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Meatless: It’s What’s for Dinner

With more than 60% of Americans saying that since COVID-19 they have incorporated more plant-based foods into their diets, fast casual restaurants – regional and national – are glowing up their meatless options.

And while a meatless strategy makes sense for many brands, how do you know if it will work for your restaurant?

Chefs in this session will weigh on the right and wrong ways to incorporate meatless options to your menu.


Mark Gabrovic | VP / Executive Chef | Jamba

With over 20 years’ experience in the Food Industry, Mark Gabrovic brings both science and art to strategic innovation development for Jamba. As VP/Executive Chef, Mark is responsible for the brand’s menu strategy and food policy, while developing innovative products that support personalized wellness for Jamba’s guests. Mark obtained his Food Science degree from the University of Florida and went on to earn his Culinary Arts degree from Johnson and Wales University. He previously spent time in the United States Peace Corps as a Community Nutritionist and has held positions with several notable restaurants and food companies, including Cargill, Outback, Ventura Foods, and Panera Bread.

Lori Kern | Director of Marketing | Saladworks

Lori Kern has over 20 years of marketing in the franchise industry. Her career started in the treat category with TCBY and Carvel Ice Cream where she spent over 14 years creating successful partnerships and promotions with franchsiees and vendors. She then moved into the Fast Casual category with Schlotzsky’s and is currently with Saladworks which is a brand under WOWorks. Saladworks is seeing growth in the hospital and university sector and recently inked a deal with Walmart, where it runs ghost kitchens in Walmart stores which will offer seating, carry-out and third-party delivery. Saladworks also has restaurants inside GIANT Food stores, Kroger and ShopRite locations as non-traditional units.

Dina Mitchell | Founder | PowerSoul Cafe

Dina Mitchell is a passionate entrepreneur, restaurant veteran, community advocate and philanthropist. Her passion led her to build the Tropical Smoothie Café brand in Las Vegas and Southern California when the company was in its infancy with only 23 locations. Twenty years later the brand has over 900 units. Dina is a passionate leader, team builder, and unrelenting manager. Her experience includes franchisee selection, site selection, lease negotiation, store and kitchen design, employee and owner training, ongoing mentoring and support, marketing, ad placement, brand spokesperson, developing and managing all platforms of social media, menu development, COS control, she wears several hats effortlessly and well.

Chef Daryl Shular, CMC | Founder & CEO | Daryl Shular Hospitality Group

The first African-American and minority to successfully pass the Master Chef exam, Chef Daryl Shular has been recognized and featured in many media publications, including the prestigious American historical archives “The History Makers”. As a member of the American Culinary Federation, he has received over twelve gold medals and eight “Best in Shows” in local and national competitions. Additionally, Chef Daryl was a member of the internationally recognized ACF United States Culinary Olympic Team, the official culinary regional team representing the United States in international culinary competitions.

Bettina Stern | Co-Founder | Chaia Tacos

Bettina Stern is on a mission to get people to eat more vegetables. Bettina co-founded Chaia – an unconventional plant-powered taco restaurant based in Washington, DC – with close friend Suzanne Simon in 2013 as a way to inspire long-term shifts in how people eat for the benefit of not only their health, but also the health of the environment. By letting their product and team take center stage, Bettina and Suzanne have organically grown their business from a farmers’ market stand in 2013 into two brick-and-mortar locations, with the third set to open this fall.


Chef Grant Petersen | Sales Director | Meatless Farm

A dynamic and energetic Executive Chef with a proven track record working in private and corporate concepts, Chef Grant is passionate about plant-based proteins, dairy and cheese and changing the global food system. Throughout his career, Chef Grant has worked in casual and fine dining restaurants, with foodservice providers including Kraft and Sodexo and brands including Impossible Foods.

Boudewijn Tiktak | CEO | Meatless Farm, North America

Experienced Dutch food retail executive within both Europe and the U.S., Boudewijn led the commercial activity for German grocer Lidl for over a decade as Chief Commercial Officer in Belgium and Luxembourg -while overseeing the retailer’s first overseas expansion into the U.S. As CEO of Meatless Farm North America, Boudewijn focuses on the expansion of the brand within the retail and foodservice industries.