Summerfest Business Alliance Member Spotlight
1.) In one paragraph, tell us about your organization, your mission statement, how, when and why your organization was founded, and what you are best known for.
At Saz’s, we believe the better the food, the better experience. In 1976, Milwaukee native Steve Sazama opened our flagship restaurant Saz’s State House on 55th and State Street. And while Saz’s Catering was officially born in 1990, our involvement at Summerfest runs all the way back to the early 80’s. Saz’s was the first-ever food vendor for Miller’s first stage at Summerfest, known then as the “Miller Jazz Oasis”, now the “Miller Lite Oasis.” You’ll know us by our famous BBQ Baby Back Ribs and our Festival Combo Platter, composed of hand-rolled Mozzarella Marinara, Cheese Curds, and Sour Cream & Chive Fries.
2.) Tell us about your organization’s accomplishments and what you’re most proud of.
When we’re not serving up “The Finest” at the world’s largest music festival, you can find us throughout southeast Wisconsin at our five exclusive venues and several other stunning event venues catering corporate meetings, galas and fundraisers, luncheons, weddings, golf outings and more. We’ve catered events from 10 to 25,000.
Saz’s Hospitality Group is a proud recipient of the Journal Sentinel’s Top Work Place Awards for 5 years, and is always on the search for full, part-time and seasonal team members to join our team. Our Catering and Festivals division is proud to employ over 900 individuals during our busy summer season which of course includes Summerfest. Many individuals start working with us in high school and continue to come back year after year and join us for the summer months. Saz’s Catering has also been awarded the “Best Of” Knot and WeddingWire awards.
3.) How do you impact your community? What are some of the organizations you choose to support, and why is that important to your business and culture?
Saz’s has a huge heart for giving back to our community- since 1976, Saz’s Hospitality Group has provided charitable contributions to over 400 local charitable groups, along with contributions to the causes of countless other organizations, which include Make-A-Wish Wisconsin, Susan G. Komen For the Cure, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, and more.
Saz’s Fish Fry at Western Lakes Golf Club and Traveling Drive-Thru programs donate a portion of our proceeds to a local partner, and we have donated $50,000 since the program’s inception in 2020.
A partnership that we are especially excited about is with the Cathedral Center. What started out as donating meals to the Cathedral Center’s cause has now turned into a current partnership with the organization to help women at the center get back on their feet by providing employment opportunities.
Saz’s senior leadership is heavily involved in the Milwaukee community and are always looking for ways to help make a difference, including sitting on boards and committees at organizations such as Sharp Literacy, ALS Foundation, Wisconsin State Fair Park Foundation, Visit Milwaukee, and more.
4.) Why is it important to your organization to support Summerfest through the Summerfest Business Alliance and what are some of the unique ways in which you distribute your Summerfest tickets?
Being part of the Summerfest Business Alliance has allowed us to give Summerfest tickets to our staff, our clients, and to our guests through several opportunities and interactions. There’s always a smile on their face when we hand them a Summerfest ticket, and this “surprise and delight” is made possible through the Summerfest Business Alliance.
5.) Favorite Summerfest Memories
The first time I attended Summerfest was my freshman year of college way back in 1993. I grew up in a small town in central Illinois and moved to Milwaukee to attend Marquette University, so I had not heard of Summerfest prior to that.
I had been to concerts before but never in a setting like Summerfest, so I think my favorite part was being able to go to multiple shows in one night and experiencing all types of different music.
I have seen some really great shows at Summerfest including Tom Petty and Paul Simon, but I would love to see Pearl Jam play at Summerfest.