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October 18, 2015

11:00am – 3:00pm

Fast Casual Food Tour

Join fast casual restaurant executives and other Summit attendees as they tour and eat out at some of Miami’s local fast casual restaurants.

  • Sponsored by Taylor Company

3:00pm – 5:00pm | Registration Opens

5:00 – 6:00pm | Opening Keynote

Better & Faster: The Proven Path to Unstoppable Ideas

In this talk, Jeremy Gutsche will teach you a proven path to unstoppable ideas. With tactics he’s developed by studying tens of thousands of ideas, and frameworks he’s tested while helping to solve some of the world’s toughest innovation problems with his 300+ clients, ranging from Coca-Cola to Sony to Wells Fargo, he’ll teach you to look for the patterns of opportunity right in front of you. How do we overcome psychological traps that block our success? Based on his upcoming book Better & Faster, Gutsche connects human evolution with our ability to adapt to rapid change. Showing you why smart people miss great ideas and what to do about it. Gutsche’s highly engaging, humorous and educational lessons are drawn from the untold tales of reclusive billionaires, and ordinary people who achieved the unthinkable by simply seeing the opportunities that others overlooked. He’ll teach you to see patterns and clues that will lead you to be a better investor, better innovator, better creator and better at adapting. You will be better and faster.

  • Sponsored by Kraft

Jeremy Gutsche
Speaker | Author | Founder of

6:00 – 8:00pm | Opening Reception | Mandarin Oriental Beach (Weather Permitting)

Join us on the Mandarin Oriental’s private beach for food, cocktails and music while the sun sets over beautiful Miami.

  • Sponsored by Philips

October 19, 2015

7:00am – 8:00am | Breakfast and Registration

8:00 – 9:00am | Breakout Session

The Evolution of Restaurant Technology

Several technologies will emerge as brand priorities over the next three years and each will require operational adjustments to optimize impact to the guest experience. Some are being pushed by regulatory change while others are being implemented based on guest preference for a better brand experiences. This means fast casual operators will be required to compete at the technology level in an ever more competitive environment. In this session, learn about the five technologies brands need to watch and be prepared for in the coming years.

  • Jim Melvin | CEO | GuestDNA
  • Moderator: Dale Feyereisen | Regional Sales Manager | Philips Signage Solutions
  • Sponsored by Philips Signage Solutions

8:00 – 9:00am | Breakout Session

The Next Level: Prepare Your Brand for Unit Expansion

There are many ways a restaurant operator can take their brand to the next level. Whether growth comes through financing, franchising, outside investors or licensing agreement, there are pros and cons to each approach. Hear from our panel of experts on the best methods of growth for brands of any size and the steps operators can take to keep moving forward.

  • Craig Dunaway | President | Penn Station
  • Roland Dickey Jr. | CEO | Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
  • Randy Gier | CEO | Rave Restaurant Group
  • Moderator: Mike Todd | Vice President, Sales | PAR
  • Sponsored by PAR

9:00am – 9:30am | Refreshment Break

9:30 – 10:30am | Breakout Session

Crossover: The Fast Casualization of the Restaurant Industry

No doubt about it, the fast casual segment of the restaurant industry is growing. Sales grew 11 percent last year, and unit count and traffic were up 8 percent at a time when numbers for other segments of the industry remained flat. With such strong numbers, it’s no wonder other segments are trying to get a piece of the action. This panel will feature leaders from brands in quick service and casual dining segments who are crossing over into fast casual. We’ll hear from them about what’s working, what’s not, and what they have learned from the fast casual segment.

  • John Featherston | Senior Director, Growth Strategies | Chick-fil-A
  • Jim Greco | Chief Operating Officer | Newk’s Eatery
  • Tom Sacco | CEO & President | Cole’s Backyard Grill
  • Moderator: Michelle Strong | Chief Marketing Officer | LRS
  • Sponsored by LRS

9:30 – 10:30am | Breakout Session

The Changing Course of Consumer Behavior

Consumer buying habits are in a constant state of change and with the restaurant space heating up with competition, where and when consumers dine continues to evolve. Where and how are consumers dining now and what are they looking for from the restaurants they frequent? Our session has the answers.

