MISSION: This group is for foodies interested in exploring a variety of foods, and possibly sharing a good bottle of wine. Don't let the name fool you, however - this is more about the dining than the wining. We'll go anywhere members would like to go, which could be very high brow but could just as likely be very low key (but please...no chain restaurants). Socializing is of course, the second facet of the mission, and we think we have one of the best groups for it!!
Our focus is on exploring high quality, culturally diverse foods and as such is not likely to be a good fit for the squeamish or steak and potato type eaters (though we may do a good steakhouse from time to time).
We are also starting to have more lunches and dinners that have another optional event before or after the meal. Examples could be music, art galleries, or just about anything. In Addition to what you can learn below, please visit the "pages" tab for even more details on the group.
MEMBER-RUN GROUP: You, as a member, are fully encouraged to participate in ideas. Don't be idle and wait for the Leadership Team to host an event. If there is a night you have open, or a place you'd like to try, you can suggest an event on the website. "Throw it on the wall and see what sticks."
Or... if you'd like to host an event, just let one of the organizers know a date, time, location, and maximum capacity, and we will set you up as a host. We do the techy stuff (SECRET: it's not all that techy)...all you have to do is commit to be there. We can coach you through your first hosting, even if we cannot attend.
EVENT STRUCTURE: Each event is different, of course. The food, the attendees, the seating, etc. and one thing is a constant: paying the bill. Here are some guidelines most hosts use:
SEATING: Seating is often reserved, but rarely (if ever) assigned. The host will have worked with the restaurant to plan on how to best seat the attendees as a group, but not as individuals.
CASH ONLY: In a group setting, it's preferable to pay for the entire group in one fell swoop, and cash is the only way that can happen. Credit cards will slow down the evening and can create problems. In some circumstances, meals may be purchased individually, but unless specifically stated on the event description, please come with cash to make group payment easier.
BILL PLANS: A typical bill plan is: tax and a standard gratuity for the group (18%) are calculated if not already on the bill. The cost of shared appetizers is added to that. That total is divided by the attendees. Then each person adds their shared total to the cost of their own drinks and entree bill. Cash is gathered, reconciled, and counted in front of the waitstaff. (NOTE: This is just a typical example. The event host ultimately decides the payment plan.)
ANNUAL DUES: If you sign up for your first event, there are no dues asked. Just come to your first event to check out the group. For members who decide to be more active, we ask a $5.00 annual donation, and this payment is marked on your account. It is not required to pay dues, only encouraged depending on your activity. The dues cover the cost of the website and group promotional material, and surplus funds will cover unexpected event costs.
ATTENDANCE POLICY:As of May 17, 2012, we are wiping the slate clean for any "no-shows" members may have previously accrued. The reason being that this group never had an attendance policy prior to this date. However, beyond this date, the following policies are in place:
ACCEPTABLE CANCELLATIONS: Removing yourself from the attendee list 24 hours or more is certainly acceptable, but 48 hours is preferred. So if the event is on a Friday, please remind yourself to make a decision of commitment on Wednesday.
SAME DAY CANCELLATIONS: Barring extenuating circumstances, same day cancellations will be viewed as a "no show" on the member's part. If you must cancel your attendance, be sure to do it at least a day PRIOR to the event. Now granted, emergencies come up. If extenuating circumstances exist, please notify the host or a Lead member ASAP. Bear in mind though, that "I found something better to do" is NOT an emergency.
NO SHOWS: Due to the fact that we plan events with reservations quite often and also have people on the waiting lists, we depend on timely communication from the members. we are adopting a "three strikes a year and you're out" policy. If a member is a no show three times in a 12 month period, it opens up the possibility of discontinuation of membership.
First No Show - The member will be sent an e-mail reminder of the importance of timely cancellations.
Second No Show - The member will be sent a second e-mail reminder, along with a copy of the attendance policy.
Third No Show - On the decision of the Leadership Team, the member may be removed from the group.
NOTE: members who were on the waiting list and got bumped up to attendee status by a cancellation the day of, or the day before an event will never be counted as a no-show, since they cannot be expected to receive their e-mail notification in a timely manner.
QUESTIONS?: If you have any questions, contact me or one of the co-organizers. Thanks so much for being a part of Milwaukee Wining and Dining!