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MRA Report: Keynoters for Expo Introduced

Recruiting, training, and keeping staff. Creating healthy workplaces. Navigating a complex web of local, state and federal regulations to stay in compliance. We hear from our hospitality industry members that these issues top the list of those they need the most help with, so we’ve designed our 2019 Conference & Expo programming around them, and more.

Chad Houser

The day will kick off with this year’s keynote bringing an inspiring story from chef and philanthropist, Chad Houser. 

You might know about Houser’s work. He is the founder, CEO and executive chef of Café Momentum in Dallas. After 17 years as a highly celebrated chef, he sold his partnership of Parigi Restaurant in 2012 to devote his full attention to building Café Momentum. Always one to add a little levity to the conversation, Houser often describes Café Momentum as “taking kids out of jail and teaching them to play with knives and fire.” 

Levity aside, it’s this charisma and passion to teach life, social and employment skills to Dallas’ most at-risk youth that makes Houser a hit with everyone from dinner-goers to the young people participating in the program. Houser has been featured on the “Rachel Ray Show,” and in the Starbucks production of “Upstanders Season 2,” a series created to shine a light on stories of everyday Americans who are doing extraordinarily courageous things. In 2018, Houser was named a CNN Hero.

Not just an inspiring story, but practical wisdom, too, as Houser shares what he’s learned about creating win-win outcomes that address staffing shortages through creative “outside-the-box” approaches. Attendees are sure to walk away with new ideas about how to look at different populations for workers and to create a workplace culture that inspires teamwork, passion and loyalty.

Following the opening keynote and throughout the day, attendees will find educational sessions and learning hubs that are designed to provide insights and solutions to pressing business challenges. Local and national industry and subject matter experts will discuss topics such as:

How to succeed at managing the $15 minimum wage; 

Being true to your brand in the experience economy;

Attracting and retaining talented employees through proven systems and approaches;

Knowing where to find creative sources for funding your business;

Developing sustainability best practices to manage your waste;

Avoiding threatening lawsuits by ensuring your website is ADA compliant;

Managing through a crisis with effective communications.

David Scott Peters

This year’s closing keynote speaker will be noted industry expert, David Scott Peters, who specializes in teaching hospitality industry operators how to cut costs and increase profits with systems and his trademark formula for success. He uses a high-energy approach to teach and motivate operators and managers to take control of their businesses and be accountable. Attendees will come away understanding the importance of culture in getting things done, how to clearly define expectations in the workplace, and the recipe for effective delegation. Peters’ high-impact presentation is sure to help hospitality businesses realize their full potential.

When not attending a session, attendees will find a more dynamic expo floor featuring a demonstration stage where local chefs will showcase their craft. New this year, the Demo Stage will include some of Minnesota’s impressive kid chefs who have recently appeared on national cooking competition television shows.

Another new addition to the expo floor is a Mixology Lounge featuring trends and how to work with new ingredients from providers such as Monnin and Bacardi. This is a great place to watch demonstrations and pick up new menu ideas for flavors in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. This will be a fun interactive place to network with industry peers.

There’s something else new this year, a registration fee. Here’s why. We’ve looked at all the ways to best create and deliver an ambitious event like the Hospitality Minnesota Conference & Expo. We determined that to bring the greatest value to attendees, a small registration fee is required, and we’ve set that fee at a point well below similar professional development offerings. The cost to attend is $49 for members and $79 for non-members. If you think about it, it’s a small price to pay for a day full of great education, free samples, food and beverage demonstrations, peer networking and a lunch. You’ll spend an energetic, productive day and come away with new ideas and insights you, and your team, can immediately apply to your role or business.

Register today at
www.HospitalityMNExpo.com. Bring your team and enjoy a discount—five registrations for the price of four. If you are interested in sponsorship or exhibitor information, contact Scott Mayer at scott@hospitalitymn.com or 612-870-1234. 


About Hospitality Minnesota: 

Hospitality Minnesota serves more than 2,000 hospitality businesses across the state. Formed in 1958 to serve the Minnesota Restaurant Association, the Minnesota Lodging Association and the Minnesota Resort and Campground Association, Hospitality Minnesota advocates for the interests of business owners and their employees and provides opportunities for education and training to grow and strengthen the hospitality industry in Minnesota. Hospitality Minnesota is committed to helping member businesses succeed.  www.hospitalitymn.org 

Liz Rammer is the president & CEO of Hospitality Minnesota, which includes The Minnesota Restaurant, Lodging and Resort & Campground Associations.

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