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Getting Down to Business with Contactless

As the pandemic surges on, restaurants are finding innovative ways to stay in business, and that means reimagining the customer experience to provide easy contactless options; whether at the table, on the patio, in the drive-thru, curbside or delivery. But what if you don’t have a lot of time, money or space to accommodate this need? It’s OK, according to this panel’s experts, who will share how they incorporated the contactless experience without straining business operations.


Bill DiPaola | COO | Ballard Brands

With 24 years of restaurant experience and knowledge of executive leadership inside and out, Bill DiPaola is a thought-leader among restaurant and franchise executives. Bill is the current Chief Operating Officer of Ballard Brands, LLC, a company of almost 175 units, both nationally and internationally. Among the many brands that Ballard represents is PJ’s Coffee which just opened it’s 100th location and the restaurant group of Iron Chef Jose Garces. He formerly led the charge as president and COO of Dat Dog Enterprises, overseeing the corporate office, as well as franchise and corporate operations. Under his leadership, Dat Dog was voted #1 Hot Dog Restaurant by USA Today.

Rich Goodman | Vice President of Operations Services | Firehouse Subs

Rich Goodman is an experienced restaurant professional with over 40 years in the restaurant industry, including 9 years with Firehouse Subs. Serving the past 7 years as Vice President of Operations Services. He has a proven track record of success and recognition at every level of management beginning with Restaurant and Multi-Unit Operations as well as building cross functional skills in Training & Development, Project Management, and Company & Franchise Operations. He has held roles in Field and Corporate Headquarter Director & VP level positions. He currently leads a team of individuals responsible for strategic operational matters.

Don Fox | CEO | Firehouse Subs

Don Fox is Chief Executive Officer of Firehouse of America, LLC, in which he leads the strategic growth of Firehouse Subs, one of America’s leading fast casual restaurant brands. Under his leadership, the brand has grown to more than 1,180 restaurants in 46 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and non-traditional locations. Don sits on various boards of influence in the business and non-profit communities, and is a respected speaker, commentator and published author. He was recognized by Nation’s Restaurant News as 2011’s Operator of the Year. In 2013, he received the prestigious Silver Plate Award from the International Food Manufacturers Association (IFMA).

Wayne Pederson | Vice President, IT | Fazoli’s Restaurant Group

Wayne Pederson is a 35 year veteran of the restaurant industry. He was recruited in 2016 to join Fazoli’s Restaurants, Inc. as Vice President, IT to lead the replacement of every IT system within the brand. In less than three years, every corporate and franchise restaurant has replaced their aging in-store systems with modern POS & BOH systems, and installed new training systems, team member onboarding & teaching systems, as well as all above store reporting systems. In addition to these replacements, catering, mobile ordering, loyalty, kiosk and curbside ordering technologies have been added to help Fazoli’s achieve one of the best sales performances in brand history.


Dirk Izzo | President & General Manager | NCR Hospitality

Dirk Izzo serves as President and General Manager of NCR Hospitality. He is a seasoned leader with experience in building and marketing innovative cloud-based solutions to help clients optimize their business performance. In his current role, Dirk is responsible for developing simple and innovative solutions that run the restaurant from end to end. NCR is the technology provider of choice for restaurants around the world and Dirk is focused on delivering the next-generation software, hardware and services that delivers on what customers want, when they want it. Prior to joining NCR, Dirk spent 19 years with Nielsen in a number of global assignments.

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