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Expert advice on creating a positive workplace culture

Workforce sessions with powerful insights to help you find and build a strong, motivated team.


Focused training in a laid-back learning environment

Continuous 15 minute presentations offer great tips, best practices and peer contacts for workforce solutions.


One-on-one resource center

Chat with experts from a variety of businesses and organizations with answers to your employment staffing needs.


Hear Eric Chester speak on attributes of top performing employees

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.


Workforce solutions is the biggest pain point for operators in our industry. At the Expo you’ll get solutions on how to hire, train and retain a stellar workforce.

Workforce Connections

NEW! Workforce Connections is a resource center inside the exhibit hall that will present hiring resources for employers in the foodservice industry. Chat with experts from a variety of businesses and organizations that will connect you with traditional and alternative recruitment paths.


Sponsored by:
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On Fire at Work – How Great Leaders Ignite Passion and Why Those People Succeed
Monday, March 12 • 10:00 am
1st Floor – Ballroom AB

Presented by:
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.

  Eric Chester photo

Hire, Train, Reward, Retain—Building a Team of Top Performers
Monday, March 12 • 11:45 am – 12:45 pm
2nd Floor – 202C

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
  TJ Schier

Three Ingredients for an Outstanding Workplace Culture
Tuesday, March 13 • 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
2nd Floor – 203B

Presented by:
Kyle Cherek, Host of Wisconsin Foodie

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.

Kyle Cherek Susan Terry
Philip Hurley John Gadau

Workforce: From Recruitment to Retention
Wednesday, March 14 • 10:00 – 11:00 am
2nd Floor – 202C

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
  Andrew Nussbaum
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Wisconsin Restaurant Association
2801 Fish Hatchery Rd
Madison, WI 53713
608.270.9960 FAX
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