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Seminar Lineup

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Seminar Lineup

MFE seminars cover a well-rounded range of topics geared to food and beverage professionals. Our key training tracks—marketing, business building, operations and workforce development—will help you and your managers reach your business goals.

You’ll gain insightful and practical takeaways over three days. It’s the ultimate business experience.

2019 Seminars TBA
Last year’s seminars are listed below to offer a taste of what’s to come for MFE 2019. Watch for updates on the 2019 line-up in January!

RMS logoBusiness Building logoOperations logoWorkforce logo

Monday

Eric Chester photo

Workforce logo

On Fire at Work—
How Great Leaders Ignite Passion and Why Those People Succeed

KEYNOTE SPEAKER:
Eric Chester, CSP, CPAE Award-Winning Speaker and Bestselling Business Author

Go beyond merely engaging today’s rapidly changing workforce and ignite “On Fire performance.”

Leaders, managers and employees will walk away with actionable ideas to find, develop and keep “on fire” employees and top talent. You’ll learn to build a world-class workplace culture where people work harder, perform better and stay longer.

Uplifting, inspiring and content-rich, it’s impossible to experience “On Fire” without igniting a passion for excellence and fanning the flames of engagement in teams.

Sponsored by Badger Club Managers

Monday,
March 12

10:00 –
11:00 am

1st Floor –
Ballroom AB

Seating begins at 9:30 am!


Spencer Smith

RMS logo

Skyrocket your Reputation with Social Media

Presented by:
Spencer X. Smith, Founder of spencerXsmith.com and instructor at University of Wisconsin and Rutgers University

With 1.5 billion Facebook users, 320 million active Twitter accounts, 80 million daily Instagram photo uploads, and countless digital sites—social media is the best means ever invented to grow both your personal reputation as well as that of your business. During this session, Spencer Smith of spencerXsmith.com will share what works for both himself and his clients around the country.

How-to tactics and strategy tools will include:

  • Identifying which social platforms make sense for your business
  • How you should spend your time online
  • The type of content you should be utilizing
  • Which analytics are important and which to ignore
  • Points from Spencer's "Personal Branding Power Hour" that will skyrocket your restaurant's reputation

Monday,
March 12

11:30 am –
12:30 pm

2nd Floor –
201B


TJ Schier

Workforce logo

Hire, Train, Reward, Retain—Building a Team of Top Performers

Presented by:
TJ Schier, President & Founder of SMART Restaurant Group and Which Wich Superior Sandwiches Franchisee

Why do some businesses get great employees while others struggle? The hiring process has far-reaching impacts on your service, turnover and overall finances. This session will give you key insights to building a winning team in both the front and back-of-house. You'll learn easy-to-implement strategies like:

  • Creating a more effective hiring process
  • Attracting the RIGHT talent
  • Effective interviewing and assessment tools
  • Proven and cost-effective training and incentive ideas

Monday,
March 12

11:45 am –
12:45 pm

2nd Floor –
202C


Elly Deutch

RMS logo

How to Use Effective Storytelling to Showcase your Brand on Social

Presented by:
Elly Deutch, Global Social Campaigns and Corporate Content Manager of McDonald's Corporation

Are you telling stories on social media that resonate with your followers?  In this session we’ll cover strategies to engage your fans through effective storytelling.  You’ll see real-world examples from a multi-national quickservice brand—McDonald’s—and get immediate take-aways to implement in your restaurant’s social outreach.

Monday,
March 12

12:45 –
1:45 pm

2nd Floor –
202B


Tracy Clark

RMS logo

Shaping the Future:  The macro forces, consumer and industry trends shaping foodservice

Presented by:
Tracy Clark, Customer Marketing Manager of National Food Service, Coca-Cola North America

How will economic, workforce, consumer, technology and food trends guide the future?  What disruptors are on the horizon?  This session will walk you through six core trends that are shaping where foodservice is headed.  This insight will help you make strategic decisions to better connect with your customers, build loyalty and grow your business.
Learning objectives include:

  • Understand industry trends holistically in the foodservice industry
  • What overarching macro forces, like demographics and technology, are at the foundation
  • Discover consumer cultural trends that are influencing the way consumers act and the decisions they make

Monday,
March 12

12:45 –
1:45 pm

2nd Floor –
202D


Kyle Cherek

Business Building logo

Customer Service Culture: Creating a Connective Dining Experience

Presented by:
Kyle Cherek, Host of Wisconsin Foodie

Panelists:
Lacey Reichwald, Owner of The SweetSpot, Joe Bartolotta, President & Owner of The Bartolotta Restaurants, Kate Cristobal, Director of Cafes Colectivo Coffee, Jason Ilstrup, President of Downtown Madison, Inc.

