Chat with us, powered by LiveChat


Not Only Surviving, But Thriving Through the Pandemic

While many restaurants across the world closed or struggled to stay in business over the past year, a few posted higher-than-ever sales.

This session will feature three of those brand leaders revealing their strategies for handling the crisis. They’ll talk about how they pivoted their operational models, redistributed labor and added new menu offerings as well as how they created new revenue streams to pad the bottom line.


Tony Darden | President & COO | MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes

Tony Darden has been the President and Chief Operating Officer of MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes since April 2019. From May 2017 to April 2019, Tony served as Chief Operating Officer of Sun Holdings, inc. and Taco Bueno, LP in Dallas, Texas. From September 2009 to May 2017, he served as Senior Vice President of Operations for Panera Bread Company in St. Louis, Missouri.

Jack Gibbons | CEO | FB Society

As the CEO of FB Society, Jack Gibbons has been an integral leader of a dynamic group of industry professionals that create, incubate and grow innovative restaurant brands across the country. Jack brings his unmatched creative energy and operational expertise to build cutting-edge developmental strategies and inspire a like-minded team to push the boundaries of food and hospitality. FB Society is a Dallas-based restaurant group that includes nine-unit Whiskey Cake; four-unit wine-forward restaurant Sixty Vines; two-unit Mexican Sugar; three-unit Southern restaurant Ida Claire; Texan cuisine-focused Haywire and The Ranch at Las Colinas; and a fast-casual slider concept called Son of a Butcher.

Jonathan Luther | Co-Founder & Proprietor | JJ’s Red Hots

Jonathan Luther is the creator and co-founder of JJ’s Red Hots, a fast casual restaurant brand based in Charlotte, North Carolina. JJ’s serves premium hot dogs, house made sausage, chicken and sides in various different iterations including a flagship brick and mortar retail location, a robust food truck operation, and licensed operations at the Charlotte Hornets arena and the Wells Fargo Golf Tournament. Jonathan also serves as Executive Chef. Jonathan has over 30 years of experience in building restaurant brands and creating multi-media in-store customer experiences for Fortune 500 retail brands. Prior to JJ’s, Jonathan led the Media Architecture group for Mood Media, the world’s leading provider of in-store media.

Kristin Peterson | CMO | Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

Kristin Peterson currently serves as the Chief Marketing Officer at Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, the world’s largest barbecue chain. Previously, Kristin was a Director/Team Lead at The Richards Group, the nation’s largest privately held full-service advertising and branding agency where she accrued almost two decades of experience developing and executing full funnel, multi-channel marketing campaigns for national and global brands ranging from Corona beer and Ram Trucks to MD Anderson Cancer Center. Within the restaurant industry, she has depth of experience including refreshing branding for Red Lobster, introducing Wawa in new markets, and moving Ruth’s Chris Steak House’s marketing strategy from traditional to digital.

Mike Sebazco | VP of Operations | MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes

Speaker bio coming soon!

Tom Sacco | CEO & President | Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream Parlors & Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Kitchen

Tom Sacco currently serves as the CEO, Chief Happiness Officer and President of Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream Parlors and Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Kitchen. Since joining Dynamic Restaurant Holdings, LLC. in October of 2020, Tom is guiding the nostalgic brands down a path of resurgence using his 30+ years of restaurant experience. He has brought a renewed focus to improve revenue and profit margins, and to grow the brands combined store count from 54 units to an estimated 100 locations by the end of the year 2022. He has held C-level leadership positions at a wide variety of other concepts including BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers & Brews.


Doug Sutton | President | Steritech

As president of Steritech, Doug Sutton uses his unique combination of skills, experience and insight to help industry partners rethink delivering a strong and consistent customer experience. Ever the marketer at heart, Doug also brings broad experience in sales, operations and general management. Since joining Steritech in 2014, Doug has championed shifting the status quo of the industry’s expectations on the audit experience through a consultative and programmatic philosophy. His ardent belief in the importance of a stellar customer experience continually drives his approach with industry partners.

session sponsor