Hey members!

Not sure if you’re using all your member benefits? Don’t know where to look, who to call, or what the deal is?

No worries, we’ve got you. This refresher blog post is for you. It’s a bit long but hey, you wouldn’t want a short list of how your membership benefits you, would you?

Read on and if you have any questions, contact Megan McIntosh, Operations Manager, at meganm@mrfa.mb.ca or 204-783-9955.

Restaurant Member Benefits

These are the core benefits the MRFA offers its members. As the recognized voice of restaurants and food service in Manitoba, we are here to work on your behalf, and providing you benefits is what we do. Here are the basic programs and offerings we have for our core members that consider themselves restaurants, caterers, or otherwise food service providers:

  1. ADVOCACY
    We advocate on behalf of our members, and many times on behalf of the industry, to government, from municipal to provincial to federal, and key stakeholder organizations, to affect the changes we know our members want to see on a variety of issues. From legislation on regulations, to liquor, to labour and more, we are always working for our members’ voices to be heard and for their needs to be considered in policy changes.
    For example, in 2021 alone, we successfully advocated for and distributed over $9 Million to Manitoba restaurants in various forms of pandemic relief funds, including the Dine-in Relief Grant, the RMR Grant, a hiring marketing initiative, and an additional $2,000 top-up on the Bridge Grant.
    We also worked with government to find more viable options to proposed restrictions that would have hindered the industry even more than it did, such as when we successfully advocated for a signed declaration of same-household residents rather than identification proof as that proved an arduous and discriminatory practice to many.
  2. MEMBER BENEFIT PROGRAMS
    1. ASSOCIATE MEMBER OFFERS & DISCOUNTS
      Many of our valued associate members have special discounts and offers on their products and services that are exclusive to MRFA members! Make sure you check them out, and stay tuned to member emails as we constantly work with our associate partners to add to this list of program offerings. We three recently added NEW offers, and we have two more NEW offers coming right away!
    2. ASK AN EXPERT
      This program lets you ask the experts in any given area of industry your questions, without being on the hook for anything. Simply visit our page and fill out the form, and our expert will get back to you. Easy peasy! Want to see an expert in a field that isn’t listed yet? Let us know; we’d love to add to this program.
    3. JOB POSTINGS
      Post your jobs with us on our job board for FREE. We advertise our job board on our social media regularly, and currently, we are also gearing up to begin a months long campaign to advertise province-wide that the restaurant industry is hiring again! Post your jobs so that when candidates hear the industry is hiring and come check out our page, they see your open positions.
    4. EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING
      Pre-pandemic, we had begun hosting associate member run Lunch & Learns. These quick afternoon sessions provided a casual and fun atmosphere to learn about product, service, or industry information from a variety of trusted professionals. While we had to pause this during the pandemic, we pivoted to provide webinars on a few topics that you told us you needed answers to during difficult times. We plan to continue offering a mix of in person and virtual learning options in partnership with our associate members. Let us know what you want to learn!
  3. RESOURCES & INFORMATION
    1. E-COMMUNICATIONS
      We regularly send our members resources and information they need to know about in emails and newsletters, from grants to important changes in legislation to industry trends and events. We don’t send information the way some organizations do; rather than regularly fill a weekly ‘blast’ to fill your inbox, we send our information when we have it. Sometimes you’ll get two emails in a day from us, and others none. We only email you when there’s something you need to know.
    2. BLOG & WEBSITE
      Our blog and website are a great compliment to our e-communications. Missed and email, or can’t find the one you’re looking for? You can bet that resource is on our blog or site, too. And what’s best about our site is it’s member-exclusive, so almost all of our information is for members-only, so you can be sure you’re getting the information you need, when you need it, while maintaining an exclusive status as “in the know”.. which is pretty cool, right?
  4. EVENTS
    1. TRADE SHOW
      Our trade show, in partnership with the Manitoba Hotel Association, is the largest hospitality trade show in Western Canada. This year’s show is June 7th, 2022, at the Victoria Inn in Winnipeg, so mark your calendars! We are so excited to see all our favorite suppliers again, and some new ones, and see and sample all the things that make our industry so fun. Join us for free!
    2. GOLF TOURNAMENT
      A day of fun, sun(hopefully), golf, and food… what could be better?! We can’t wait to resume our annual tournament this year, where our restaurant members come out and network with our awesome associate sponsors through samples, friendly competition, and prizes. This year’s tournament will be August 16th, so mark your calendars and watch your inbox as we start planning right away!
    3. NETWORKING & MORE
      We love any reason to get our members together, and with the pandemic seeming to be shifting into recovery, we are planning on adding more networking and celebratory events to our schedule as we are able. Our AGM in 2021 was relatively small and safely socially distanced, but we were able to acknowledge our hard fought wins, applaud our members for their hard work, and spend a couple of moments together in hope and high spirits; just what we all needed!
  5. AMBASSADORS
    1. SOCIAL MEDIA (#SAVEMBRESTAURANTS) 
      We did that! Our hashtag went national and helped to spawn a movement of takeout and support for our industry during the pandemic. We were so happy to see that happen and couldn’t be more proud. We also always advertise our restaurant members for free on our social media, send out general information about us and our industry, and keep the public engaged with our fantastic culinary scene in Manitoba.
    2. PUBLICATIONS
      Our last LocalFare magazine and Member Directory was a hit! People love your stories, and we are proud to help bring them to life on the page, in partnership with our publishers at Kelman & Associates. Members receive special rates on advertising and editorial space.
    3. MEDIA
      Our Executive Director & CEO, Shaun Jeffrey, and our board members, are always doing what we can to keep the MRFA and its members front and centre in the media. We bring your stories, concerns, and feedback to the news outlets and make sure Manitobans know what’s going on with our industry so that restaurants can be heard and thrive.
  6. LETSORDER.DELIVERY
    We purchased and run the site that lets you list FOR FREE whichever delivery method you prefer your customers use! Whether its your in house option, or your favorite (lowest commission rate, anyone?) third-party delivery option, or something else, you simply tell us which one and we use that. LetsOrder.Delivery is exclusive to MRFA members and works in the way that the modern consumer is now used to; consumers go online without having decided where to order from and scroll through a list before making their choice. Don’t hope your guests will change their habits – get on LetsOrder.Delivery and make your guests habits work for you.

