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Webinars and Seminars

The IRA regularly offers informative and educational webinars and seminars on topics of importance to operators in the restaurant and hospitality industry. 

Check out our Event Calendar for a list of upcoming webinars and seminars.

IRA members can download and watch recent presentations below. 

Please note:

  • The following information is provided as a membership service for restaurant operators, and is not intended as legal or professional advice or counsel.
  • Any local, state, or federal rules, regulations, or laws summarized are subject to change.
  • The Illinois Restaurant Association strongly encourages readers to consult with their attorney or competent professional prior to taking action based on the following information.

Contact Matt Quinn, Assistant Director of Government Relations & Communications, at or (312) 380-4122 for more information. 


Reducing Utility Costs Webinar with IGS Energy

January 7, 2020

During the winter season, utility bills are on the rise for restaurants and bars throughout Illinois. IRA Endorsed Partner IGS Energy offers an informational webinar to review best practices for taking control over your electricity and natural gas costs in order to improve your bottom line. 

Click here to watch a recording of the webinar. Click here to download a copy of the presentation.

Adult-Use Cannabis and How It Can Impact the Restaurant Workplace Webinar

December 4, 2019

Labor & Employment attorney Heather A. Bailey of SmithAmundsen hosted an informational webinar on on adult-use cannabis and how it can impact the workplace. Topics included drug testing policies, reasonable suspicion, training management, and more.

Click here to watch a recording of the webinar. Click here to download a copy of the presentation. 


New Laws Impacting Restaurants Seminar

October 30, 2019

IRA Advisory Council member and hospitality attorney Rob Bernstein, Partner at Laner Muchin, provided an overview of new legislation impacting the restaurant industry, including: marijuana legalization, sexual harassment prevention training and policies, the prohibition on salary history inquiries, and more. Attendees gained practical advice on how to handle common legal issues for restaurants, as well as a wage and hour update. 

Click here to download a copy of the presentation. 


Three Steps to Maximize Restaurant Profit Webinar

October 8, 2019

Three Steps to Maximize Restaurant Profit Webinar

Restaurant Rockstars CEO Roger Beaudoin provides best practices on three actionable steps restaurants can take to improve their profitability, including analyzing menus for profitability, suggestive sales training, low-cost marketing concepts, and more.

Click here to watch a recording of the webinar. 


Managing Your Online Reputation with Yelp Panel

August 21, 2019

This educational session provided best practices for responding to customer reviews, both positive and negative, learning how to leverage your reviews as a marketing tool, and managing them to ultimately drive new and repeat business across the board.

Click here to download the presentation. 


Immigration Enforcement Preparedness Webinar

July 23, 2019

This Illinois Business Immigration Coalition webinar centers on the latest news and best practices for protecting your business and your employees in light of the Trump Administration's vow to arrest and deport immigrants. 

Click here for a recent IRA alert with resources for employers and employees. 

Click here to watch the webinar recording. 


Staff Retention Strategies with Strategic Hospitality Search

June 19, 2019 

This presentation focuses on how to keep your most valuable talent and attract top talent. Topics include how to  identify your "flight risks" before they quit and dozens of no-cost and low-cost retention strategies. 

Click here to watch the webinar recording. Click here to download the presentation. 


Protecting Your Business: Labor and Employment Issues Seminar

April 30, 2019

IRA Advisory Council member and hospitality attorney Rob Bernstein, Partner at Laner Muchin, reviews key labor and employment-related issues for the restaurant industry.

Topics include: City of Chicago and Cook County Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Laws, Illinois Expense Reimbursement Law, Illinois Service Member Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (ISERRA), Amendments to the Illinois Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act, the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program, DOL’s Current Position as To Tip Pools and the 80-20 Rule; and A Discussion of the Most Common Types of Wage and Hour Claims (Invalid Tip Pools; Misclassification Issues; Off the Clock Issues; Miscalculation of Overtime, Etc.) and Lessons to Be Learned from These Claims.

Click here to download the presentation.


Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Webinar

January 22, 2019

By November 30, 2019, Illinois employers with more than 25 employees must register for the new Illinois Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program or offer an equivalent retirement savings program to their employees. 

If you currently offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan to any of your employees, you will not need to facilitate the State's program.

The Illinois Treasurer's Office recently offered IRA members an informative webinar covering everything employers need to know about the new program, how to sign up, and how to communicate with your employees regarding this new benefit.  

Click here to download the presentation. 


Health Insurance Options for Small Businesses Webinar with UnitedHealthcare

December 4, 2018

UnitedHealthcare’s Matthew Leimbek educated the Association on the new and improved health insurance products available to IRA members. This webinar helps operators answer their end of year questions and make health insurance decisions for their businesses

Click here to download the presentation.


ADA Website Compliance Best Practices Webinar with Benesch Law

October 30, 2018

Website accessibility lawsuits are on the rise and can prove costly for restaurants.

In this webinar, Emily Fess of law firm Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP reviews how to make your website accessible to persons with disabilities and protect your business from costly lawsuits. 

Click here to review the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines discussed during the webinar. 

Click here to download the presentation. 


Minority Women-Owned Business Certification Webinar with Taft Law

March 7, 2018

Interested in minority-, women-, and veteran-owned business certification in the City of Chicago? Taft Law provides for a complimentary webinar on how to avoid the pitfalls of the certification process and use your certification for strategic partnerships. Taft Law Partner Kate Tragesser reviews how to obtain certifications that will benefit your business when applying for city contracts, airport concessionaire opportunities, and more.

Click here to watch the webinar recording.


Sexual Harassment Prevention Webinar with SmithAmundsen

January 16, 2018

Sexual harassment and discrimination claims are affecting companies across all industries. Training your employees and managers to address these timely issues is paramount to your business' success and reputation. 

Hospitality attorneys Heather Bailey and Ryan Jacobson offer a primer on best practices specific to the industry, and learn how to be proactive to minimize risk to your establishments. 

Click here to watch the webinar recording. 


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