Colorado Restaurant Association Food for ThoughtTopics, Tools & Trends – a member resource focusing on emerging issues confronting our marketplace.

Every month, Join CRA members and friends as we bring you educational seminars featuring industry experts. Learn from foodservice leaders as they provide access and insight into the powers that shape our industry. All education series events take place at the CRA offices and via live Webinar unless otherwise noted.

Sponsoring an event, or event marketing, is a great way to promote your business to thousands of companies, hundreds of contacts, and a handful of the right people that can make the difference. It is also a great way to align yourself with leaders in a specific industry.

For questions about registration, upcoming topic ideas or sponsorship of the CRA Education Series, contact Sara Nakon at or (303) 830-2972.


May 27, 2015

Promote your Business through Media Relations

Wen enjoyed a lively discussion as our panel of media experts discussed the relationship between food media and individual restaurateurs, the evolution of food journalism in Denver and the nation from the perspective of weekly print publications, monthly glossy magazines and the blogosphere. Attendees left with a clearer understanding of how and what to communicate with various journalists, what makes a good story, how to react to a negative review, and the creative ways to employ media relations in marketing their restaurants.  

Andra Zeppelin - Editor,
Ed Sealover - Restaurant and Business reporter, Denver Business Journal
Amanda Faison - Senior Editor, 5280
Patty Calhoun - Editor, Westword

John Imbergamo - The Imbergamo Group

Special thanks to all of our speakers for an incredibly informative session!

April 22, 2015

Credit Card Worries: Beware of Hackers

Our world is quickly changing. Consider recent cyber-attacks to companies such as Sony, Target, Staples, PF Chang's and more. Any business that utilizes credit cards needs to consider cyber security. Join us as we discuss small business concerns such as computer fraud, hacking, phishing, malware, lost equipment and even simple mistakes. Learn what you can do to help prevent one of these attacks and what you can do if it does happen. Some of the most common occurrences within a small business begin with:
  • Online hacking and data theft of confidential information such as credit cards, personal information, and social security numbers, etc.
  • Accidental loss or sharing of proprietary information
  • The inside threat of employees stealing sensitive account information
Ike Barnes, US Secret Service, Colorado Electronic Crimes Task Force Gabe Medrano, Owner, Medrano Group IT Support and Consulting James Suh, SVP CRC Wholesale Group, Cyber Liability Specialist

Sean Pechan, CEO, Colorado Restaurant Insurance Agency

Special thanks to the session sponsor, Partner Colorado Credit Union, and the series sponsor, Pinnacol Assurance.

March 31, 2015

Allergens: What you Need to Know

The number of Americans affected by food allergies is trending higher every year, dining out is a serious concern for them as well as their family and friends. Join us as we learn from Maureen McNamara of Dynamic Learning and Karen Kristopeit-Parker of The Fresh Fish Company. They will be discussing why it is important to know about allergens and what you need to do in your restaurant to help customers who experience allergies. You and your employees need to have the basic information required to ensure everyone takes the steps necessary to keep your customers safe. RSVP today and don't miss out on this session.

February 17, 2015

Labor Law Regulations: Stay Compliant

Todd Fredrickson the Regional Managing Partner from Fisher & Philips, LLP and Peter Wingate, PhD the Deputy Director of the Colorado Division of Labor will join us to talk about what is new in 2015 in regards to labor laws and preparations you need to make now to protect you and your restaurant.

This session will cover:
  • Do you have a current situation you aren't sure how to handle? This is a safe place to ask those tough questions.
  • Hear the projections of what the future of labor laws will hold on the Federal and State level.
  • The Wage Protection Act has new penalties, enforcement, audits, and fines. Learn the changes and how to avoid penalties.
  • Tips on what to do if USDL comes to your restaurant for an audit.
  • Prevention is the number one tool, learn what to think about and how to take action.
Todd Fredrickson, Regional Managing Partner, Fisher & Philips, LLP Peter Wingate, PhD, Deputy Director, Colorado Division of Labor

January 21, 2015

Managing Food Costs

This month, join other restaurant owners and operators as we discuss ways to manage food costs. Have you been wondering if you manage your food costs the best way? Or maybe you have been doing it the same way for years and you need a refresher of best practices. Join us Wednesday, January 21 at 2:30 pm at the CRA Office or by webinar to hear about the best practices of Food Cost Management and how your distributor can help you.

Jackson Lamb, Associate Professor – Metropolitan State University of Denver Dave Coder, Director of Business Resources and Marketing – Sysco Denver

  • Learn the importance of inventory
  • Learn the tools your distributor has you may not even know about
  • Learn why the food cost percentage isn't what to focus on
  • Do you look at the cost of labor vs food cost – learn why it is important

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Network with fellow business owners, stay up to date on legislative issues important to our industry, connect with your peers, take advantage of significant savings opportunities and stay informed. Join the Colorado Restaurant Association!

Restaurant Owners – The CRA is a full-service solution for every type and size of restaurant. We are powerful advocates for the industry, an information hub and a catalyst for networking. And we’re committed to offering meaningful benefits and resources you need to run a profitable business.

Service Providers - Companies that serve restaurants have a strong ally in the CRA. Our restaurant members look to the CRA members first when seeking products and services, they also make the real connections with service providers at local and state events.

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