Webinar Series: 1st and 3rd Wednesdays


The most effective operators are those with the knowledge and resources to thrive.

The Restaurant Insights Summit—RIS—is a powerful series covering hot topics in restaurant rebuilding, marketing and adapting to consumer shifts, leadership during trying times and trends in workplace culture. Operators and GM’s and those in HR, marketing and general operations will benefit from these sessions, leaving participants with fresh perspectives and practical skills that can be implemented immediately. 

Amy Nitschke

For more information, contact:

Amy Nitschke, CEM | Conference Manager




MAY 19 AT 2:00PM


Brian Lee, President of Revelation PR, Advertising & Social Media

More and more restaurants now have their menu online, but is it optimized? As travel picks up again, how are visitors going to find your restaurant? What will you say and do if a negative situation occurs? Brian will discuss how to increase your online visibility, attract new diners and protect your reputation.

Brian Lee holds an accreditation in public relations (APR), teaches social media and marketing at Madison College, serves as a digital marketing specialist for the State of Wisconsin's Center for Business Intelligence, author of the book, “Using Social Media for Business” and worked with the Wisconsin Restaurant Association to create the Social Media Crisis Toolkit.

Free to all WRA Members

Register Now!


Brian Lee

President of Revelation PR, Advertising & Social Media


Wisconsin Tourism, Hospitality, and Dining...What did we learn from 2020? Where are we going?

Andrew Nussbaum, Wisconsin Department of Tourism

2019 was the best year for tourism economic impact in Wisconsin ….followed by 2020 that needs little discussion about the challenges, but deserves much analysis about the opportunities that were identified. How do we position our businesses and communities for 2021 and beyond, and what have we learned? A positive attitude, great public relations, a modern marketing plan and great restaurant operations will provide solutions to continue to grow the economic climate for dining in Wisconsin.

As Regional Tourism Specialist, Andrew serves as the outreach liaison to all tourism promotion and development entities in Southwest Wisconsin. Having worked with various regional and statewide collaboration efforts, Andrew enjoys bringing organizations together to share ideas and resources. 

Free to all WRA Members



Andrew Nussbaum

Wisconsin Department of Tourism

JUNE 16 AT 2:00PM



Marc LaPierre, CSP®, CEO & Co-Founder of Clock'd
Robin Pharo, Owner of Grumpy Troll Brewery, Sugar Troll Candy Shoppe and Treysta Group

One of the biggest pain points for many restaurateurs is the hiring process. The time spent, where to find the “right” employees and after all of that, it’s often just a temporary, expensive and time consuming “fix.” In this session, you’ll learn how to attract long-term staff, consider the benefits of “test driving” a potential employee, explore what makes your restaurant an attractive place to work and proven ways to retain a highly functioning team for keeps.

Free to all WRA Members

Register Now!


Marc LaPierre, CSP®

CEO & Co-Founder of Clock'd


Robin Pharo

Owner of Grumpy Troll Brewery, Sugar Troll Candy Shoppe and Treysta Group

JULY 7 AT 2:00PM


Jean Kuhn, Business Strategist & Speaker

In this entertaining 45-minute presentation, Certified Master Speaker, Jean Kuhn, will show you how to go from ordinary business owner to “Expert/Celebrity” business owner and why that’s important to getting new customers. You will learn how to make content rich videos in a matter of minutes with your phone, tablet or desktop PC to create raving fans and buying customers. Hear real-life statistics that Jean and her clients are getting as they build their businesses and gain new clients/customers from video. 

You will learn how to:

  • Increase your customer reach
  • Retain guests that stay longer and spend more money
  • Get over 1000 views from your videos
  • Create instant credibility
  • Have fun with marketing while making more money

Please note: Our speaker is requesting participants have their video on during the presentation if applicable. The chat box will also be available if that’s more comfortable. This webinar is designed to be more interactive, encouraging some conversation with the speaker throughout the session. Please also note that we will be recording the session to be archived for WRA Members.

Free to all WRA Members

Register Now!


