Who We Are

Strauss Training, Inc. is a consulting firm focused on weaving communication best practices throughout  organizations to increase revenue and enhance customer and employee retention. Our expertise includes B2C and B2B sales and customer service training, branding, and  extensive experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

<strong>Mark Strauss</strong>
Mark StraussCommunication & Branding
Sales, customer service, and branding had never even crossed my mind when I was offered a job cold calling back in 1990.

The years that followed were filled with making thousands of cold calls, working in customer service, and eventually managing and training inside sales and customer care call centers.

Perhaps the most valuable learning experience during that time came while working for a home security systems company in Chicago. Basically, my job was to create interest in a product no one thought they needed, on a call they didn’t want, from someone they didn’t know. It was then that I began to see how success through building solid customer relationships is truly an art form.

As my experience grew — and I got over a fear of face-to-face sales — I began a career in technology and media design consulting where I helped build brands through selling and project-managing websites, TV commercials, logo & print design, software solutions, and more. Highlights included creating websites getting 150k+ hits a day, banner ad concepts and design for co-branded Disney products realizing 7x the national click-through impression average on disney.com, and even a TV commercial that ran during the Super Bowl.

Throughout these creative years, I continued to provide communication training and one day I was struck by a simple, clear realization:

Crafting communication structures and training are as creative as any marketing, branding, or design project I’ve worked on.

This simple thought — along with the unfortunate truth that marketing and branding investments are so often lost as a result of poor communication — led to the decision to re-brand our media consulting company to put communication training at the forefront of our services.

I find using a unique blend of training, branding, and marketing creates optimal customer experiences and ensures long-lasting success for my clients. One of my favorite experiences is when I overhear one rep sharing with another rep not only what they’ve been trained to say, but also why they say it to help the customer. That’s when I know placing the priority on the customer relationship is being woven into the culture and will continue to build upon itself over time. This is precisely what we mean by “building successful brands from the inside out.”

What I thought was a temporary cold calling job over 25 years ago has grown into a passion for designing communication structures that transform organizations with each and every customer interaction.

I look forward to helping you build your brand from the inside out.

Contact Mark
<strong>Allison Strauss</strong>
Allison StraussRestaurant & Hospitality
It all started when I wanted a part-time job to earn some extra spending money. I was only 16-years-old and had no idea that bussing tables would be the first step on a 28-year journey in (and love for) the restaurant and hospitality industry.

The years that followed working in banquets, country clubs, hotels, national and local chains, and single-entity fine dining restaurants allowed me to gain valuable experience in every FOH role: busser, server, bartender, sales, manager, and general manager. Along with earning my BA in Hospitality from Kendall College Culinary School in Chicago, I continued to hone my management and training skills eventually finding a home at one of Chicago’s most respected, high-end restaurant brands…

Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse

I spent 14 years at the Harry Caray’s located only minutes away from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, and near one of the largest convention centers in the country. As the General Manager, building guest relations, forecasting and budgeting, managing a staff of over 100, and daily training were all keys to our ongoing growth and success. In fact, even though the restaurant industry struggled following the 2008 financial crisis, this focus on overall quality and training — along with re-negotiated vendor contracts and streamlined processes — actually led to even wider profit margins during this period. The continued growth allowed also allowed me propose and serve as the General Contractor for the re-design and expansion of our outdoor dining area. This project doubled its size to 120 seats, bringing our overall capacity to 490 seats.

Being part of a destination restaurant in an amazing city has it’s perks. One of them was managing relationships with frequent celebrity guests. Ensuring a quality experience for both the celebrities and other restaurant guests is a subtle value of effective, customer-focused communication that directly affects revenue. One of the many highlights (and logistical challenges) of my time at Harry’s was organizing and managing both the 2010 and 2013 Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup victory parties for the players, their families and friends only hours after winning the cup(s) and returning home.

As a full-time, national restaurant consultant I’m proud to be able to help clients by combining over 28 years of hands-on experience with my passion for creating well-oiled, revenue-generating machines. With each solution — tailored to your specific needs — we strive to exceed your quality and revenue expectations with consistent, solid communication as the foundation.

From re-organizing and optimizing existing restaurants to creating processes, systems, and training for new restaurants, I look forward to discussing how we can help.

Contact Allison

Where We Work

As a Chicago-based consulting company with easy access to travel, we work with both local and national organizations, and are also available for international engagements. Short and long-term projects include:

  • Training
  • Branding & Marketing
  • Consulting
  • Opening Restaurants
  • Seminars
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Technology Implementations & Launches
  • Broadcast Media Production

Partners and Affiliates

We have been fortunate to build strong affiliations with a variety of partner organizations and technology companies.

Adding their expertise and flexibility allows us to provide additional efficiencies to our clients. You’ll find some of these related services listed here and please contact us to discuss how Strauss Training, Inc. can help with any of your training, branding, hospitality, and infrastructure projects.