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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.

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.


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.

session sponsor