SUNDAY // OCTOBER 13, 2019

10:00 am | Registration opens for Food Tour participants

11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Fast Casual Food Tours

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


3:00 pm | Registration opens

5:00 pm | Opening Remarks

Cherryh Cansler | Editorial Director |

5:10 pm | Opening Keynote

6:00 – 8:00 pm | Networking

Welcome Reception

This is a great opportunity to meet some of our speakers, sponsors and your fellow attendees over hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.

  • Sponsored by Steritech

MONDAY // OCTOBER 14, 2019

7:00 am | Registration & Breakfast

8:00 am | General Session

Executive Perspectives: Inspiration for Today’s Restaurant Leaders

In this session, you will hear three short, thought-provoking talks that will leave you challenged and inspired.


9:00 am | Refreshment Break

9:30 am | Breakout Session

How Technology Advancements are Changing your Kitchen and BoH Operations

Two technological advancements are already improving restaurants around the world – robotics and adding smart technology to foodservice equipment. Both are not only changing the customer experience in the front of house but also the level of productivity and labor in the kitchen.

This session will explore how operators must embrace the kitchen of the future in order to automate meal production and to take better care of their units.

  • Sponsored by Heritage Foodservice

9:30 am | Breakout Session

Handling Workplace Diversity, Compliance and Soft Skills Training with Mobile Technology

Trying to fix a problem is much more costly than putting the training and systems in place to prevent it from occurring. This is doubly important when dealing with difficult issues like workplace diversity and gender equality in the workplace. When disasters revolve around these topics, it’s rarely clear what the point of failure was or how to fix it. Thus prevention is a must for businesses.

This session will give attendees insight and the tools needed to ensure that their workplace is a positive and inclusive environment.

  • Sponsored by PlayerLync

10:30am | Refreshment Break

11:00 am | Breakout Session

Controlling Your Marketing: Are Your Franchisees Going Rogue?

The signs and materials in all locations need to be exactly the same — except when they shouldn’t. But how do you know when to be consistent and when to allow flexibility for local market requirements? This session will help you strike the right balance between protecting your brand without stifling local-store marketing efforts.

Kathi Woolsey | Director of Business Development | Visualogistix

  • Sponsored by Visualogistix

11:00 am | Breakout Session

Get in the Delivery Game: Ways to Solve Restaurant Delivery Dilemmas

Whether it’s keeping hot food hot or ice cream frozen, this session will teach attendees how to maintain food integrity and help mitigate food safety risks. It will also focus on customer food quality expectations by sharing recommended practices for a stellar delivery experience with third-party delivery partners.

  • Sponsored by Steritech

12:00 pm | Lunch & Learn

12:45 pm | Breakout Session

Freeing Your Restaurant from Tablet Hell

Many fast casuals rely on third-party companies to help meet their delivery needs, but what should be an easy way to add an additional revenue stream can easily turn into an operations and customer experience nightmare. Orders are often lost or typed in wrong, for example, when employees have to pull orders from a tablet and manually enter them into a POS system.

This session offers advice from restaurant operators who have been to tablet hell and back.

  • Sponsored by Chowly

12:45 pm | Breakout Session

Why Follow When You Can Lead? Uncovering menu trends of 2020

Predicting the next major menu craze has always been a challenge, and as we move into a more integrated and interdependent world, customers are exploring foods and flavors from around the world, which makes it even more difficult.

This session’s experts will reveal what menu trends are most popular and where and show attendees how to apply them to their menus.

  • Sponsored by Lamb Weston

1:45 pm | Refreshment Break

2:15 pm | 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.


3:30 pm | Refreshment Break

4:00 pm | Breakout Session

How Adding Experiences to Your Restaurant Can Increase Traffic

Whether it’s beer yoga, video games and tacos or offering painting lessons with your pizza, experiential dining is one trend that can’t be ignored.

This session will teach attendees how to use these events to upgrade a quick dinner to an all-night event that leads to increased check spend and customer loyalty.

Experts will also share how to use technology to best market those experiences to ensure that your customers can find you whenever and wherever they are.

  • Sponsored by Yext

4:00 pm | Breakout Session

No (Marketing) Money, No Problem!

It’s true that small or emerging brands can’t afford to compete on the same level with the big brands when it comes to advertising, but the good news is that they don’t need to try. In today’s social media landscape, nearly any brand can create a lot of buzz with very little money.

