Mar 13, 2019

Susie Patterson of Al & Al’s Stein Haus in Sheboygan Named 2019 Restaurateur of the Year

Susie ROY photo croppedMILWAUKEE, WI – Susie Patterson, owner of Al & Al’s Stein Haus in Sheboygan, was honored as the Restaurateur of the Year by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association. The Restaurateur of the Year (ROY) award is the industry’s top honor. Patterson was announced as the winner at the Association’s annual Awards Gala, held at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts in Milwaukee on March 12th in conjunction with the Midwest Foodservice Expo.

The Restaurateur of the Year award is given to an operator who demonstrates participation and service to the restaurant association, success within their own restaurant and contributions to their community. The winner is selected at a private meeting of past Restaurateur of the Year recipients and is kept a secret until the official announcement at the Awards Dinner.

Patterson got her early start in the restaurant industry working in her family’s restaurant, which she now owns.  Her parents, Dorothy and Alfons Lessel, and aunt and uncle, Maria and Alois Hoffmann, opened the restaurant in 1961.  Alfons and Alois were the two “Als.” The restaurant has been a WRA member for over 25 years.

Patterson has been involved in the WRA Eastern Shore Chapter for many years and received the Chapter’s Outstanding Restaurateur of the Year (OROY) award in 2006.  In 2011 she was honored by the WRA Education Foundation as the Salute to Excellence Restaurateur of the Year. At the state level, Patterson served as Chair of the WRA Board of Directors in 2017 and led the association’s CEO search committee when longtime President and CEO Ed Lump retired.  With Patterson’s steady guidance, the committee selected Kristine Hillmer as Lump’s replacement.

In addition to Patterson’s board service, she has regularly served as a judge at the ProStart® Invitational and has been instrumental in the success of several important WRA fundraisers.  She has been an active advocate for the restaurant industry. She regularly attends WRA’s Restaurant Advocacy Day and the Restaurant Caucus Dinner. She has traveled to Washington, DC as part of the Wisconsin delegation for the National Restaurant Association Public Affairs Conference.

Patterson and her family, which includes husband Paul and daughters Katrina and Holly, are active in the community. Patterson is a dedicated supporter of RCS Empowers, Inc. in Sheboygan and has provided employment opportunities for people with disabilities and special needs. 

WRA President and CEO Kristine Hillmer describes Patterson as a “straight shooter who can always be counted on to get the job done.”  Hillmer also praises Patterson’s unflappable work ethic and her ability to remain positive even in the most challenging circumstances.

Al & Al’s is well known for their authentic German cuisine in addition to breakfasts served all day, lunch and dinner specials, broaster chicken to go, Friday fish frys and Sunday brunches.  For over 10 years, the restaurant has hosted their Oktoberfest celebration the first weekend in October.

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Since 1933, the Wisconsin Restaurant Association has been dedicated to the success of the foodservice and hospitality industry.