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The Perfect Pitch

Following a global contest, three concepts have been selected to be part of The Perfect Pitch. Listen and learn as entrepreneurs pitch their fast casual concepts. The pitchers will address not only the Summit’s attendees but also a panel of advisers who will give them advice about how to grow their concepts.

It’s our “nicer” version of “Shark Tank,” which means it’s all about helping small but innovative concepts get off the ground. The audience members will vote on their favorite pitch, and the winner will receive bragging rights, of course, and free entry into next year’s Fast Casual Executive Summit.



Headquartered: Seattle, Washington
Owner: Bayley Le
Open since: 2016
Number of locations: 1
Cuisine:  Hawaiian

“A taste of Hawaii in Seattle.”

Built by three brothers from Hawaii, it serves authentic Hawaiian poke and desserts in the form of fresh Ahi, Salmon, Tako, and Tofu in the form of ready-to-eat rice/salad bowls, pokerittos and by the pound. It also serves shave ice, dole whip and tropical homemade drinks.

Salads UP

Headquartered: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Owners: Robby Mayer & Max Steir
Open since: 2015
Number of locations: 3
Cuisine:  Health-Conscious Menu

“The journey continues, come in and say S’UP!”

Created by two University of Michigan graduates looking to bring healthier options to college towns and a brand that resonated with the unique lifestyle of a college student, Salads UP opened in 2015, in Ann Arbor, Michigan on the University of Michigan campus The menu consists of signature and customizable salads and warm grain bowls as well as smoothies and signature juice blends. It now has two other locations in Madison, Wisconsin on the University of Wisconsin campus.

Sugapeach Chicken & Fish Fry

Headquartered: North Liberty, Iowa
Owner: Chad Simmons
Open since: 2016
Number of locations: 1
Cuisine: Fried Chicken and Fish

“We want to be the first National Soul Food Restaurant.”

Founded by Carol “Sweetiepie” Cater-Simmons, Sugapeach’s soul food brand offers fish, chicken, baked macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, cornbread and collard greens. It offers more than just comfort food, however. It reminds customers of the people they love and the good times they had with them.


Melanie Corey-Ferrini | Chief Experience Officer | Dynamik Space

Melanie Corey-Ferrini, founded Dynamikspace with a mission to connect unique dining and retail experiences with the physical environment. Her Dream Big Workshops for foodservice operators and planners, real estate managers and developers, allow for pre-planning of projects and work with others to make ideas a reality. Before becoming an architect, Melanie was a real estate analyst for a major financial institution. Besides being an entrepreneur, Melanie is an architect, certified Food Consultant with FCSI, owner of a children’s education think tank, leader of travel sketch adventures.

Susie Fogelson | Founder | F&Co.

Susie Fogelson was the driving force behind the Food Network and Cooking Channel brands for 15 years, and you may also recognize her as a judge on Next Food Network Star — so she is accustomed to the role of judging concepts and providing feedback on the fly! Now, with her company F&Co, she’s helping food and bev brands, grocery and restaurant groups develop/reinvent their brand marketing and storytelling strategy in the context of the dynamic food industry and the mindset of the food connected consumer – an audience that she was very influential in creating. She has her finger on the pulse of trends in these sectors.

Bruce Reinstein | Partner | Kinetic12

Bruce Reinstein is a partner at Kinetic12 and brings more than 25 years of experience as a results-driven executive in the hospitality industry. Bruce’s leadership experience in developing and growing multi-unit restaurant brands, concept operations, menu development and supply chain strengthens Kinetic12’s knowledge and problem-solving consulting offerings. Bruce is dedicated to systems development and implementation with an emphasis on value that stems from differentiation. Prior to joining Kinetic12, Bruce was the President of Consolidated Concepts where he worked on customized solutions for emerging & national chains. Prior to that he was the co-founder and president of Fresh City, a 2002 Hot Concepts Award Winner.


Dan Calo | Director of Sales, Key Accounts | Lamb Weston

With 18 years experience in the foodservice industry, Dan Calo has held various sales management roles for companies such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi Bottling Group, Campbell Soup Company and most recently Sales Director for the multi-unit account team for Lamb Weston. He’s most excited in his current role where he’s charged with providing innovative product solutions in an effort to meet and anticipate the needs of his customer base.

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