Skip to main content

Workforce Sessions

Leadership is a State of Mind.

Competition for employees is fierce. Operators and managers need solid solutions for locating, hiring and keeping and top performers.

At the Midwest Foodservice Expo, you'll find valuable resources and key takeaways to help you:

  • Attract and retain employees
  • Build a strong, motivated team
  • Create a positive workplace culture
  • Find alternative hiring solutions and recruitment paths
  • Offer benefits your team values

From in-depth education sessions to quick bites on focused topics, MFE has the needs of employers covered.

It's all about... employee solutions.

MFE's workforce sessions and full-length seminars focus on helping you engage employees and build a stronger, more motivated team.

See Full Schedule

Sessions Sponsor


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

speaker at expo

Focused training in continuous 15-minute presentations offer great tips and best practices for your labor challenges.

  • Build stronger teams
  • Address staffing shortages
  • Workplace culture
  • Reducing labor costs
  • And more


See All Quick Bites