Who We Are & Why Join?

Benefits for Restaurant Members

Membership Basics:

  • The ability to accept the hundreds of thousands of dollars in Madison Originals gift cards and gift certificates we sell on your behalf each year
  • A Greater Madison Convention and Visitors' Bureau (aka Visit Madison) Membership Valued at $400
  • Social media and newsletter promotion
  • Additional promotional and advertising opportunities
  • A membership dues structure designed to drive traffic in your doors that requires no out-of-pocket money

Marketing/Advertising:

  • A variety of Madison Originals sponsored or subsidized advertising options
  • The opportunity to appear on the NBC15 Morning Show to promote your restaurant
  • Social media and newsletter promotion
  • Additional promotional and advertising opportunities

Networking/Social Events:

  • Connections to all our other great restaurant and associate members
  • Access to our members' only forum
  • The ability to serve on our board of directors and participate in our committees, and to attend our meetings and casual events (like members' only happy hours)
  • Special opportunities to connect with other like-minded locals. For instance, we brought the Wisconsin Council for the Blind and Vignette Dining Club to a recent meeting to talk about Dining in the Dark events and serving visually-impaired people, which then resulted in member Charlie's on Main hosting a Dining in the Dark event.

Educational/Business Development:

  • Occasional free or discounted educational events, organized and sponsored by Madison Originals. Recent examples include a sexual harassment seminar with a speaker from Boardman & Clark law firm. Past events include a panel discussion on strategic planning for restaurants, led by Ian's Pizza, and tipping pool laws, led by Boardman & Clark.
  • Access to the educational events and news your GMCVB membership provides

Community Involvement:

  • Opportunities to participate in charitable tasting events and sit-down dinners like Feed the Need and Harvest Dinner for Hunger, both in support of The River Food Pantry, and the thousands of dollars in media attention these events bring.
  • Coordinated community volunteer activities

Benefits for Associate Members

Membership Basics:

  • A low yearly membership fee. Madison Originals is also open to trade arrangements for Associate Memberships.

Marketing/Advertising:

  • Social media and newsletter promotion
  • Opportunity to be featured in our new Associate Members' newsletter

Networking/Social Events:

  • The opportunity to briefly present to our membership at the first quarterly meeting following joining our group
  • Connections to all our other great restaurant and associate members
  • Access to our members' only forum
  • The ability to serve on our board of directors and participate in our committees, and to attend our meetings and casual events (like members' only happy hours)

Educational/Business Development:

  • Occasional free or discounted educational events, organized and sponsored by Madison Originals. Recent examples include a sexual harassment seminar with a speaker from Boardman & Clark law firm. Past events include a panel discussion on strategic planning for restaurants, led by Ian's Pizza, and tipping pool laws, led by Boardman & Clark.

Community Involvement:

  • Coordinated community volunteer activities





How to Join

Want to become an Originals restaurant or Associate member? Here’s how:


Madison Originals has two categories of members:

  • Restaurant Members
  • Associate Members (other locally-owned and operated independent businesses interested in supporting the organization)

* All membership applications are subject to approval by the Madison Originals Board of Directors and must meet current membership guidelines.


Annual Dues for Restaurant Members:

$2200 worth of gift certificates authorized by the restaurant member for sale by the Madison Originals over the Internet annual dues for administration of marketing partnerships, including a $400 value of the GMCVB partnership. These gift certificates are generated by Madison Originals and sold quarterly at a discounted rate of face value to the public. Member restaurants agree to honor these certificates according to the terms on the certificates. Member restaurants are eligible to accept full value Madison Originals gift certificates and may redeem them with the organization for reimbursement. Restaurant members are featured on our website and in our print materials, and have the opportunity to advertise in our cooperative advertising efforts; participate in membership meetings and events, and serve on the board of directors and committees.


Annual Dues for Associate Members:

$400: Includes listing as an associate member on our website with links and a business description. 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. Associate members are given the opportunity to introduce their business to Madison Originals members at a quarterly meeting.


Restaurant Membership Application

Associate Membership Application

Questions about membership may be directed to: info@madisonoriginals.com. If you do not have the capability to submit your application electronically, please e-mail us and we will follow-up with you to obtain the information in print.