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Pre Show Prep

Professional development CEU/CE’s are available for School Nutrition Association, Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Stop by the CEU table on the second floor across from the seminar rooms for details.

Happy Employees = Happy Customers

Monday, March 11 at 10:00 am | Ballroom AB

Susan Reilly Salgado, Ph.D. - Consultant, Speaker & Thought Leader, Hospitality Quotient & Union Square Hospitality Group

Keynote presenter Susan Reilly Salgado worked with renowned restaurateur Danny Meyer of Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) for 18 years and during that time, she learned one basic truth in customer service: happy employees = happy customers.

It is nearly impossible for team members to generate caring, thoughtful, patient, attentive customer service unless they, themselves, feel valued and appreciated by their leaders. If teams don’t trust one another or feel trusted at work, your customers will feel it. By creating trusting, caring work environments with a high degree of accountability, we can ensure a consistently great work experience for our teams that will result in remarkable customer experiences.

Building a Workplace Culture Built to Sustain

Monday, March 11 at 11:30 am | 203 B

Dr. Lynea LaVoy - Director of Hospitality Management, Madison College

Elizabeth Garcia Hall - Director of Hospitality, Food Fight Restaurant Group

Culture isn’t a two liter. You can’t shake it up and pop the cap open.

Thinking about your culture as a buzz term is bad for business.  Learn the significance of a consistent workplace culture and how to help your team adapt to one another in a more positive and lasting way. You’ll also hear specific examples on relating to your most important customers – your staff.

Walk away with:

  • Tips for motivating across generations.
  • Tools for engaging your hardest to reach employees.
  • Tests to evaluate your culture’s well-being.

Use Packaging to Grow Takeout Sales

Monday, March 11 at 11:30 am | 202 B

Anh Hang - Food Packaging Specialist, R3 Redistribution

There’s no doubt that food delivery and takeout is becoming a regular topic in foodservice. This segment's sales is projected to grow in the double digits – 12% per year over the next five years. And, third party delivery services continue to see growth.

In this session, you’ll hear how packaging can help ensure food quality - keeping fries crispy, soup not spilled, or maintain temperature control throughout the delivery. You’ll also get ideas to increase the odds of repeat business. Topics include:

  • Why trends in food delivery shouldn’t be ignored
  • Using the right packaging for food quality
  • The importance of branding on packaging

Putting Gen Z to Work in Restaurants

Monday, March 11 at 12:45 pm | 202 C

Rob Gifford - Executive Vice President, National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

With job openings in restaurants at a record high, and millions of people from Generation Z slated to enter the workforce, it’s more important than ever to explore the relationship between younger generations and the restaurant industry. This session will share research from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation on the prevailing attitudes, perceptions and trends that Gen Z has toward working in food and beverage establishments. In this session, you’ll hear:

  • What Gen Z is looking for in a job or career in restaurants and foodservice.
  • Insights from a new national survey on what motivates this rapidly growing workforce.
  • Valuable tips on what employers can do to attract the next generation of talent.

Sustainability Practices at Miller Park

Monday, March 11 at 12:45 pm | 203 D

Seth VanderLaan - Executive Chef, Delaware North - Miller Park

Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers, takes a major league approach to sustainability, local sourcing, and green business initiatives. In this session, you’ll learn about the ballpark’s GreenPath Stewardship platform and hear key examples on environmental management, facilities and asset protection, interpretation and education, community involvement, and healthy living.

Walk away with ideas for:

  • Sustainable efforts and going green in your own business.
  • Hyper-local sourcing from a Chef’s Garden.
  • Strategies to recycle and reduce waste.

5 Digital Strategies to Drive Guest Engagement

Monday, March 11 at 1:45 pm | 201 A

Chad Horn - Technology and Consultant Partnerships, TableUp

Here’s a useful exercise: Take 25 seconds to make a mental list of the most important things your restaurant does to elevate your guest experience. Now consider how much or how little technology is impacting those activities. 

