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Operations, In-Depth

Transformation Yields Innovation.

With ever-changing consumer desires, it's time to step back and take a closer look at what's working and what can be done in another way.

Discover business-building ideas, entrepreneurial concepts, proven upgrades to technology and tips to drive business forward at the Midwest Foodservice Expo.

  • Revenue generating ideas
  • Ways to connect with customers
  • Sustainability practices
  • Business finances and menu costs
  • Products to streamline operations

It's all about... refining business.

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

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.

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

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


ServSafe Food Manager Review & Certification Exam

Tuesday, March 12 at 8:00 am | 103 C & D

WRA Education Foundation -

The ServSafe Food Manager Certification program offers a combination of self-study and one-day review with certification exam. Fees include the book in advance for study, review with lunch and proctored exam. Advance registration required - register by 2/28/19.

$160 for industry professionals + s/h & tax
$125 for WRA members + s/h & tax

Check-in: 8:00 am
Review: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm

Register for English > 
Register for Spanish > 

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.

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


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 Seminar


Full-length sessions cover a wide range of topics - including operations - to help you and your managers reach your business goals.

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MFE Quick Bites Session
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Focused training in continuous 15-minute presentations offers great tips and best practices for driving business.

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MFE Equipment Exhibitor
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Find products and partners to help with menu trends, technology, customer data, and more in a variety of foodservice exhibits.

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