Every restaurant hopes to be highly regarded for its customer service. The delicate balance of ensuring that a guest feels truly appreciated while successfully maintaining day-to-day operations is paramount to the success of any hospitality business. What core principles, habits, and skills guarantee an exemplary guest experience? With panel moderation by Kyle Cherek, host of Wisconsin Foodie, learn from industry leaders how they manage these vital relationships. Some take-aways will be:

  • Tips on going from great to exceptional customer service
  • How the dining experience has changed and where it’s headed
  • How to connect with your customers on an emotional and sensory level
Lacey Reichwald Joe Bartolotta Kate Cristobal Jason Ilstrup

Monday,
March 12

1:00 – 2:00 pm

2nd Floor –
203B


David Caruso

RMS logo

Stand Out from the Crowd

Presented by:
David Caruso, President & Creative Director of Dynamic Events

Using social media, television, radio, print media and expert networking skills, David has gained an impressive following. Learn his highly sought after tips to effectively (and creatively) brand your business in the food, beverage and hospitality industries. Take aways will include:

  • Learn how your "brand introduces you before you even speak"
  • Discover ways to get your business on TV and in the press
  • Learn the best tools and tricks to increase your social media exposure
  • See examples of branding campaigns that communicate effectively

Monday,
March 12

2:15 – 3:15 pm

2nd Floor –
201B


Chris Remington

RMS logo

Restaurant Website A to Z

Presented by:
Chris Remington, Digital Strategy Consultant of Graydient Creative

Upgrading or re-platforming your restaurant’s website will impact your team and your customers. Learn what to consider before, during and after a professional website rebuild. This interactive session will cover all the basics, help you avoid ‘gotchas’ hidden in the project details, and ensure a successful launch that enhances your restaurant’s digital presence. Website basics to be covered include:

  • Content Management System (CMS) options
  • Design considerations
  • 3rd party functionality integrations
  • Content publishing workflows
  • Determining Key Performance Indicators(KPIs)
  • Traffic-building strategies

Monday,
March 12

2:15 – 3:15 pm

2nd Floor –
202B


Tuesday

ServSafe logo

Operations logo

ServSafe® Food Manager Certification
Register in Advance by February 26

Members $137.95 – Non-members $172.95
Single day session blends lecture, video and activities and ends with the proctored exam. Includes the most current edition of the ServSafe Manager book sent in advance (a $70 value), lunch, live review session and proctored exam.

ServSafe English – 3/13/18 (register by 2/26/18)
ServSafe Spanish – 3/13/18 (register by 2/26/18)

See the full list of available sessions

Tuesday,
March 13

8:00 am –
5:00 pm

12:45 –
2:15 break

English
1st Floor –
103C

Spanish
1st Floor –
103D


Kay-Tee Olds

RMS logo

Managing Reviews

Presented by:
Kay-Tee Olds, President of Engaging Results Communications

"Mediocre", "Disappointing", "Overpriced", "Unappetizing" ... Do those terms sound familiar? Self-proclaimed food experts have swept the country with their unapologetic criticism of restaurants. Chances are, your establishment has been a target of unhappy customers at one point or another, but what did you do about it? Customers aren't always right but their reviews matter.

This workshop focuses on building positive and lasting relationships with customers, and turning negative customer experiences into opportunities to increase diner retention. Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Leverage reviews to increase sales
  • Improve customer relations through Yelp, TripAdvisor and Facebook
  • Incorporate influencer marketing into their marketing strategy

Tuesday,
March 13

9:30 – 10:30 am

2nd Floor –
201B


Brian Lee

RMS logo

How to Build Your Own Website

Presented by:
Brian Lee, APR; President of 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, we’ll cover 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, attendees will learn:

  • How to search for available domain (website) names
  • How to set up website hosting
  • How to create email addresses
  • How to install the WordPress content management system
  • How to build pages and add content

Tuesday,
March 13

9:30 – 10:30 am

2nd Floor –
202B


Joseph Hastreiter

Operations logo

Business Essentials– The Basics of Managing your Business

Presented by:
Joseph Hastreiter, Accountant & Marketing Director of EWH Small Business Accounting and EWH University

Running your business successfully comes down to being good at managing two things: Numbers and People. In this session, we’ll help you understand the essential factors of how to better manage both. Years of studying small business operations and the patterns of successes and failures that we’ve observed have guided the creation of a plan that will get you on your way to greater success.  