Restaurants everywhere have woken up to the fact that their competitors are using technology in compelling ways to win. More operators are launching their own digital strategies to engage guests inside and outside of their restaurant. The result: a vital increase in guest frequency and spend. Learn about some of the most impactful digital strategies out there and how to identify your restaurant’s best opportunities. You’ll get:

  • Examples of some of the smartest and most accessible strategies
  • How to avoid some common mistakes
  • How to identify your best next move

CBD Frontiers: The Wild West of CBD in Foodservice

Monday, March 11 at 2:00 pm | 203 B

Larry Hanson - Owner of Deja Brew, Mad Juice Co. and Pure Health Cannabis

Luke VandenLangenberg - CEO, Hempire Farm

Dr. Steve Ingham - Administrator, Division of Food and Recreational Safety Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection

Susan Quam - Executive Vice President, Wisconsin Restaurant Association

The hemp movement is a cutting-edge industry. As federal and state bodies define whether hemp is legal or illegal, regulatory agencies struggle to define and develop guidelines and standards for cannabidiol (CBD) infusions in food and beverage products.

During this conversation with experts from the restaurant, producer and regulatory sides of the equation, you’ll get your questions answered on CBD use in foodservice. This discussion will cover:

  • Overview of state and federal rules on CBD use
  • How CBD use fits within the food code
  • Guidance on how restaurants can move forward

Onboard New Employees with Self-Guided Training

Monday, March 11 at 2:00 pm | 202 D

Sara Black Warden - Partner & Co-Founder, Luminaries Consulting

Stop onboarding new employees the way you’ve always done it! Instead of telling and showing new hires everything that they need to know, let them discover and see it for themselves.

This session will introduce training strategies and hands-on resources to more rapidly develop new employees, using tools you already have (at little to no cost.)  You’ll gain practical ideas to immediately engage your front of house staff, high potential employees, and team members with opportunities to increase sales or brand image.

  • See how simple, self-guided activities can boost innovation, curiosity and loyalty.
  • Get specific examples of fun learning challenges and scavenger hunts for team training.
  • Find resources - like websites and videos - to help produce a higher ROI from your onboarding.

Restaurant Website SEO - Search Engine Strategy Done Right

Monday, March 11 at 3:15 pm | 202 B

Chris Remington - Digital Strategy Consultant, Graydient Creative

Search engine optimization (SEO) for restaurant websites is made up of many ingredients. A pound of on-page content, mixed with some well-blended web code and a pinch of social media, can yield appetizing results that can put you at the top of search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. 

In this session, you'll learn:

  • How to whip up a website your customers will devour
  • Why SEO strategy is key to your site's success online
  • Actionable tips for the best results in search engines

Using Video Marketing

Monday, March 11 at 3:15 pm | 201 A

Bruce Irving - Founder, Smart Pizza Marketing

When you go on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube or Twitter, you’ll often notice that video is prevalent in many posts. Even if you’re running a small business, you can also use video to great effect. 

In this session, Bruce Irving of Smart Pizza Marketing will share tips to incorporate video in your advertising in order to grow your business, engage your followers, and build better community engagement on your social media platforms.

Your takeaways from this session include:

  • Why video has to be an important part of your marketing strategy.
  • What types of video are working best and where you should put them.
  • Tools needed to get started on a tight budget.

The Price is Right: How to Count Costs and Set Prices

Monday, March 11 at 3:45 pm | 202 C

Lacey Reichwald - Co-owner and Operations Manager, The SweetSpot

Creating a profitable menu is both an art and a science. In this session, you will learn how to calculate food costs, labor costs, and overhead relative to every ingredient and finished product in your bakery. You’ll also learn how to use your intuition and marketing efforts to decide when it’s time to raise prices, reduce costs, or change your menu.

You’ll get valuable guidance on:

  • Food costs, labor costs, and overhead expenses and the cost of doing business.
  • Pricing your products accordingly, ensuring your costs are covered.
  • Identifying any items you produce that aren’t “worth it” to maintain.
Session presented with Wisconsin Bakers Association

Are You Prepared for the Self-Service Era?

Tuesday, March 12 at 9:30 am | 202 B

Steve Lipkin - Owner, Khamu Solutions

The self-order revolution has arrived. Today’s younger consumers gravitate toward the convenience lifestyle, digital communications and technology-based service points. By capitalizing on digital advancements, foodservice operations can help customers serve themselves and – ultimately – create an improved guest experience for their tech-savvy diners. We’ll also take a look at how to reduce labor costs and the use of Point of Sale systems to provide better efficiency and improve ROI by using technology related products and services.

In this trend-forward session, you’ll hear:

  • The need for a website presence, online ordering and digital signage
  • Upcoming trends, like self-ordering kiosks
  • Why technology is essential for future business growth

Dining Habits of Generation Z

Tuesday, March 12 at 9:30 am | 203 B

Bret Yonke - Consumer Insights Manager, Technomic

Jessica Cravero - Midwest Regional Vice President, Technomic

Hear competitive research, consumer insights and industry trends on Generation Z from an industry leader: Technomic.