This session will show you far a little creativity and ingenuity can take you.

  • Sponsored by Buxton

6:30 – 10:00 pm | Dinner Party

SPIN Austin

After a full day of informative and inspiring sessions, get ready for an evening of great food, conversation and fun at SPIN, Austin’s first ever ping pong social club!

This private dinner party is included with your Summit registration at no additional cost. Transportation will be provided. Please wear your badge.

  • Sponsored by 7shifts


7:30 am | Breakfast

8:00 am | General Session

The Perfect Pitch

Following a global contest, six concepts will be 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 a $5,000 prize!


8:30 am | General Session

The Perfect Pitch

Following a global contest, three concepts will be selected to be part of The Perfect Pitch. Listen and learn as entrepreneurs pitch their fast casual concepts to a panel of distinguished investors and consultants who will provide on-the-spot advice.

  • Sponsored by Lamb Weston

9:45 am | Refreshment Break

10:05 am | Breakout Session

Taking the Temperature of Fraud: Protecting Your Brand in the Rise of Mobile Ordering

Online ordering can no doubt increase sales, but it also has opened new ways for fraudsters to steal from you or disrupt your business.

Unlike traditional browsing and access via a computer, mobile devices introduce many new elements that complicate the user verification process. This session will arm attendees with all the info they need in order to protect their customers and their businesses.

  • Sponsored by PAR

10:05 am | Breakout Session

Session Topic To Be Announced Soon

  • Sponsored by Thanx

11:05 am | Refreshment Break

11:25 am | Breakout Session

What the Heck Does ‘Fast Casual’ Mean These Days, and Does it Even Matter?

When the term “fast casual” emerged more than 20 years ago, it was used to describe a restaurant brand that offered higher-quality food in a more upscale setting but didn’t use servers. As the popularity of “fast casual” concepts increased over the years, other sectors, including casual dining and QSRs, have changed everything from their menus to service models in an effort to stay competitive.

Today, the line is blurry, but does it even matter to customers?

  • Sponsored by Toast

11:25 am | Breakout Session

Session Topic To Be Announced Soon

12:25 pm | Lunch & Learn

1:10 pm | Breakout Session

Are You Ready For Happy Hour?

Adding alcohol to the menu can be a great way to attract new customers and entice people to stay longer, which both lead to sales increases. It also means spending more time and money on the frontend applying for permits and ensuring employees are licensed and trained properly.

This session will help attendees develop an alcohol program in which the benefits outweigh the cost and/or give them tips on deciding when serving booze is really worth the headache.

1:10 pm | Breakout Session

Women in the Lead: How the Restaurant Industry is Benefitting by Embracing Female Executives

It’s no secret that the restaurant industry has been slow to offer c-level positions to females, but that’s changing. More women than ever are holding leading fast casual brands as chefs, CEO and vice presidents, and this panel brings several of them together to discuss how the restaurant culture can be even more inclusive.

Janene Hoelig | Executive Chef/VP of Operations | Hot Indian Foods
Robin Robison | VP of Operations | Modern Market

2:10 pm | Refreshment Break

2:30 pm | Breakout Session

Waste Not: Should Restaurants Take Responsibility for Minimizing Waste?

Restaurants are clearly responsible for a lot of waste. They serve food in plastic bowls, lids, cups, forks and straws to millions of people every day, which end up in landfills for hundreds of years. But plastic straws became the enemy in 2018, despite only making up 4 percent of all plastic usage. Did straws get a bad wrap?

And who decides how to hold brands accountable for the waste they’re causing? Those are just a couple of many questions that restaurants execs will take on during this panel.

It will not only identify several brands making a positive impact on the environment but will also give inexpensive ways for restaurants to reduce plastic, waste and energy.

Janani Lee | Chief Sustainability Officer | Just Salad

2:30 pm | Breakout Session

Session Topic To Be Announced Soon

3:30 pm | Refreshment Break

3:45 pm | General Session

CEO Roundtable / State of Industry

This panel packed with fast casual CEOs will talk about important issues restaurant operators face today and what it will take to succeed in 2020 and beyond.


5:00 pm | Summit adjourns

Agenda and speakers are subject to change.


Register two attendees and get a third registration at no additional cost!