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COVID-19 Webinars

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

During the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the IRA is hosting frequent webinars with best practices and guidance for your business. 

Watch on demand and download 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 mquinn@illinoisrestaurants.org or (312) 380-4122 for more information. 

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Maximizing Guest Space: Architects and Planners Offer Best Practices

August 6, 2020

Thank you to everyone that attended and our panelists from  City Open Workshop,  Sam Sch wartz Consulting,  Latent Design , and Aria Group Architects, I nc.  for joining yesterday's webinar on how to open and maximize the safe use of your indoor and outdoor space.

This webinar was provided in partnership with the Cook County Community Recovery Initiative.

Click here  to watch the presentation. Click here  to download the slide presentation.

 

Practical Solutions for Menus, Payment Systems, Testing, and More

July 23, 2020

Thank you to everyone that attended and our panelists from  SpotMenus by BrandMuscle, IRA Platinum Sponsor  Heartland and  Modjoul for joining yesterday's webinar on practical ways for operators to offer menus to guests, provide contactless payment, screen employees, and more.

This webinar was provided in partnership with the Cook County Community Recovery Initiative.

Click here  to watch the presentation. Click here  to download the slide presentation.

 

Menu Profitability - Analysis Tools for Effective Menus

July 9, 2020

Thank you to everyone that attended and our panelists from Sysco for joining our webinar on menu profitability at restaurants. The presentation included several valuable best practices and analysis tools for creating effective menus.

This webinar was provided in partnership with the Cook County Community Recovery Initiative.

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

 

Sanitizing/Disinfecting and Instilling Consumer Confidence

June 11, 2020

On this webinar, the IRA and panelists from Ecolab provided expert guidance on cleaning and disinfecting, as well as communicating with customers to instill confidence as restaurants reopen and welcome back guests.

This webinar was provided in partnership with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and the Cook County Community Recovery Initiative.

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

 

Scaling UP Restaurant Operations: Safety Considerations

June 4, 2020

Join the IRA and the University of Illinois College of Agriculture, Consumer & Environmental Sciences, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN) Thursday, June 4 at 10:00 a.m. (Central) for the second part of our Scaling UP webinar series focusing on safety considerations. This webinar will provide guidance on disinfecting and approaches for providing an exceptional customer experience under new operational practices.

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

 

Scaling UP Restaurant Operations: Financial Considerations

May 28, 2020

This is a two-part webinar series addressing management issues and providing strategies for reopening safely and successfully being offered by the IRA and University of Illinois Extension, in conjunction with University of Illinois College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.

This first webinar in the series, focusing on Financial Considerations, provides strategies on ordering, planning a cost effective menu and pivoting your offerings in this new environment.

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

  

PPP Loan Forgiveness Review

May 21, 2020

The IRA, American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC), Self Help Federal Credit Union, National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), and The Resurrection Project hosted a webinar to review the SBA's PPP loan forgiveness application process. Self-Help Federal Credit Union and other PPP experts reviewed common questions on loan forgiveness and best practices.

Click here to watch a recording of the webinar. 

 

Navigating HR Challenges for Restaurants

April 17, 2020

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Join Plante Moran, the Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA), and Laner Muchin for our on-demand webinar as we discussed what restaurant owners need to know about operating their business and supporting their staff during the pandemic.

Topics covered include:

  • Unemployment insurance
  • Paid sick leave requirements
  • Furloughs and layoffs
  • Employee benefits
  • Payroll tax credits and deferrals
  • SBA loan programs
  • And more.

Michael Krucker, John Barsella, and Dave Andrea of Plante Moran, along with Labor and Employment Attorney Rob Bernstein of Laner Muchin, provided overviews of new regulations and requirements facing employers and offered guidance for restaurants as they navigate this ongoing crisis.

Click here to watch the webinar. 

 

Who's Left Out of PPP? Access for Underserved Communities

April 15, 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.

 

Legal and Banking FAQs for Restaurants Completing PPP Loan Applications

April 9, 2020

Thank you to everyone that joined this IRA webinar to review common questions and issues restaurants are facing as they apply for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). We appreciate our friends at  Hinshaw & Culbertson  and the  Illinois Bankers Association  for offering their legal and banking insights.

Click here  to download the presentation.

 

Completing PPP Applications and Troubleshooting

April 7, 2020

The IRA hosted this program along with the American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC), National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), National Restaurant Association, and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.

This is the second webinar in our Paycheck Protection Webinar Series, which shares updates on the federal loan program; detailed information & troubleshooting on the application process; and best practices from small businesses and lenders themselves. 

Topics covered include: 

  • Application Process

  • Addressing FAQ from the last webinar 

  • Guidance on Addressing Lack of Access and Denials 

  • Insider Scoop from Lenders & the Small Business Administration 

Click here to register and watch the webinar recording. 

 

What the CARES Act Means for Restaurants

March 31, 2020

National webinar on March 31, 2020 hosted by American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC), National Restaurant Association, Illinois Restaurant Association, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, and the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) to inform small businesses and nonprofit organizations on how to access resources from the "Paycheck Protection Program" of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act. Featuring remarks and statements from U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Dick Durbin (D-IL), and U.S. Representative Nydia Velázquez (D-NY).

“What the Stimulus Package Means for Small Businesses & Nonprofits” provides a detailed discussion of the economic relief available to small businesses and nonprofits under 500 employees to cover payroll for their workers and operating expenses under the Paycheck Protection Program of the CARES Act. The program also generates cash-flow assistance through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during the COVID-19 emergency.

Other aspects of the aid discussed include:

+ Who qualifies for federal loans under this stimulus package
+ How to apply for a loan & what documents you need
+ Requirements for loan forgiveness
+ Other types of entrepreneurial assistance

Click here to watch a recording of the webinar. 

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Archived Webinars and Seminars

 

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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