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AGENDA

SUNDAY // OCTOBER 3, 2021

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 Charlotte’s top local fast casual restaurants.

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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.

Tours include:

Austin Daily Press
Baby Greens
Bird Bird Biscuit
Chi’Lantro
Corner Bakery Cafe
Freebirds World Burrito
Kitchen United
MezzeMe
Nékter Juice Bar
Newk’s Eatery
Paperboy
Pokeatery
Tarka Indian Kitchen
True Food Kitchen
Velvet Taco
  • Sponsored by Kitchen United
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3:00 pm | Registration opens

5:00 pm | Opening Remarks

Cherryh Cansler | VP of Editorial | Networld Media Group

5:10 pm | Opening Keynote

Session Topic – Coming Soon!

  • Sponsored by 7shifts

5:10 pm | Opening Keynote

Why Companies That Innovate on People and Talent Will Win

Companies that innovate will be successful, but companies that innovate on people and talent will win. If you have the talent piece in place, your brand can thrive in an age where every company in every industry is disrupting or transforming their category. As a long-established successful fast-casual brand, Panera has been on a transformation journey of its own, underscored by investments in technology—to seamlessly integrate digital ordering platforms, Rapid Pick-Up and delivery services—as well as its commitment to clean and healthy ingredients. A pivotal part of that journey, for every company, is attracting both customers and top talent to carry the brand into the future.

PRESENTER:
Karen Kelley | SVP, Chief Restaurant Operations Officer | Panera Bread

  • Sponsored by 7shifts

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Karen Kelley
SVP, Chief Restaurant Operations Officer
Panera Bread

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.

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MONDAY // OCTOBER 4, 2021

7:00 am | Registration & Breakfast

7:40 am | Breakfast Briefing

Data Gravity

PRESENTER:
Charles Fuhrmann | Lead, Enterprise Services | Square

  • Sponsored by Square

PRESENTER 

Charles Fuhrmann
Lead, Enterprise Services
Square

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.

Presenters:

Discussion Topic – Coming Soon!
Landon Eckles | Co-Founder & CEO | Clean Juice
Kat Eckles | Co-Founder & Chief Branding Officer | Clean Juice

Discussion Topic – Coming Soon!
Benson Tsai | CEO & Co-Founder | Stellar Pizza

  • Sponsored by Thanx
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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.

Presenters:

Surviving Uncertain Times by Being Change Ready
Jeff Fenster | Founder & CEO | Everbowl

Social Media – The Impact It Can Have on Your Business Positive/Negative
Samantha Rincione | Founder, CEO & COO | CRAVE Franchising

The Power Of Or: Choosing And Doing What Matters Most
Joe Thornton | Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer | HMSHost

What Starbucks and Chick-fil-A Are Doing So Differently
Philipp Sitter | CEO | VIPinsiders
Christopher Chomenko | VP of Sales | VIPinsiders

  • Sponsored by VIPinsiders
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9:00 am | Refreshment Break

9:30 am | Breakout Session

Tech Talk: The Future of Contactless and Online Ordering

Although the industry was embracing online ordering and contactless delivery, the onset of COVID-19 sped up adoption. What was once considered “nice to have” quickly turned into a “must have” for any restaurant hoping to do business during the pandemic.

Now that the pandemic is less of a worry, however, are these technology upgrades still necessary? If so, which platforms are best, and how does a restaurant with a small budget decide how and where to invest.

Attendees will not only learn the answers to these questions but also hear experts weigh in on what other customer experience technologies are coming soon.

Panelists:
Justin Bartek | Marketing Director | bushi by JINYA
Sean Kennedy | President & CEO | Cowboy Chicken
Julio Ramirez | CEO | BurgerFi

  • Sponsored by Toast

9:30 am | Breakout Session

Is Your Supply Chain Broken?

The supply chain is one of the most important aspects of a successful operations model, but too often restaurants make mistakes, which end up losing them money. This session will reveal several ways that attendees may save those dollars, including tips on supply chain management, master distribution agreements, managed produce and contracts.

They’ll learn how to identify overcharges, maximize contract utilization, upgrade management reporting and maximize rebate dollars.

