michelle Miller, Associate Director at UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems

An overview of how UW Health has implemented policy based local and sustainable purchasing practices. A road map of how and why the policy was implemented, how they created/found partners, how we track progress and the economic and environmental benefits to the decisions and partnerships.

  • Take away how to educate customers to value and appreciate local food and find partners to make local sourcing a reality.
  • How to move local, sustainable food into the wholesale market more efficiently.
  • Critical thresholds that farmer/shippers, trucking companies, and wholesale buyers need to meet for a local food system to work.

Tuesday

2:30 –
3:30 pm

Location
1st Floor - 101A


Clarke Smith

The State of Local Marketing: A Road Map for Local Marketing in 2017 & Beyond

Presented by:
Clarke Smith, Chief Strategy Officer of Brandmuscle

As the marketing landscape rapidly evolves and a seemingly endless supply of new marketing techniques appear, it becomes increasingly difficult to determine the best way to reach consumers. Based on a national survey of more than 2,100 small business and the analysis of millions of dollars’ worth of co-op marketing investments made by brands over the past five years, Brandmuscle’s State of Local Marketing Report reveals the latest trends in local marketing and where to focus your time and budget.

Tuesday

2:30 –
3:30 pm

Location
2nd Floor - 201A


Pete Leuer
Lois Federman
Sarah Larson

Stepping Up Local Purchasing: Learn How to Utilize Your In-State Partners

Presented by:
Pete Leuer, Manager of Foodservice National Accounts at Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Lois Federman, Director – Something Special from Wisconsin™
And Sarah Larson, Director of Farm to Business Program at REAP

Are you familiar with the in-state resources that are available to help you bring more local sourcing into your business? Representatives from three key Wisconsin programs will give an overview of how they can help you add more local to your menu and share tips on how to market to your customers that you’re partnering with local suppliers. Some messaging is so easy to integrate that you’ll wonder why you weren’t already doing it!

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the tools Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board has available; when you can use the “Wisconsin Cheese” logo and messaging in your marketing and communications to customers
  • Learn about the Something Special from Wisconsin™ program; when you can use their logo in your business; how to bring those products into your gift shops
  • How REAP’s Farm Fresh Atlas and Farm to Business programs can benefit you

Tuesday

2:30 –
3:30 pm

Location
1st Floor - 102D

Wednesday
Dave Molenda

Using DISC Personality Profiles to Build the Best Team Ever

Presented by:
David Molenda, Founder of Positive Polarity

Did you ever meet someone and feel like you have known them your whole life? Or do you know someone that you just cannot seem to connect with? These are typically due to personality types. In this fast paced executive briefing, we will explore three things:

  • What personality type you are
  • How to read others personality types
  • How to effectively migrate to their style to vastly improve your communication

Wednesday

10:00 –
11:15 am

Location
2nd Floor - 202C

 


 

Preventing Financial Fraud and Employee Theft

Presented by:
Mark Janness, President & Lead Examiner at Verity Financial Examiners

Financial fraud and employee theft in the workplace can be costly and even result in forcing the business to close its doors. Loss detection usually occurs around 18 months after the fact, resulting in a median loss to a business at around $150,000. In this session you will learn valuable methods for fraud and theft prevention while instilling a culture of honesty in the workplace. Properly securing company assets and accounting controls are imperative to maintaining a successful business. Gain powerful insights on:

  • Top fraud risks for small businesses
  • Methods of fraud detection
  • Establish a policy and program to reduce and detect employee theft or fraud
  • Communicate to employees and vendors a zero tolerance for theft and dishonesty

Wednesday

11:45 am –
12:45 pm

Location
2nd Floor - 202C

 


ServSafe logo

ServSafe Manager PROCTORED EXAM ONLY
Advanced Study Recommended

This option is for people that just want to take a proctored exam. The state of Wisconsin nor the NRA require training prior to taking an approved certification exam. However, you are encouraged to study on your own before taking the exam either with the ServSafe Manager Online Training, http://wirestaurant.org/ef/servsafe/training.php (WRA Members receive a special 20% discount on the online training through 3/31/17, use coupon code WRABADGER at checkout)

Fee is $60 and includes the Exam Answer Sheet Scantron

Register online for the Proctored ServSafe Exam at the Midwest Foodservice Expo

Wednesday

Check-in 12:30 pm

Exam from 1:00 –
3:00 pm

Location
203D

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
Foodservice professionals can receive continuing education units (CEUs) for attending select seminars at the Expo. CEU credits are offered through the following organizations: Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals (ANFP), Club Managers Association of America, School Nutrition Association of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (WAND).

Check with your employer or professional organization to see if they accept CEUs upon successful completion of one of the Expo's qualified seminars.

Call for Speakers
Learn more about how you can participate in the Expo’s educational program line-up by becoming a speaker.

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2801 Fish Hatchery Rd
Madison, WI 53713
800.589.3211 • 608.270.9950
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