Associate Member Benefits

You’ve seen what we offer our restaurant members, but we can’t do most of this good work with you, our valued associate members!

Working alongside us, you have the opportunity to network with our members through many of the program and events listed above, and your status as an associate member gives you EXCLUSIVE access to most of these offers.

  1. MEMBER BENEFIT PROGRAMS
    As an associate member, you have the exclusive opportunity to provide special offers, deals, and programs to our restaurant members. All you have to do is make the offer exclusive to members, submit a proposal to us, and upon approval we publish it on our site and send info out to members for them to take advantage of! Simple, right?! The more appealing your offer, the more members who contact you about your products or services, the more members we can attract, the more clients you can get, and the happier all our members are with their offers. Seems like a good plan to us.
  2. SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING
    Sponsorship with the MRFA at our golf tournament and many other events and advertising (such as our annual Communication Sponsorship Calendar) is another exclusive perk of membership with us. You get to network and display your products and services to our members while attending a fun event, and we like to think everyone has fun at our tournament!
    Associate members also get first dibs and special rates on advertising in our print publications, LocalFare and our Member Directory. Our recent edition was a hit and we are still receiving compliments on it!
  3. EVENTS
    We’ve already mentioned sponsoring our golf tournament, but you can always attend the day to enjoy golfing and networking without a sponsorship, too!
    Associate members also receive a significant discount on booth prices at our trade show, which is done in partnership with the Manitoba Hotel Association, and is the largest hospitality show in Western Canada. This year’s show is June 7th.
  4. MEMBER OFFERS FOR RESTAURANTS THAT WORK FOR YOU TOO!
    Did you know you don’t technically need to be a restaurant to take advantage of many of our core membership benefits? That’s right! Why not make use of other associate member discounts if they are open to you? Certain member discounts and offers are open to all members, our Ask an Expert program is open to all, and of course our resources and information and advocacy oftentimes helps more than just restaurants. After all, when restaurants thrive, suppliers and service providers of restaurants thrive, too!