We’ll share the “10 Secrets to Achieving Results in Your Small Business” which will cover:

  • Quality, well-trained staff
  • Goal setting
  • Solid financial equity
  • Know your business model

Tuesday,
March 13

10:00 – 11:00 am

2nd Floor –
202C


Peg Dorn

Operations logo

Creating a Food Safety Culture & Competencies

Presented by:
Peg Dorn, Food Safety Specialist of the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership

This session will explore the challenges faced by small and medium sized food processors. Global, federal and state food safety regulations can be incredibly confusing for these manufacturers. The key is to understanding food safety and creating a culture where food safety is automatic. Basic information on competencies required creating a robust safety culture and how they translate into business building opportunities will be covered. Take aways include:

  • What qualifications do I need?
  • Which regulations apply to me?
  • How do I implement changes?
  • Where do I start?

Brought to you by Wisconsin Bakers Association

Tuesday,
March 13

10:30 – 11:30 am

1st Floor –
102C

 


Brian Mattingly

RMS logo

Three Key Principles of Success for Small Businesses

Presented by:
Brian Mattingly, CEO of Welcomemat Services

This session will review the pros and cons of various marketing and advertising platforms, shaped by the real world experience from restaurateurs across the country. While the focus of the presentation will be on new customer acquisition methods, you’ll also hear about insights from recent studies that have developed best practices for customer retention and loyalty marketing. A case study will show how an already successful restaurant was able to use their data and analytics to take their business to the next level by truly understanding and meeting the needs of its target customers. You’ll gain smart marketing tactics to help grow your business.   

Take aways will include:

  • Methods to attract new customers
  • Tips on maintaining a positive reputation
  • How to stay top of mind

Tuesday,
March 13

11:00 am – Noon

2nd Floor –
201B


Kevin Anderson

RMS logo

Food Trends – Meeting the Needs of Tomorrow’s Consumer

Presented by:
Kevin Anderson, Consumer Insights Team Leader of Schreiber Foods

The foodservice industry is changing faster than ever and predicting trends can be a tough venture. This session will highlight the life cycle of key macro food trends and take a deeper dive into a few of America’s Dairyland specialties: cheese, cream cheese and yogurt. Be inspired and see how successful operators are turning creativity into innovation. This session will empower you to discover ways to meet the needs of tomorrow’s consumer.   

Take aways from this session will include:

  • Trends start at restaurants. The Menu Adoption Cycle (MAC) is a proven journey of putting food trends into 4 distinctive stages.
  • Build a Better Burger – research shows that cheese is a key ingredient to increase craveability  and customer experience
  • Take Cream Cheese beyond the bagel and cheese cake – menu penetration is on the rise!
  • Yogurt is becoming a popular accompaniment to dishes.  Viewed as fresh and healthy, its a new popular alternative for chefs.

Tuesday,
March 13

11:00 am – Noon

2nd Floor –
202B


Kyle Cherek

Workforce logo

Three Ingredients for an Outstanding Workplace Culture

Presented by:
Kyle Cherek, Host of Wisconsin Foodie

Panelists:
Susan D. Terry, Vice President of Culinary and F&B Operations of Marcus Hotels & Resorts, Nell Benton, Owner of The National Café and Bowls Restaurant, Phillip Hurley, Chef/Co-Owner of Sardine, Gates and Brovi, Marigold Kitchen, John Gadau, Chef/Co-Owner Sardine, Gates and Brovi, Marigold Kitchen

Positive workplace culture is an essential qualification for a strong, motivated service team.

From work/life balance to sexual harassment, this panel seeks to explore and define the three most essential policies that a hospitality business should have in place to promote a respectful and dedicated work environment. With panel moderation by Kyle Cherek, host of Wisconsin Foodie, learn from industry leaders how they have succeeded in creating workplace cultures that protect and value their employees.

