Who We Are and Why Join?
What is Madison Originals?
Madison Originals is an association of independently owned restaurants and affiliated businesses in the Madison, Wisconsin area. We're committed to community, collaboration, and great dining experiences.
What is our mission?
Our Mission is to promote Madison area’s unique independent dining establishments.
What is our vision for the future?
Our Vision is to cultivate a vibrant local independent dining community. This will be accomplished for:
Diners (local and visitors)–be the top-of-mind choice when dining out
Restaurant Members–provide support and promotion to enhance their success
Associate Members–provide access to restaurant members and insight to better serve members needs
Community– support local businesses and causes to contribute to the health and vitality of the local economy
What are the values that will guide our behavior?
Collaborate–help fellow members; leverage each other for marketing and business practices purposes
Stewardship–support local suppliers; share resources with the community
Innovation–share knowledge across restaurants; seek creative solutions
Diversity–strive for membership in Madison Originals reflective of the community
Quality–what we do, we do well!
Why Join Madison Originals?
How does this organization work to benefit restaurants?
Madison Originals members are featured on our social media platforms, in our newsletter, and as part of our advertising plan. We have:
6,700+ newsletter subscribers
4,000+ Twitter followers
2,700+ Facebook followers
850+ Instagram followers
A searchable website that serves as a great resource for diners
Thousands of dollars in paid advertising: Madison Originals has a presence in a variety of local media outlets.
Discounted advertising: Members have opportunities to participate in group ads with other members at a reduced rate.
- A Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau membership
All Madison Originals restaurant members also receive a GMCVB membership, and the many benefits that come with it, including educational benefits, networking opportunities, website placement, event calendar use, and more.
- Special Members Only Opportunities and Educational Events
Madison Originals strives to provide valuable learning experiences for our members. Past educational events have included our 2016 Panel of Experts, featuring a strategic planning lesson from Ian Gurfield of Ian's Pizza and legal advice about tipping pools from Jeff Storch of BoardmanClark. In 2017 Aly Jarocki of DAIS shared information about supporting employees in abusive relationships, including a follow-up offer to come to restaurants to address staff about this topic. We coordinate many other special opportunities for our members as well. Examples include discounted rates to participate in hankr food app, restaurant-specific opportunities from other local businesses, a presentation from Vignette Dining Club and Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired about Dining in the Dark events, and much more.
In addition, we have a Members Only Newsletter and Members Only Facebook Forum, and our Facebook job listings page (also just for restaurant members).
- Community Outreach
Madison Originals members work hard to give back to the community. Along with contributing to a variety of silent auctions, events, and charitable fundraisers, we work with The River Food Pantry as their restaurant-partner for the Feed the Need tasting event (2016, 2017, 2018), and their multi-course Harvest Dinner for Hunger fundraising event (2017, 2018). Other local fundraising partners have included Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (participating in Dine Out for DAIS for many years), Dane Buy Local (as their exclusive restaurant sponsor for their 2017 Eat Local, Give Local event), The Rainbow Project (as their 12 months of Dining Out sponsor in 2016), and many more local causes.
Being a Madison Originals member means getting to participate in our quarterly all-member meetings, restaurant member happy hours and networking events, fundraising efforts, and on our committees. It's a great way to meet other local restaurant owners and to share ideas. Joining our board or a committee makes it even easier to meet other restaurant members.
- Increased Traffic to your restaurant
Each year, Madison Originals sells hundreds of thousands of dollars in gift certificates and gift cards that are valid only at member restaurants. That means more traffic through your doors! Our dues structure is also designed to increase traffic and make it easy to join, Your $2,200 in yearly dues are split over four discount sales that we arrange for you. These certificates also help to drive traffic to you. These dues include every perk of membership, including your Visitors Bureau membership.
How does this organization work to benefit our Associate Members?
Associate members are local, non-restaurant businesses that wish to support and partner with us.
Membership includes promotion in the form of a listing as an associate member on our website with links and a business description, and occasional social media and newsletter exposure. Associate members are invited to attend quarterly member meetings, actively participate on Madison Originals Committees, and participate in events. Associate members are given the opportunity to sponsor Madison Originals events and to introduce their business to Madison Originals members at a quarterly meeting.
How does this organization work to benefit our Community?
Madison Originals members (both on an individual restaurant-level and on a organizational-level) work hard to give back to our community. Our members regularly sponsor and participate in activities supporting local non-profit organizations like Porchlight, Domestic Abuse Intervention Services, Boys and Girls Club, The Rainbow Project, Dane Buy Local, and many more.
Since 2016, our primary community outreach efforts have been focused on supporting The River Food Pantry. Through Feed the Need tasting events (2016 recap, 2017 recap), volunteering at the pantry, bringing attention to The River's programs and events through our social media and newsletters, and (since 2017) providing the courses for Harvest Dinner for Hunger, we work hard to help The River continue to be a source of food, clothing, and support for local people in need.