GENERAL SESSION / MONDAY / OCTOBER 14, 2019 / 8:00 AM
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.
Full Court Press on Food Halls
Bryan & Caleb Lewis | Founders | Press Waffle Co.
When Founder & President Bryan Lewis was traveling across Europe with his fiance in the summer of 2013, they encountered the Liege waffle for the first time. Upon returning to Dallas, they could not find them anywhere, so Bryan set out to do it on his own. With no culinary background, he tinkered in the kitchen for over a year before he had perfected the recipe. With a desire to share his waffles with everyone he knew (and more!), Press Waffle Co. was born. When Bryan’s brother, Caleb, moved home from college, they began dreaming and planning their business and after a successful Kickstarter Campaign, finally founded Press Waffle Co. as a food truck in 2016. Press Waffle Co. opened its first permanent storefront in late 2017 and now operates 3 company owned stores, with plans for more this year.
I’m back from HELL — Opening a new restaurant in the age of social media
Antonio Swad | Founder & CEO | Porch Swing
A veteran restauranteur, Antonio Swad is the founder and CEO of Porch Swing Restaurants. He opened its doors on February 18, 2019. He is also well-known for having founded and sold two chains, when each was around the 100 unit mark, Wingstop Restaurants, now publicly-held, and the Pizza Patrón chain. Antonio created Porch Swing to fill a void in the market. It is a full service concept that delivers a whole new category to the food service industry – “Polished Comfort Food”. The restaurant has refined the most revered southern classics that are slow-cooked, of the highest quality ingredients and labor intensive and serves them up quickly.
The Green Standard
Janani Lee | Chief Sustainability Officer | Just Salad
Janani Lee is Chief Sustainability Officer at Just Salad, home of the World’s Largest Restaurant Reusable program. A 2013 graduate of New York University’s MA program in Food Studies, Lee has developed an extensive background in food systems, food technology, and sustainable agriculture in the health and wellness space. Since joining the Just Salad team in 2018, Lee has expanded on Just Salad’s existing sustainability efforts and continuously prospects new sustainability opportunities across all aspects of business. Lee lives in Brooklyn and enjoys weekend shopping at the farmers market.
Jaron Waldman | Co-Founder & CEO | Rakuten Ready
Jaron Waldman is the co-Founder and CEO of Curbside, whose platform connects bricks and mortar stores and restaurants for frictionless mobile commerce. Curbside was acquired by Rakuten in 2018 and now operates as a Rakuten company. Jaron previously led Apple’s Geo team which built location-based services that are deployed on hundreds of millions of Apple devices globally. Apple acquired Jaron’s previous company Placebase in 2009. Jaron holds degrees from the University of Toronto and UCLA.