Wednesday • April 10, 2019

Restaurant Advocacy Day

Kathy Kiedrowski

For more information, contact:

Kathy Kiedrowski | Government Relations Administrative Assistant

608.216.2854

kkiedrowski@wirestaurant.org

Join us as we advocate for small business at the State Capitol in Madison!

Who tells the story of your business better than you? Fill the State Plate with your knowledge of the industry. This is your chance for your voice to be heard. 

RAD Be The Voice logoOverture Center, Madison
10:00 am
Featured Speaker Craig Thompson, Secretary of Dept. of Transportation

  • Talk face-to-face with lawmakers
  • Help improve the business climate for small business
  • Gain connections and build on your relationships with your legislators

The day includes briefing sessions, pep rally luncheon at the Overture Center and small group lobbying at the capitol followed by a networking reception.


Register Online

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Industry Heroes

Event Hosts

  • MillerCoors
  • American Transmission Company

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Restaurant Advocates

Event Hosts

  • Brakebush Brothers, Inc.
  • Culver Franchising System, LLC
  • Food Fight Restaurant Group
  • Rocky Rococo Restaurants
  • Wendt's on the Lake

Lobby Day

Agenda

  • 10:00 am — Registration and Continental Breakfast
  • 10:30 am — Program Begins
    Briefing on the Issues
  • 11:15 am — Legislative Leaders Panel and Q&A
    - Rep. Jim Steineke, Assembly Majority Leader
    - Rep. Dianne Hesselbein, Assembly Asst. Minority Leader
  • 12:00 pm — Lunch
  • 12:30 pm — Craig Thompson, Dept. of Transportation Secretary
  • 1:15 pm — Briefing Issues Wrap-Up
  • 2:00 - 4:00 pm — Meetings in the Capitol
  • 4:00 - 5:00 pm — Joint Tourism Advocacy Reception-Overture Center Upper Lobby

    Networking, complimentary hors d’ oeuvres and cash bar.
    Guest Speaker: Joel Brennan, Secretary of Dept. of Administration

    Hosted by:
    Wisconsin Restaurant Association
    Wisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association
    Association of Wisconsin Tourism Attractions
    Wisconsin Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus
Advocacy Day Meetings

Event Locations

Luncheon and Briefing
Overture Center
201 State St
Madison, Wisconsin

Legislator Visits
State Capitol Building
Madison, Wisconsin

Post-event Reception
Overture Center
201 State St
Madison, Wisconsin
Advocacy Day Dinner

Hotels

Rooms available at:

Madison Concourse Hotel & Governor's Club
1 West Dayton Street
800.356.8293
www.concoursehotel.com

Park Hotel
22 S. Carroll Street
608.285.8000 
www.parkhotelmadison.com

Hilton Madison Monona Terrace
9 East Wilson Street
608.255.5100
www.hiltonmadison.com

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Advocacy Day?

At Restaurant Advocacy Day, restaurant owners and managers from around the state head to the state Capitol in groups to talk to lawmakers about important legislative issues. We tell lawmakers our side of the story, the differences we make in our communities and how their decisions impact our business, our employees and our customers.

What does the day entail?

We start the day with a briefing session, important speakers and lunch. After lunch, we head to the Capitol in small groups to talk to our legislators in pre-set meetings. After we’re done with our meetings, we all join back together for a fun cocktail hour.

Wisconsin is currently controlled by a party I support. Do I still need to lobby my legislators?

Absolutely. Talking to legislators during the good times (and the not so good times) helps develop your relationship with them. It helps lawmakers understand how their decisions impact you and your community. It helps them remember to fight for your position when unfavorable issues come up in the future.

I can’t afford to take a day away from my business. Is it really that important that I attend?

Yes, it’s very important to attend. Trying to influence legislation IS part of your business. Think of Restaurant Advocacy Day as a 1-day investment in your business, where you get to have a say on issues that affect your bottom line.

What can I accomplish face-to-face that I can’t do on the telephone?

Calling your legislator is actually more effective once they’ve met you face-to-face. When you speak in person, you are able to convey many things that a phone conversation simply cannot. Plus, when you’re looking an elected official in the eye, you know you are going to get a real answer -- not a generic brush-off.

How will I know what to say to my legislators?

WRA carefully plans the day so you are fully briefed on the issues before you arrive to your legislative visits. You’ll have time beforehand to ask questions. And you’ll receive a complete set of handouts to reference, as you like. 
The meetings are generally casual in nature – they will simply be conversations to share examples from your business. The best quality you bring to these meetings is just to be yourself, even if you’re nervous. You’re the expert on your own business, and that is what we want legislators to hear about.

I’m a shy person. Do I have to talk?

The visits themselves take place in a group, so you won’t be alone when you meet with your elected officials. Just being there helps to demonstrate the strength and breadth of our industry. If you’re more comfortable having a fellow restaurateur talk on your behalf while you’re there, that’s fine. But, remember, you know your business the best. And you know better than anyone else how unfavorable legislation will harm your business and our industry.

What if I don’t know anyone? I don’t want to feel like an outsider.

By coming to Restaurant Advocacy Day you become a face of our industry, and a face for small business. This is our day, when the real people of the industry come together. First time attendees are made to feel welcome, and you’ll be able to spend time with colleagues from your own area, as well as across the state.

The issues don’t really affect my business, do they?

We only talk to legislators about issues that impact restaurant businesses in an important way. In the past, we have been able to make a difference on issues like the minimum wage, credit card fees and liability, and new taxes on small businesses. These issues affect every small business, and together we can protect our ability to prosper.