Panelists:
Nour Rabai | Founder & CEO | PITA Mediterranean Street Food
Samir Wattar | COO | Layne’s Chicken Fingers

  • Sponsored by Consolidated Concepts

9:30 am | Breakout Session

Sustainability Made Easy

Customers expect their favorite restaurant brands to be as green as possible without diluting food quality or the customer experience.

This session will show attendees how to identify easy fixes to reduce waste as well as give creative tips on how to not only train employees but inspire them to want to do their parts in reducing the brand’s carbon footprint.

Panelists:
Adam Chose | COO | Alder-Tek Manufacturing
Landon Eckles | Co-Founder & CEO | Clean Juice
Sandra Noonan | Chief Sustainability Officer | Just Salad
Gregg Rozeboom | Founder & CEO | Fruitive

Moderator:
Cherryh Cansler | VP of Editorial | Networld Media Group

  • Sponsored by Alder-Tek Manufacturing

9:30 am | Breakout Session

We’re Living in a Mobile Revolution

It may sound dramatic to call these times that we are living in a mobile revolution, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

As we see more technology and disruption in the restaurant market, brands must continue to adjust accordingly. Where restaurants used to only focus on their menus, physical environments and the experience created there, they now must become experts in technology and in creating experiences for guests who may never set foot in a physical restaurant.

This session will teach attendees how to do just that.

Panelists:
Kelly Roddy | CEO | Saladworks
Steve Schulze | Co-Founder & CEO | Nékter Juice Bar
Bill Valentas | CFO | Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers

Moderator:
Brian Whitney | VP, Restaurants | Appetize

  • Sponsored by Appetize

10:30 am | Refreshment Break

11:00 am | Breakout Session

Using AI to Build Customer-Specific Marketing Campaigns

Restaurants must not only be experts when it comes to food but also in delighting customers. Today’s customer experience extends across platforms, whether that’s dining on-premises or ordering something for delivery off-premises.

That means having a stronger understanding of your customers and providing personalized marketing campaigns in addition to live one-to-one experiences. This can only be accomplished when artificial intelligence and machine learning are used properly.

Experts in this session will discuss how they use AI and ML to drive individual actions, as well as the campaigns that build loyalty.

Panelists:
Scott Johnson | VP Head of Marketing | Smashburger

Moderator:
Kristin Lynch | Director Data Insights, Restaurants | Paytronix

  • Sponsored by Paytronix

11:00 am | Breakout Session

Enhancing Off-premise Operations to Build Customer Trust

Although consumers were starting to embrace delivery and carry-out options by the beginning of 2020, the pandemic accelerated the off-premise trend and forced operators to adjust their business models to win in this new normal.

They not only had to lean into technology to help them offer contactless experiences, but they also implemented strict hygiene and food safety protocols in hopes of gaining customer trust.

This session features restaurant leaders sharing those journeys. They’ll discuss what companies they partnered with and why, how much they invested and what they’d do differently.

Panelists:
Tom Ferguson Jr. | CEO | Rise Southern Biscuits & Righteous Chicken
Tinku Saini | CEO & Co-Founder | Tarka Indian Kitchen
Andy Wiederhorn | President & CEO | FAT Brands

  • Sponsored by Tork

12:00 pm | Lunch & Learn

Session Topic – Coming Soon!

  • Sponsored by Middleby Corporation

12:00 pm | Lunch & Learn

You Want to Cook Where?

PRESENTER:
Scott Heim | Divisional President | Evo, Inc.

  • Sponsored by Middleby Corporation

PRESENTER 

Scott Heim
Divisional President
Evo, Inc.

12:45 pm | Breakout Session

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.

12:45 pm | Breakout Session

How AI Changes the Customer Experience

Remember the days when self-order kiosks, themselves, were new and exciting? Those days are long gone as today’s models include a variety of upgrades driven by artificial intelligence. Think facial recognition, voice ordering and fingerprint and palm scanners, all of which can be used to not only enhance the customer’s ordering experience but to also manage loyalty programs.

This session will offer an overview of how feasible these technologies are today.

