Oct 14, 2020

To Our WRA Members

Wisconsin Restaurant Association logoTo Our WRA Members:

As an association, the WRA continues to work hard to help all our members navigate the many orders, updates and challenges associated with the COVID crisis.

We’re thankful for the astonishing number of members who have been renewing their membership as well as those that have been signing up as new members during the middle of this pandemic.

We do know how hard this public health emergency has hit our industry and that there are many businesses that will not make it through. That is why WRA is making difficult financial changes now so we can put our staff priorities on the areas that matter most to our members.

We care about each and every foodservice operator and their team members, in addition to our own staff. We have recently worked with the Board of Directors on a number of measures that will impact our programs moving forward:

  • With no assurance that we will be allowed to hold a show in Milwaukee that includes large groups and food tasting, we’ve made the very difficult decision to no longer invest in and plan for the 2021 Midwest Foodservice Expo. We will immediately be pivoting to engage all members, whether they are restaurateurs or suppliers, in other ways.
  • With a focus towards electronic and digital communications, the fall edition of Wisconsin Restaurateur magazine will be our last printed issue. The speed at which information changes, coupled with the expense of printing a magazine, has shifted our focus to other formats in which we can share information with our members.
  • Since the beginning of the year, we will have reduced our WRA staff positions by nearly 30%, with the bulk of them happening by the end of this month. As all of you have seen reduced revenues and had to make these difficult decisions, so has the WRA.

Please know that none of these decisions were made lightly or without a great deal of consideration of our association’s and member’s needs moving forward.

Personally, I cannot tell you how proud I am of our entire team who has pivoted and rallied to do the best they can to help our industry navigate this difficult situation. We remain absolutely committed to providing programs and services to help our members be successful, especially during these difficult times.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly at khillmer@wirestaurant.org. The decisions to eliminate programs and reduce our workforce is strictly a financial decision necessitated by the COVID crisis and its impact on our industry.

Kristine Hillmer
President & CEO
Wisconsin Restaurant Association