From this session, you'll:

  • Understand how Gen Z are shifting their consumption habits.
  • Uncover which segments Gen Z frequents most often.
  • Discover Gen Z foodservice motivators and purchase drivers.
  • Identify how Gen Z will drive advances in on-demand foodservice offerings.

Best Practices for Business Finance and Cash Flow

Tuesday, March 12 at 10:30 am | 202 C

Joseph Hastreiter - Accountant & Marketing Director, EWH Small Business Accounting

Ed Hastreiter - Owner & President, EWH Small Business Accounting

Having a full understanding of your cash flow – what’s coming in and going out - is the only real way to make the most profitable decisions in business. When you know how to read profit and loss (P&L) statements, your balance sheet and key performance indicators (KPIs), you’ll be well on your way to avoiding the top 5 critical accounting mistakes in business finance.

You’ll also get valuable guidance on:

  • Internal bookkeeping
  • Payroll options
  • Income tax planning
  • Audit trails

By the end of this valuable session, you’ll be able to identify the areas you need to get financial advice on and why it’s essential to put the right team of advisors around you.

Marketing Your Business for the Now

Tuesday, March 12 at 10:30 am | 201 A

Bruce Irving - Founder, Smart Pizza Marketing

Marketing strategies change quickly. During this seminar, Bruce Irving of Smart Pizza Marketing will walk through which marketing tactics and platforms are working best in 2019. You’ll learn the "Why" and "How" you should be positioning your restaurant or foodservice brand to make you stand out.

Get valuable takeaways on:

  • Which areas of marketing to focus your time on.
  • The best platforms to position your business and brand.
  • What you can do with your marketing to better stand out.

Leading a Fair Kitchen: The Importance of Staff Health and Happiness

Tuesday, March 12 at 11:30 am | 203 B

Charles Ford - General Manager, S.K.Y. Chicago

Adam Siegel - Executive Chef, Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro

Kyle Cherek - Host, Wisconsin Foodie

Einav Gefen - Executive Corporate Chef, Unilever Food Solutions North America

This industry suffers from an epidemic of depression, deprivation and substance abuse. Make the effort to maintain a positive, sustainable workplace. A healthier work environment will ultimately result in less turnover and healthier employees, both mentally and physically. 

In this panel discussion, you'll hear from F&B pros that have seen both sides of the fence, taking back solutions to mental health and substance abuse in our front of house and our kitchens.

Non-Paid Media: Boost Sales by Branding, Not Selling

Tuesday, March 12 at 11:30 am | 202 B

Andy Larsen - VP/Partner, Boelter + Lincoln

Sam Burns - Account Executive, Boelter + Lincoln

It’s hard to resist the temptation to promote your restaurant every chance you get. But if you’re interacting with someone on social media – or courting editorial coverage – selling can be counterproductive.

In this session, you'll hear best practices on how to engage with, and activate, your online community and media contacts.

Takeaways will include:

  • Why non-paid media messages should be different than paid media (advertising)
  • How to think like an editor/producer
  • How to create organic social media content that engages
  • What social media measurement metrics you should focus on
  • Basic tips for creating and sharing content (video and photo) for social media

Consumer Behavior in the Digital World

Tuesday, March 12 at 12:45 pm | 201 A

Laura Sardegna - Head of Industry - Restaurants, Google

Digital is influencing a consumer’s decision journey more and more everyday.  Time spent on digital media and technology is increasing. Marketers and brands that want to stay relevant need to understand the behaviors of their customers in a digital first world.

In this session, you will discover many ways to reach your customers through search, video and display.  You’ll gain an understanding of how to drive footsteps to your restaurants and stores. 

Takeaways include how:

  • Digital is influencing aspects of your customers decision journey
  • To reach your customers through media efficiently and effectively
  • To engage your local audiences and customers
  • To build better digital experiences that your customers are craving


Don't Be a Boss, Be a Leader

Tuesday, March 12 at 12:45 pm | 202 C

Barkha Daily - Chef & Owner, the cheel / the baaree

By leading with emotional intelligence, you’ll become a role model for your staff and influence successes within your team. In this session, you’ll be inspired to build employee commitment and increase loyalty by empowering them to achieve team goals.