Panelists:
Todd Madlener | President & COO | Coolgreens

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.

Brain Exchange Topics:
• CATERING
• COST SAVINGS | Sponsored by: ServiceChannel
• DELIVERY
• FOOD SAFETY
• FRANCHISING
• INNOVATION/TECH
• LOYALTY
• MARKETING
• MENU TRENDS
• MOBILE | Sponsored by: Appetize
• PERFORMANCE METRICS | Sponsored by: Decision Logic
• STAFFING

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3:30 pm | Energy Break

4:00 pm | Breakout Session

How to Build a Solid Virtual Business

Ghost kitchens are one of the industry’s hottest trends, so this session explores how three established brands have incorporated ghost kitchens into their operations models.

They’ll not only talk about why they decided to embrace the trend so early but also reveal the partnerships they’ve made and the technology required to run a successful virtual business.

Lastly, they’ll share their outlook on the future of ghost kitchens and contactless delivery as well as a few other upcoming trends in operations.

Panelists:
Geoff Alexander | CEO | Wow Bao
Otto Othman | CEO & Co-Founder | PINCHO
Jason Valentine | President & COO | Zoup! Eatery

4:00 pm | Breakout Session

How to Cruise Through Drive-thru Remodels

Finding a drive-thru lane at a fast casual restaurant used to be rare, but they are becoming more commonplace as customers demand contactless pick-up points. This session will feature executives who have incorporated drive-thrus into their business models.

They’ll talk about how to ensure a good ROI as well as pitfalls to avoid.

Panelists:
Tabassum Zalotrawala | Chief Development Officer | Chipotle Mexican Grill

6:30 – 9:30 pm | Offsite Event

NASCAR Hall of Fame

After a full day of informative and inspiring sessions, get ready for an evening of great food, conversation and fun at the NASCAR Hall of Fame!

Boogity, boogity, boogity! Enjoy an evening at the home of legends and explore the history of NASCAR. Uncover new stories and get in on the action at every turn with more than 50 interactive experiences. Get behind the wheel of an iRacing simulator on your favorite track or see if you have what it takes to make the team in our Pit Crew Challenge. Hear intimate, never-before-told stories of the past.

You’ll get to experience it all and have fun with fellow Summit attendees as we will have exclusive access to the NASCAR Hall of Fame!

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

  • Sponsored by 7shifts

6:30 – 9:30 pm | Offsite Event

Dinner Party

After a full day of informative and inspiring sessions, get ready for an evening of great food, conversation and fun!

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

  • Sponsored by 7shifts
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TUESDAY // OCTOBER 5, 2021

7:30 am | Breakfast

9:40 am | Morning Briefing

What Starbucks and Chick-fil-A Are Doing So Differently

Learn how the biggest brands are cutting their marketing costs, increasing their revenue, and communicating directly with their raving fans through the power of their own mobile rewards strategy.

Presenter:
Philipp Sitter | CEO | VIPinsiders

  • Sponsored by VIPinsiders

PRESENTER

Philipp Sitter
CEO
VIPinsiders

8:00 am | General Session

The Perfect Pitch

Following a global contest, five 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 a $3,500 prize!

Nominate your brand today!
Deadline: June 30, 2021

  • Sponsored by Henny Penny
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8:00 am | General Session

The Perfect Pitch

Following a global contest, six 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 a $5,000 prize!

2019 Finalists:
Due’ Cucina Italiana
Karma Farm
Puli-Ra
Roll Play
Royals Hot Chicken
Sweet Carrot

Advisers:
Massimo De Marco | Chief Culinary Officer | Kitchen United
Josh Goldin | Founder & Managing Partner | Alliance Consumer Growth
Kathleen Wood | Founder & CEO | Kathleen Wood Partners | Suzy’s Swirl

Moderator:
Jason Moles | Senior Brand Manager | Henny Penny

  • Sponsored by Henny Penny
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9:45 am | Refreshment Break

10:05 am | Breakout Session

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.