Jean Kuhn

Business Strategist & Speaker

August 19th

The Impact of a Positive Mindset During Crisis

Morgan Schnabl, Founder & Owner of Brunch Milwaukee and Brunch Brookfield, 2019 MMAC-COSBE Future 50 Award Winner

Hear from two experts on the impact of positive leadership and the importance of attitude during tough times. Both Dave & Morgan have extensive training and experience on how a healthy mindset is key to coping through crisis and the role of a leader to carry their team through during times of uncertainty.

Dave Molenda, Founder of Positive Polarity Business Coaching, Amazon #1 best-selling author of GROWING ON PURPOSE and Host of the Positive Polarity Podcast

Free to WRA Members
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Dave Molenda

Founder of Positive Polarity Business Coaching


Morgan Schnabl

Founder & Owner of Brunch Milwaukee and Brunch Brookfield

September 9th

Riding the Pandemic Storm & Navigating into the Future

Christine Specht, Chief Executive Officer at Cousins Submarines, Inc.

Jim Doak, CCC; JWD Consultancy - menu, food and beverage innovation consulting for both independent and chain restaurant operators

Tom Anderson, Owner/Operator Buck & Honey's Restaurants

Don’t miss this integral session with discussions from a well-versed panel of the industry. They will go over not only how to pivot during times of the pandemic, but also how to prepare for re-emergence and new growth. This will include menu revamping, supply issues, how to attract new customers and build loyalty, COVID 2.0 and how we prepare for it again and sharing of what guests and staff have been comfortable with during these tough times.

Free to WRA Members
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Christine Specht

Chief Executive Officer at Cousins Submarines, Inc.


Jim Doak, CCC

JWD Consultancy - menu, food and beverage innovation consulting for both independent and chain restaurant operators


Tom Anderson

Owner/Operator Buck & Honey's Restaurants

September 30th

Purpose and Compassion at Work

John McHugh, Director of Corporate Communications at Kwik Trip, Inc.

Regardless of your role, what are people, customers and business partners looking for in you? What is the workplace culture you have created with your team that leads to success? Creating a mission driven culture with compassion and trust turns satisfied customers into loyal customers. In addition, if the work we do is tied into a purpose beyond profits our job satisfaction increases substantially and employee turnover is reduced.

Join John McHugh as he explores the role you play in your organization’s success and how you can find the key people to help you achieve that greatness. His examples and stories are ones that you won’t forget.

Free to WRA Members
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John McHugh

Director of Corporate Communications at Kwik Trip, Inc.

October 14th

Effective Strategies for Navigating Uncertain Times

Many of us are facing a new reality with our careers, families, and personal lives. Yet, there are ways you can bring focus, clarity, and intention to how you view yourself, your relationships, and the world around you. Using tips from their Building Blocks of Well-Being courses, Madison College instructors will share ways to face these challenges head on and develop strategies for a more productive and meaningful life.

Hear from five experts on discovering daily practices to improve your quality of life and future outlook, explore elements that can positively affect your mindset and uncover tips to be more aware of your own emotional intelligence.

Free to WRA Members
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October 21st

Innovative Dining Spaces & Meeting Customers Where They Are

Barkha Daily, Chef & Owner of the cheel, the baaree
Anna Freudenberg, Chef & Owner of Picnics LLC

Your customers need something to enjoy now more than ever. Whether it’s meeting off-premise dining demands or creating spaces that your guests are comfortable with during the pandemic, your brand should be experienced in the best possible way. Hear first-hand from two restaurateurs how they are accommodating their community and maximizing space during this industry shift. Barkha will also share how agility plays a role in your business now more than ever before.

Free to WRA Members
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Barkha Daily

Chef & Owner of the cheel, the baaree


Anna Freudenberg

Chef & Owner of Picnics LLC

October 28th

Maximizing Your Business for Tomorrow

Jason Schneider, AE New Business Development at K-Kom, Inc.
Mary Jane Sanchez, Owner & CEO of WurkHub

How will you stand out? Being in the forefront on Social Media, found easily on Google Searches and eye-catching signage will be even more critical during this pandemic season. These tough times have also caused a shift to migrate to a touchless business. Learn how using technologies already in place can maximize your profits through your website’s menu layout, creating an online ordering system both you and your customers will love.