Susan Terry Philip Hurley John Gadau

Tuesday,
March 13

11:30 am –
12:30 pm

2nd Floor –
203B


Kay-Tee Olds

Business Building logo

Mobilize Your Restaurant

Presented by:
Kay-Tee Olds, President of Engaging Results Communications

Do you find yourself looking at empty tables during those beautiful summer months when festival season's in full force, and wondering how you can vend at key events? Or perhaps you're considering a mobile food business. There are many reasons for restaurants to participate in festivals; such as the potential to reach new customers, to reconnect with old customers, or to try out new menu items. The bottom line: It's a chance to make money!

This workshop is facilitated by a professional speaker who also owns a marketing firm and a mobile food business. It concentrates on a game plan to leverage outdoor events and increase sales. After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • Locate events that would bring value
  • Identify criteria for festival evaluation
  • Leverage mobile opportunities to grow their business
  • Utilize geotargeted ads to increase sales

Tuesday,
March 13

Noon – 1:00 pm

2nd Floor –
202D


Chad Horn

RMS logo

5 Digital Strategies to Drive Guest Engagement for Your Restaurant

Presented by:
Chad Horn, Technology and Consultant Partnerships at 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

Tuesday,
March 13

12:30 – 1:30 pm

2nd Floor –
202B


D.P. Knudten

RMS logo

Culture Chicken / Brand Egg—which comes first?

Presented by:
D.P. Knudten, Chief Collaborator of COLLABORATOR creative

A culture of customer-delighting excellence. A brand which remains 'top of mind' with every customer. Every restaurant wants both—but which comes first?

That's what this highly visual, informative and provocative presentation by D.P. Knudten, co-author of 'ROTOMA—The ROI of Social Media 'Top of Mind' is all about. Using dynamic real-world examples and a lot of his own hard earned/learned insights, "Culture Chicken / Brand Egg—which comes first?" is sure to satisfy even the pickiest foodie who wants to have their Culture Chicken and Brand Egg—and eat 'em both too. This talk will get you thinking—and acting on:

  • Identifying the foundational pillars of your brand
  • Aligning your true brand and culture to attract both employees and customers
  • Engaging every customer touchpoint in a way that boosts your brand—and bottom line.

Tuesday,
March 13

12:30 – 1:30 pm

2nd Floor –
201B


Mitch Riavez

Operations logo

The Latest Update on the Trans Fat Free Shortening Story

Presented by:
Mitch Riavez, National Bakery Accounts Manager of Stratas Foods

By July 1, 2018, all shortenings must be Trans Fat Free. Hear the latest info on the new options that are available and the ways bakers may need to change their formulas and mixing instructions to adapt to the new shortenings. This session will focus on:

  • Flex technology improves both palm and inter-esterified soy shortenings
  • Solutions to common shortening complaints
  • Proper storage of palm and other shortenings
  • EIE defined and how it reacts in the process

Brought to you by Wisconsin Bakers Association

Tuesday,
March 13

12:30 – 1:30 pm

1st Floor –
102C

 


Brian Anderson

Adam Olijnyk

Operations logo

Active Shooter Preparedness

Presented by:
Brian Anderson, Risk Control Representative of Society Insurance and
Adam Olijnyk, Risk Control Representative of Society Insurance

Do you think an active shooter incident can't happen at your business? Think again. Active shooter events in workplaces have steadily increased over the years and are now five times more likely to happen than they were in 2000 (per FBI data). Even the thought of such an event happening at your business can invoke many emotions. How would you respond? What can your business do to proactively prepare for this risk? This presentation will focus on:

  • What to do during a life threatening situation
  • Insights on what happens physiologically and psychologically during an active shooter event
  • Tactics to help prevent loss of life.

Sponsored by Society Insurance logo

Tuesday,
March 13

1:00 – 2:00 pm

2nd Floor –
202C


Mackenzie Miles

RMS logo

Using Data Science to Design the Perfect Menu

Presented by:
Mackenzie Miles, Senior Account Executive of Upserve

Your menu is the only communication with your guests that 100% of them will see, so learning how to design the perfect one is vital to your restaurant. Find out how to use the latest trends and data-driven insights to create a menu that can excite your customer, increase your average check, and build your brand. Takeaways will include:

  • Where and how often to use photos of your menu items
  • Which colors have the biggest impact on your menu
  • How to create descriptions that will capture your customers' attention

Tuesday,
March 13

2:00 – 3:00 pm

2nd Floor –
201B


John Kuehl

RMS logo

Pragmatic Marketing for Independent Restaurants

Presented by:
John Kuehl, Founder and CEO of hankr

It can be overwhelming for operators to decide where to spend time and money on marketing, especially as new opportunities to promote your business appear almost daily. In this session, we’ll introduce planning tools to identify the right marketing to do – and what not to – in a logical, pragmatic way. We’ll cover how to put the most important marketing tasks first to get more from your outreach efforts and confidently ignore the rest without fear that you’re missing the boat.