Panelists:
Tony Darden | President & COO | MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes
Kristin Peterson | CMO | Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
Mike Sebazco | VP of Operations | MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes
Tom Sacco | CEO & President | Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream Parlors & Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Kitchen

10:05 am | Breakout Session

Eating Out Again: Restaurant Insights for Marketing in the New Normal

The pandemic of 2020 clearly affected when, where and how consumers source food, along with how they will engage with restaurants going forward. As brands seek to activate more guests, what should marketing look like in this post-pandemic era? Has the customer path-to-purchase changed? How can brands make their comeback stronger than the setback?

The pandemic of 2020 clearly affected when, where and how consumers source food, along with how they will engage with restaurants going forward. As brands seek to activate more guests, what should marketing look like in this post-pandemic era? Has the customer path-to-purchase changed? How can brands make their comeback stronger than the setback?

This panel will address these questions and more by showcasing new, survey-based research report findings. In this session, we will provide a fascinating glimpse into the consumer “value equation” and the role that Incentive Marketing should have in your media strategy. Discussion topics to include:

    • How restaurants can best engage consumers at this moment
    • How incentive marketing can drive post-pandemic behavior and play a major role in enticing new – or lapsed – guests
    • How urgency marketing gives marketers tools to support shifts toward app purchases and brand loyalty

Panelists:
Matt Lukosavich | Sr. Client Strategy Manager – Restaurant | Vericast
C.J. Ramirez | SVP of Marketing | Dog Haus

Moderator:
Cherryh Cansler | VP of Editorial | Networld Media Group

  • Sponsored by Vericast

11:05 am | Refreshment Break

11:25 am | Breakout Session

Is It Time for an Upgrade?

Although it may seem like up-and-coming brands have an edge when it comes to featuring the latest design trends and technology advancements, legacy brands don’t have to look outdated.

This session will feature execs from older brands that have recently remodeled or redesigned their customer experience from new layouts and decor to logos to hybrid service models.

Panelists:
Jim Butler | President | Jon Smith Subs

11:25 am | Breakout Session

Leaning Into Modernized Loyalty to Drive Digital Acceleration

Establishing an emotional connection between your brand and customers is the height of marketing success, but achieving it is complex.

This session will feature operators using technology to deliver frictionless interactions that exceed customers’ expectations, increase their visit frequency and spend and drive the advanced loyalty your brand craves.

  • Sponsored by Cheetah Digital

12:25 pm | Lunch & Learn

Session Topic – Coming Soon!

  • Sponsored by Punchh
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1:10 pm | Breakout Session

Fueling Up Your Bottomline with Beverage Innovation

By incorporating and promoting new and interesting beverages, restaurants have been able to quench customers’ thirst and appeal to new customers and different dayparts. Fast Casuals can take this a step further by energizing their customers through beverage innovation. With a stimulating 10.5% increase in energy drink and caffeine-infused beverage sales and a high rate of ongoing consumption by nearly half of the of-age US population, restaurant operators are keeping pace by incorporating energizing beverages into their menus.

This session will feature brands that are exploring beverage innovations from ready to drink-to-options and craft cocktails to shakes and smoothies.

  • Sponsored by Red Bull

1:10 pm | Breakout Session

Using SMS Marketing to Build Diner Loyalty and Drive Repeat Orders!

Over 90% of consumers say they’d be open to signing up to receive text messages from businesses—and 55% have already done so. For food and beverage marketers, this presents a valuable opportunity to engage diners where they’re already browsing for their next meal: on their mobile devices.

In this session, you’ll learn how top food, beverage, and restaurant brands are using SMS marketing to connect with local customers, build diner loyalty, and increase online orders.

  • Sponsored by Attentive

2:10 pm | Energy Break

2:30 pm | Breakout Session

2:30 pm | Breakout Session

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 2022 and beyond.

Panelists:
Peter Boylan III | President | Ballard Brands & IdEATion Hospitality
Jim Holthouser | CEO | FOCUS Brands
Dan Simpson | CEO | Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe
Susan Taylor | President & CEO | Juice It Up!

  • Sponsored by Dosh
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5:00 pm | Summit concludes

Agenda and speakers are subject to change.

TAKE YOUR TEAM TO THE SUMMIT

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