Free to WRA Members
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Jason Schneider, AE

New Business Development at K-Kom, Inc.


Mary Jane Sanchez

Owner & CEO of WurkHub

November 18th

Turning Your Social Media Followers into Lifetime Customers

Madi Giordano, Founder of HIVE Social Media

3 out of 4 people have used social media to make a restaurant decision. Yes, social media has the power to get lots of new customers in your restaurant and to create a stronger bond with those customers. But the most important part? To keep them coming back time and time again. In this webinar, learn the social media strategies that not only bring in one-time buyers but loyal, lifetime fans.

Free to WRA Members
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Madi Giordano

Founder of HIVE Social Media

December 16th

Making Millennials Great…5 Pillars for Building the Next Generation

Jeff Kortes, Employee Retention Speaker | Employee Loyalty Expert | Author | Seminar Leader | Trainer

Randy Wilinski, Customer Care Speaker | Seminar Leader | Trainer

Have you wondered what it takes to motivate this new generation of millennial workers? Are you looking for new strategies to turn your millennial employees into “rock star” performers? Are you ready to understand what it takes to lead and grow your youngest workforce? That’s what you’ll hear about in this session.

Through humorous anecdotes, live action role-play and real-life stories, Jeff and Randy have created a program which enables participants to learn the 5 pillars that will build this next generation and unlock their potential at work. Because of their unique perspectives, they are able to show how millennials think and what motivates, or what doesn’t motivate them to go that extra mile for their boss and organization. 

Free to WRA Members
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Jeff Kortes

Employee Retention Speaker | Employee Loyalty Expert | Author | Seminar Leader | Trainer


Randy Wilinski

Customer Care Speaker | Seminar Leader | Trainer

January 6th

Inside Ghost Kitchens & Pop-Up Restaurants

Chris Adams, Vice President of Operations and Development at Hospitality Democracy and Marcus Investments

Devin Eichler, Founder & Co-owner at Crafty Cow

Joe Gilsdorf, Partner & COO at Valentine Coffee Roasters

Have you thought about trying a Ghost Kitchen or Pop-Up restaurant model? Have you already dabbled in this model but could use some guidance?

With the continued struggles of trying to still do business during the pandemic, Ghost Kitchens, Pop-Ups and Window Cafés have gained considerably more attention. Hear from a panel of restaurant peers on their experiences, including successes and trials they’ve encountered along the way.  

Free to WRA Members
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Chris Adams

Vice President of Operations and Development at Hospitality Democracy and Marcus Investments


Devin Eichler

Founder & Co-owner at Crafty Cow


Joe Gilsdorf

Partner & COO at Valentine Coffee Roasters

January 20th

Boost Your Immunity – Protect yourself from COVID!

Sabrina Schottenhamel, Massage Therapist I Keynote Speaker 

Are you looking to stay healthy and boost your immune system? Of course you are! This winter especially, it's important to stay ahead of the cold and flu season. Sabrina provides many tips, tricks, and techniques to support your immune functions. Sabrina will share details about your immune system, the best tips on hydrating your body, simple techniques to strengthen your immune system and other immune boosting self-care recommendations.

Free to WRA Members
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Sabrina Schottenhamel

Massage Therapist I Keynote Speaker

February 3rd

The New Normal: The Restaurant Landscape in 2021

Chef Pat Weber, Mise en Place Consulting

The coronavirus and the 2020 recession has changed the industry, forcing operators to grow, build resilience and capitalize in 2021 in ways they couldn’t have foreseen. Chef Weber will lead a live discussion on Insight & Impact: Postmortem on pandemic, restrictions and resulting economic impact on restaurants in 2020.