 Takeaways include how to: 

  • Identify the right marketing tools for your business
  • Prioritize your marketing and do more in less time
  • Take the guesswork out of your decisions

Tuesday,
March 13

2:00 – 3:00 pm

2nd Floor –
202D


Jefferson Badger

Business Building logo

Delivery – Is it the Right Fit for Your Restaurant?

Presented by:
Jefferson Badger, VP of Sales of EatStreet

Food delivery is growing in popularity across the country and rightfully so – it’s a great way to expand your business. But is it right for your restaurant? In this session we’ll discuss the pros and cons of delivery and why it’s important to consider delivery for your business. We’ll focus on the challenges of delivery, how restaurants can make delivery a successful part of their business and drive incremental sales, and the options available to restaurants to execute delivery and reach new customers and better serve existing customers. 

  • Identify if delivery is right for your restaurant/business
  • Keys to a successful delivery business
  • Address the challenges delivery presents
  • Review delivery options available to restaurants

Tuesday,
March 13

2:30 – 3:30 pm

2nd Floor –
202C


Wednesday

ServSafe logo

Operations logo

ServSafe Manager PROCTORED EXAM ONLY
Advanced Study Recommended

This option is for people that just want to take a proctored exam. The state of Wisconsin nor the NRA require training prior to taking an approved certification exam. However, you are encouraged to study on your own before taking the exam either with the ServSafe Manager Online Training, (WRA Members receive a discount on the online training)

Fee is $60 and includes the Exam Answer Sheet Scantron

Register online for the Proctored ServSafe Exam at the Midwest Foodservice Expo
Registration deadline 3/5/18

Wednesday, March 14

Check-in
12:30 pm

Exam from
1:00 – 3:00 pm

 


Drew Nussbaum

Workforce logo

Workforce: From Recruitment to Retention

Presented by:
Drew Nussbaum, Regional Specialist
Wisconsin Department of Tourism

Who is the most important person in the organization? The CEO? The owner? The GM? The answer, to a customer, is the employee standing in front of them at that moment. That person is the one that makes an impact on future job applicants. Hiring is not an easy part of business. Everyone wants to hire the best employees and have them stay on board for years—but it doesn't usually work like that.

Marketing to your guests and to potential staff members can be one in the same in public relations and social media. But incorrectly placing "Weekly Specials" & "Help Wanted" in the same messaging tells your guests you have no staff to serve them, and potential applicants that no one wants to work there.

You'll walk away from this lively session with:

  • Modern recruiting ideas
  • Best practices to avoid the controllable pitfall of being understaffed
  • Tips on hiring campaigns that work

Wednesday, March 14

10:00 – 11:00 am

2nd Floor –
202C


Operations logo

Changes to the Wisconsin Food Code and Licensing Rules

Presented by:
Jim Kaplanek, Chief of Retail, Recreation and Field Services of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection

Did you know that there have been recent changes to Wisconsin’s food establishment licensing rules as well as updates coming to the 2013 FDA model food code?  Government regulations can sometimes be quite confusing – yet so critical in making sure your customers stay safe and free of foodborne illnesses.  This session will give a great overview of food safety practices and licensing structures that you need to be aware of.  Points covered will include:

  • New risk based licensing categories that determine fee levels
  • Detailed variance and HACCP plan guidelines – a great time to get your questions answered on how to develop plans for sous vide and other special processes
  • Updates to the Wisconsin Food Code

Wednesday,
March 14

11:30 am –
12:30 pm

2nd Floor –
202B

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
Foodservice professionals can receive continuing education units (CEUs) for attending select seminars at the Expo. CEU credits are offered through the following organizations: Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals (ANFP), Club Managers Association of America, School Nutrition Association of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (WAND).

Check with your employer or professional organization to see if they accept CEUs upon successful completion of one of the Expo's qualified seminars.

Call for Speakers
Learn more about how you can participate in the Expo’s educational program line-up by becoming a speaker.

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