  • Sarah Quinlan | SVP, Marketing Insights | Mastercard Advisors
  • Moderator: Tom Nix | CEO | Scala
  • Sponsored by Scala

10:30am – 11:00am | Refreshment Break

11:00am – Noon | Breakout Session

The Impact of Mobile

With mobile being the best kept secret in retail, it’s no wonder restaurant operators are looking for ways they can utilize mobile to increase traffic and audience engagement. So what, exactly, is the state of mobile and which avenues of mobile technology should restaurant operators use to capitalize on the one thing that keeps everyone connected?

  • Matt Eisenacher | Director of Marketing | Piada Italian Street Food
  • Sam Gorenstein | Co-Founder | My Ceviche
  • Phil Hendrix, PhD | Founder & Managing Director | immr
  • Moderator: Michael Hagan | Chief Operating Officer | LevelUp
  • Sponsored by LevelUp

11:00am – Noon | Breakout Session

Stay on Trend with the Latest Food Trends

It’s never easy keeping up with the Joneses. Nor is it easy staying on top of the latest trends in food. Consumers are traveling more than ever and international flavors are here to stay. Learn about the top trends in the industry today and how your concept can deliver these flavors to restaurant guests.

  • Mindy Armstrong | Director Food Insights & Innovation | Food IQ
  • Chef Jimmy Carey | Executive Chef & Owner | Jimmy’z Kitchen
  • John Kunkel | CEO & Founder | 50 Eggs
  • Moderator: Jim Drake | Director of Sales and Marketing | Server Products
  • Sponsored by Server Products

Noon | Lunch

12:30 – 1:30pm | Keynote Session


In this session, you will hear four 15-minute, thought-provoking talks that will leave you challenged and inspired.

  • Gerry O’Brion | Speaker & Author | What Big Brands Know
  • John Offerdahl | Owner & Founder | Offerdahl’s Cafe Grill | Former All-Pro Miami Dolphins Linebacker
  • Pete Turner | Founder | Illegal Pete’s
  • Tom Ryan | Co-Founder & Chief Concept Officer | Smashburger
  • Moderator: Dave Brewer | COO, Cooking Solutions | Middleby Corporation
  • Sponsored by The Middleby Corporation

1:30pm – 2:00pm | Refreshment Break

2:00pm – 3:30pm | General Session

Brain Exchange

The Brain Exchange breaks attendees into small groups to discuss some of the most pressing issues facing restaurant operators today. These informal group discussions allow attendees to learn from one another’s mistakes and successes.

  1. Ensuring the Security of Your Wi-Fi Network, Airtight
  2. Digital Signage Strategy & Optimization, Allure Global Solutions
  3. Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, Heinz
  4. The Role of Parts and Service in Reducing Downtime and Life Cycle Costs , Heritage Foodservice
  5. Counter vs. Table Delivery Service: Maximize Revenue, Minimize Labor Cost and Turn Tables Faster, HME Wireless
  6. How to Implement Food Trends Into Menus, Litehouse Foods
  7. Supply Chain Cost-Cutting Measures, McLane
  8. Is Your Marketing Driving Revenue? How to Audit Your Company’s Marketing Performance, Powers Agency
  9. Food Claims on Menus, Simmons
  10. Understanding Behavioral and Consumer Data, Service Management Group
  11. Driving Traffic with Stored Value, Stored Value
  12. Breaking Down Silos & Getting Your Teams to Work Together, TDn2K
  13. Training When You Don’t Have Time to Train, Trendgistics
  14. Balancing Technology with Labor and Cost , Winston Industries

3:30pm – 4:00pm | Refreshment Break

4:00pm – 5:00pm | Breakout Session

Restaurant Design Trends

From reflecting brand values to setting the mood to keeping traffic flowing, restaurant design plays a big part in the customer’s experience. We’ll take a look at design trends on the horizon and discuss how to make technology seamlessly fit into the environment.