Hear about the pandemic’s long-term impact on restaurant and dining trends, economic stressors revealed and how to retool your operation to protect your bottom line and the top 5 things you should be doing in 2021 to bounce back stronger and more resilient. 

You won’t want to miss this valuable session with the opportunity to ask your specific questions. Pre-registration required! Deadline is 12:30pm day of session.

Free to WRA Members
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Chef Pat Weber

Mise en Place Consulting

February 17th

Surviving the Current Marketplace through Creative Revenue Generation

Caleb Percevecz, GM of Quivey’s Grove 
Cathy Yerges, Owner of Cambridge Market Café
Christy McKenzie, Owner of Pasture & Plenty 
Steve Lonsway, Owner of Stone Arch Brewpub

This seasoned panel will talk about their journey through the eyes of a peer, sharing ideas they have implemented to help generate revenue in newfound ways. Hear about the successes of to–go meal kits, virtual dinners, holiday carryout specials, restaurant markets, innovative spaces and more! They’ll discuss what they have been doing to stay the course as a restaurant operator during the current pandemic.

You won’t want to miss this valuable session with the opportunity to ask your specific questions. Pre-registration required! Deadline is 12:30pm day of session. PLEASE NOTE: Once you have registered, your confirmation email (includes webinar link) will arrive within 2 weeks.

Free to WRA Members
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Caleb Percevecz

GM of Quivey’s Grove


Cathy Yerges

Owner of Cambridge Market Café


Christy McKenzie

Owner of Pasture & Plenty


Steve Lonsway

Owner of Stone Arch Brewpub

March 3rd

Best Leadership Distinction: Serving Versus People Pleasing

Allison Garner, Align Coaching LLC

Because we are social creatures, we think about how we will be perceived by others. It’s as natural for humans as breathing. While this mindset is mostly helpful and keeps us behaving appropriately with each other, it can get us into trouble when we drift over into people pleasing. Even though our heart is usually in the right place, the impact of pleasing can make matters worse. People pleasing can look like fixing, giving advice, not speaking your truth, avoiding difficult conversations, and rescuing. Alternatively, you can serve others powerfully and more effectively by shining a light on their blind spots and empowering them to solve their own problems. 

In this interactive session, Allison will offer some compelling distinctions and opportunities to practice a new way of being. As a group, we will challenge our beliefs around difficult conversations, confrontations and people problems, running through some live simulations together. Each new mindset shift will be paired with an experience to maximize learning and growth. As you leave this workshop, you will have a deeper understanding of what it means to serve others and how you can embrace a servant mindset each and every day.  


Allison Garner

Align Coaching LLC



Dan Holen, Principal, Boelter Blue
Rob Frost, Principal, Boelter Blue    

2020 was a difficult year for the food and beverage industry. So much of what happened was completely out of the control of the individual business owner. It’s time to take back control of the relationship with your customer, rely less on “middle-man services” and make 2021 the year that propels your business to the next level. Rob Frost and Dan Holen, Principals of Boelter Blue, share their latest insights and lessons learned from helping countless customers focus on enhancing and perfecting their digital location. Whether you’re an independent operator of a single or multi-unit restaurant, ghost kitchen, corner tavern or new and exciting craft brewery, establishing your digital footprint through a variety of easy-to-use tools and marketing strategies is a recipe for attracting new customers, engaging with your regulars and growing your business.



Free to WRA Members
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Dan Holen

Principal, Boelter Blue


Rob Frost

Principal, Boelter Blue



Dan Bocik, Chef/Owner of a tavola

Dan is passionate about ensuring you not only survive this challenging marketplace, but truly thrive. This session will walk you through tips and tools to make sure every item on your menu is profitable. Learn about the importance of having systems in place, that will empower you with the data you need to achieve sustainable profits.

Chef Dan will share trials and successes of 25 years in the hospitality industry and the critical importance of focusing on your gross margin. You won’t want to miss this session filled with valuable insights from an experienced industry peer.

Free to WRA Members
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Dan Bocik

Chef/Owner of a tavola