BREAKOUT SESSION / MONDAY / OCTOBER 14, 2019 / 9:30 AM

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.

PANELISTS

Nicolas Bernadi | Partner and Board member | La Boulangerie

Since starting his career in 2001, Nicolas has traveled the world, from his home in Paris to South Africa, eventually moving to California in 2004 to attend Stanford Business School. Combining his love of food with his head for business, Nicolas brought a subsidiary of Frial to the United States in 2006, and was able to grow the business from zero to $25mm when he sold the business 5 years later. Upon meeting Pascal Rigo in 2011, the two partnered and negotiated the sale of Rigo’s retail and wholesale operation (La Boulangerie) to Starbucks for $100mm.

James Park | CEO | Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh

James Park is CEO of Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, the leader in fast casual authentic Mediterranean cuisine. James is a savvy marketing and operations executive who champions and activates all things brand. He excels at transformational leadership by humanizing the intangibles and developing programs that are purposeful and lasting. For the past 10 years, James has served in executive leadership roles for some of the most well-established and fastest-growing concepts in the fast casual, QSR and retail environments: Which Wich, 7-Eleven and Charley’s. In addition, James’ international experience includes substantive contributions in Dubai, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, China, Venezuela and Brazil.

Steve Schulze | Co-Founder & CEO | Nékter Juice Bar

Steve Schulze is co-founder and CEO of Nékter Juice Bar. Leveraging personal savings and an SBA loan, Steve and his wife Alexis have built the company in seven years into a predominant restaurant and lifestyle brand, offering fresh, clean, nutritious juices, smoothies and acai bowls made without processed ingredients, artificial flavors, added sugars, or unnecessary fillers. With more than 80 locations in six states, over 900 employees and nearly $50 million in annual revenue, Nékter is expanding nationally through corporate and franchise growth with plans to grow to 425 restaurants by 2020. Prior to launching Nékter, Steve worked for consumer-based companies in various sales, marketing and management capacities.

MODERATOR

Zach Goldstein | Founder & CEO | Thanx

Zach Goldstein is a die-hard Sacramento Kings fan; it was through many losing seasons where he first learned the value of loyalty. He founded Thanx in 2011 with the goal of helping merchants identify, reward and retain their best customers / die-hard fans. Previously, Zach worked with retail and tech giants at Bain and Company, where he focused on customer satisfaction and retention. He received his MBA from Stanford and shivered his way to a BA at Dartmouth.

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