  • Michelle Bushey | Design Director | Harrison Architecture and Design
  • Nick DeCarlo | Director, Restaurant Solutions | The Wendy’s Company
  • Rob Depp | VP, Restaurant Design | FRCH Design Worldwide
  • Moderator: Neil Sudaisar | Sr Director, DIRECTV Enterprise Solutions | DIRECTV
  • Sponsored by DIRECTV

4:00pm – 5:00pm | Breakout Session

Beverage Smarts: What’s on Trend

Restaurant operators large and small are capturing consumer hearts with creative beverage alternatives that span the spectrum from craft soda and iced tea to beer, wine and milkshakes. Artisan and craft beverages, including cocktails, remain on the list of top trends in 2015 and show no signs of fading out anytime soon. Hear from consultants and operators on where the trend is going and how to do it right.

  • Scott Davis | Creative Director & Managing Partner | Culinary Concepts Group
  • Elizabeth Friend | Senior Analyst | Euromonitor International
  • Mike Remes | Corporate Chef | Burger 21
  • Moderator: Jenny Doan | Director of Marketing | Nestlé Professional Beverages
  • Sponsored by Nestle

6:30pm | Dinner Party

10th Anniversary Party!

Get ready to party like an A-lister as we take over one of South Beach’s hottest restaurants and nightclubs to celebrate Fast Casual Executive Summit’s 10-year Anniversary! The Baoli concept combines French sophistication with Miami’s unique vibrancy and sass. Dinner patrons will take their palates on a culinary expedition, exploring unique Mediterranean and Asian flavors and when night falls, the inviting restaurant revamps into a playground for the nocturnal.

“Baoli Miami is the epitome of the South Beach experience that melds exceptional Asian Fusion with a whimsical environment set in a beautifully renovated space.”
– The 100 Hottest Restaurants in the United States 2015, Forbes

  • Sponsored by Kraft
baoli 9

October 20, 2015

7:30am | Breakfast

8:30am – 9:30am | General Session

The Perfect Pitch

Following a global contest, three concepts were selected to be part of The Perfect Pitch. Listen and learn as entrepreneurs from Burgers n’ Fries Forever,  Mac n’ Cheez, and Pincho Factory pitch their fast casual concepts to a panel of distinguished investors and consultants who will provide on-the-spot advice.

  • Ben Butler | Founder | Rock Creek MT LLC
  • David Oddi | Founding Partner | Goode Partners
  • Larry Reinstein | President | LJR Hospitality Ventures
  • Moderator: Kent Barkouras | EVP, Enterprise Services | Primary Color
  • Sponsored by Primary Color

9:30am – 10:00am | Refreshment Break

10:00am – 11:00am | Breakout Session

A Session About Email Marketing? You bet.

Email marketing is more than birthday reminders and promo codes. It’s a way to build an emotional connection with your guests while collecting valuable consumer insights. Everybody uses it. Few use it well. In this session, learn the best uses for email marketing campaigns and how to create an effective form of communication between your brand, your current guests and your future ones.

  • Abby Feuer | VP, Marketing |
  • Stacey Kane | VP, Marketing | East Coast Wings
  • Jenny Martin | Director, Brand Marketing | Togo’s Sandwiches
  • Moderator: Colleen Hart | Product Manager, Messaging | Paytronix Systems
  • Sponsored by Paytronix

10:00am – 11:00am | Breakout Session

Building a Foundation for Profitable Growth

Exciting new restaurant concepts are developed and launched every day. There are many key areas to consider to ensure profitable growth for any brand, including building an efficient supply chain. Supply chains must be flexible, responsive and deliver the products and equipment needed to run profitable restaurants. It is important to implement both short term and long term purchasing and distribution strategies that enhance operations, sustain growth and present an attractive ROI to potential stakeholders. Executives from some of the industry’s top concepts will share their experiences on how to build an effective supply chain for now and the future.