Hear ways to:

  • Be a leader for your team.
  • Encourage staff development and success.
  • Increase employee engagement.

Dining Scene Disruptors: Food Halls

Tuesday, March 12 at 2:00 pm | 203 B

Kyle Cherek - Host, Wisconsin Foodie

Steve O'Brien - Vice President of Enterprise Sales, Fooda

Angela Rondinelli - Executive Chef, The Bartolotta Restaurant's Downtown Kitchen

Rachel Wiesner - General Manager, The Bartolotta Restaurant's Downtown Kitchen

In this panel discussion, you'll hear from innovators in the dining scene, operating with the evolution of dining demands of cafeteria settings. Take a closer look at revolutionary food halls and how they deliver restaurant quality food in a non-traditional cafeteria environment. Individuals from Fooda and The Bartolotta Restaurant's Downtown Kitchen share successes and challenges along the way. 
In this session you’ll learn:

• How to formulate a menu with enough variety and less frustration
• Location and how it affects the food hall dining scene
• Consumer brain variances of the daytime professional vs. evening dining
• Creating an inviting environment and how it ties into food hall dining


Your Brand is Perfect for Someone, But Who

Tuesday, March 12 at 2:00 pm | 202 B

Jaimi Brown - Strategy Director/Partner, Hiebing

It’s likely the only person who got up out of bed this morning thinking about your brand – is you. But, there are many other things your target audience woke up caring about that you can connect to. 

Inspire brand devotion by identifying your target audience and creating a story they will truly care about in this presentation and mini work-session. You'll learn: 

  • What it takes to establish a brand strategy
  • How to tell a compelling brand story
  • Why creative needs to feed from the strategy
  • How to create engaging content

Drive ROI with Social Media Advertising

Tuesday, March 12 at 3:00 pm | 201 A

Matt Plapp - President, Driven Media Solutions - ROI Experts

Too often, restaurant owners don't get a measurable ROI out of their marketing dollars. In this session, you’ll understand how to effectively measure your advertising. More specifically, you’ll learn techniques that can be used on social media channels to not only grow your customer database, but to drive them into your restaurant with trackable results. You’ll see multiple examples from restaurants using programs and social ads to drive thousands in sales every week.

In this session, you’ll:

  • Learn what works in social media marketing to repeat in your business.
  • Review how to create an effective marketing program and drive results.
  • Receive blueprints and ROI worksheets for creating and tracking your own campaigns.

How to Build Your Own Website

Tuesday, March 12 at 3:00 pm | 202 D

Brian Lee, APR - President, Revelation PR, Advertising & Social Media

You’ve seen the ads on TV for do-it-yourself websites… is it really that simple to build and maintain your own site? Yes!

In this workshop, you’ll get step-by-step instructions, from finding an available website name to creating a mobile-friendly website that will attract customers. You’ll see it’s not as complicated as it may seem.

By the end of this session, you'll learn how to:

  • Search for available domain (website) names
  • Set up website hosting
  • Create email addresses
  • Install the WordPress content management system
  • Build pages and add content

How Your Character Affects Leadership

Wednesday, March 13 at 10:30 am | 202 C

Robert Beezat - Author

When we improve our character, we improve our organization’s effectiveness and productivity as well as our job satisfaction.

In this session, you'll learn to:

  • Better understand your character in relationship to how you manage.
  • Use the free app Be a Better You (BABU) to monitor your growth in character.
  • Evaluate the progress of the people you manage in increasing organizational effectiveness, productivity, and job satisfaction.

Offering the Best Customer Service

Wednesday, March 13 at 11:30 am | 201 A

Dave Molenda - Founder, Positive Polarity

When organizations rate their quality of customer experience, 80% of them believe they are delivering a superior service. However, only 8% of customers believe they are receiving a great experience. So why the disparity? 

In this fast-paced executive briefing, you’ll hear ways to deliver the best experience ever to your customers. Take home simple and practical tools that you and your team can implement right away.

MFE Quick Bites Session
cutlery set


Focused training in continuous 15-minute presentations offers great tips and best practices on marketing, workforce and food safety.

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The Bar

BevX talks with beverage pros offer bartenders and managers new drink recipes and techniques - live in the Liquid Lounge.

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Pastry Studio

Hands-on demos on bakery and dessert techniques for up to 32 attendees per session. Don't miss out, as these workshops fill up quickly!

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