  • Glen Helton | CEO | Kudu Corporation
  • Frank Paci | CEO | Corner Bakery Cafe
  • Matthew Riddleberger | VP, Supply Chain Services | Firehouse Subs
  • Moderator: Steve Pattison | General Manager | Supply Chain Services
  • Sponsored by Supply Chain Services

11:00am – 11:15am | Refreshment Break

11:15am – 12:15pm | Breakout Session

Building Your Brand Culture

What defines your brand? Is it light-hearted or earnest? Deeply committed to sustainable farming or all about craveable indulgence? How you define your brand touches every aspect of your business — from the employees who represent the brand to the food on the menu to the in house decor. We’ll explore how to develop a cohesive, appealing brand from the ground up.

  • Louis Basile | Founder & President | Wildflower Bread Company
  • Chris Bright | President | zpizza International
  • Kathleen Wood | Co-Founder | Suzy’s Swirl
  • Moderator: Brad Christian | Managing Director | Market Force
  • Sponsored by Market Force

11:15am – 12:15pm | Breakout Session

Going Beyond the Discount – New Approaches to Restaurant Loyalty

For far too long, loyalty has been equated with deep discounts, punch cards and coupons. While capable of boosting traffic in the short term, these strategies do very little for long-term engagement and customer (guest) retention. With fast casual operators hungry for new approaches to rewarding their guests, learn about the latest loyalty trends that are attracting new customers, helping restaurateurs keep existing ones, boosting revenues and providing satisfying and rewarding experiences for guests.

  • Megan Flynn | EVP, Strategy & Business Development | Excentus
  • Michael Mabry | COO | MOOYAH Burgers, Fries and Shakes
  • Michael Mohammed | CEO | Chronic Tacos
  • Moderator: Valerie Killifer | President | P-O-P Content & Communications
  • Sponsored by Fuel Rewards Program

12:15pm – 1:00pm | Lunch Buffet

1:00pm – 2:00pm | Breakout Session

Real Estate Growth by Numbers

Fast casual restaurants are growing rapidly, but simply blanketing trade areas with locations is sure to backfire. Learn how customer analytics are helping fast casual brands better understand who their customers are and where more potential customers are located in order to open high performing locations and get more out of existing locations.

  • Casey Askar | Chairman & President | Askar Brands
  • Anand Gala | Founder & CEO | Gala Holdings International
  • Ray Wiley | Co-Founder | Hot Head Burritos
  • Moderator: Stephen Polanski | SVP, Sales | Buxton
  • Sponsored by Buxton

1:00pm – 2:00pm | Breakout Session

Top 10 PR Do’s (and a few Don’ts)

Content marketing, viral videos, leadership blogs — the opportunities are endless when it comes to brandishing your concept and your executive team. But where is it all going and how can you best get there? Top public relations and marketing gurus will walk you through the best ways to build buzz, gain a following and bring them back for more.

  • Nick Powills | CEO | No Limit Agency
  • Moderator: Lee Zucker | Director, Enterprise | SinglePlatform
  • Sponsored by SinglePlatform

2:00pm – 2:30pm | Refreshment Break

2:30pm – 4:00pm | Closing General Session

CEO Roundtable

This grand finale session brings together some of the industry’s top CEOs, who will talk about the latest issues of the day and what it takes to succeed in fast casual.

  • Scott Drummond | Co-Founder | eatsa
  • Jim Mizes | President & COO | Blaze Pizza
  • Carin Stutz | President | McAlister’s Deli
  • Moderator: Christopher Sebes | Executive Director, Heartland Commerce | Heartland Payment Systems
  • Sponsored by Heartland Payment Systems