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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.

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BRAND MANAGEMENT | Streamlining Your Marketing Supply Chain

Sharing ideas on how to streamline, manage and get more efficiencies out of your marketing supply chain.


BUSINESS DINING | Fast Casual + Business Diners = Big Business

Companies spend more than $60 billion in U.S. restaurants each year. In fact, two-thirds of business meals are purchased outside an employee’s home market, many at fast casual restaurants. However, the business diner comes in a variety of forms such as a traveling road warrior who needs breakfast, lunch and dinner, a corporate meeting event planner arranging for private group dinners, an administrative assistant routinely catering in-office meals, or a sales executive taking prospects or clients out for an important business meal. Business diners are the ideal customer for fast casual establishments, especially traveling road warriors. They primarily visit mid-week ordering high-margin menu items and spend 25-100% more than the average consumer ticket. Since they are using their company credit card and spending company money, they are not price sensitive and not influenced by traditional marketing offers. Find out how you can cash in on this lucrative guest.


BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE | Using Competitive Intelligence to Win Your Market

In this session, we will discuss and explore how retailers and restaurants can leverage competitive intelligence to boost their businesses. Having direct insights into how your business tracks against your competition is key to developing winning strategies. Knowing if your recent ad campaigns helped to grow market share or even understanding if the overall market was up or down in a given week, informs new strategies and tactics for your business.


CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE | Disciplines that Improve Your Customer’s Experience

With much hype taking place around delivering compelling experiences, it feels like everyone is focused on it as a way to stand out from the crowd. While most brands say customer experience is a top priority, shockingly few have a disciplined approach to understanding and improving what customers truly love about them. Our table will share practical advice and discuss the best practices for uncovering and improving the consumer experience.


DIGITAL SIGNAGE | Engage Your Customers With Digital Signage

Digital Signage offers numerous benefits to QSRs that static signage simply cannot. Digital content engages customers, reduces perceived wait time and increases order efficiency. Employees are able to quickly update content online, which frees up valuable resources and allows for effortless content changes throughout the day to show promotional messaging which in turn increases upsell revenue. This session will focus on how to create a successful digital signage network, ensuring your digital signage content is optimized to provide the biggest impact.


FRANCHISEES | Driving Franchisee Engagement to Outperform the Competition

In today’s restaurant world, franchisee performance is the difference between a mediocre showing and a brand that consistently wins against the competition. Is your organization set up to engage franchisees and create a culture that inspires their best efforts? In this session, we’ll go deep on what engagement means for a franchised organization and explain how you can get better results.

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IT NETWORK | Why a Flexible Network is Key to Consistent Customer Experience

The reality on the ground is every restaurant location is different. Each contains different network infrastructure, legacy systems and many siloed applications. What ties all these locations together is the objective of creating a consistent, engaging and trusted brand experience across restaurants. In this session, we will discuss pragmatic approaches to meeting this objective in the face of changing customer expectations, dynamic and increasing security threats, greater margin pressure and little to no IT staff in remote sites.


INNOVATION | Reimagining the Dining Experience

From social marketing, online reviews, mobile ordering and delivery – every restaurant operator is rushing to outpace on digital engagement. There is undeniable value in mobile and online optimization. But then the real question is: how do you use these technologies to make your guests feel special? Is it possible to reimagine the guest experience and woo your digital diner into your restaurant? How do we create the warm, welcoming experience that recalls the theme song from Cheers, “Where Everybody Knows Your Name”? During this brain exchange, we will explore ideas for reinventing the dining experience to create a competitive differentiator and entice today’s fast-paced, self-service diner into your restaurant.


MENUS | How to Design an Innovative Menu

Restaurateurs put a lot of time into the balancing of creating new menu options to excite adventurous customers while not alienating others, who prefer their routine orders. We’ll not only to discuss how to master this conundrum but will also focus on the innovative flavors of 2018 and beyond.


MESSAGING | The Mobile Marketer’s Dilemma: SMS/MMS vs. Push vs. Beacons

Most marketers, if not all, have mobilized their email and made a mobile version of their site and app already, but driving ongoing engagement still seems to elude them. In this roundtable discussion, our panel of industry we’ll share key mobile engagement challenges and how industry leaders have solved them with SMS/MMS, push or beacon-based messaging. Marketers will learn from real world examples when each of these channels is most effective. This discussion will arm you to answer your CMO the next time he/she asks which mobile engagement tactics you need to focus your limited budget upon.


MOBILE ORDERING | App Based Order Ahead Best Practices

McDonalds and Starbucks are cashing in on the order ahead trend with new apps that drive loyalty and volume. Fulfillment options are being added like curbside pickup and delivery. This discussion will explore the latest in order ahead experiences, the technologies behind these programs and what is next for the industry, as customers reward food and beverage chains that offer them.


ONLINE ORDERING | Working with the Grubhubs of the World

Third-party ordering and delivery systems such as Gruhub, UberEATS, ChowNow and DoorDash are an integral part of a modern restaurant’s business plan. We will talk about the opportunities and challenges in working with third-party online ordering platforms (TOOS).


REVIEWS | How to Get More Five-Star Reviews

We will discuss the many ways that you can utilize your existing systems/processes to capture more five star reviews from your customers.

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SOCIAL MEDIA | How Restaurants Can Scale Social Media For Success

Franchises spend countless time and money trying to efficiently maintain their brand image and customer conversations across multiple locations and accounts on social media. Discover what they’re doing wrong, how it directly impacts their business, and how you can do it better today.


STAFFING | The Changing Landscape of Recruitment

Creating a positive candidate and employee experience has a dramatic impact on your business. Technology innovation along with brand awareness has changed how companies recruit and retain their employees to build a strong team. How is your company adapting to the new landscape?


TRAINING | Modern Learning – Fusing Training with Daily Operations to Get Better Results

Work and learning are merging. Due to mobile technologies and the benefits of video, training away from the job as a separate exercise is being replaced by more interactive, micro-learning techniques that provide users with varied benefits. As companies faced challenges with employee engagement, acquiring talent, increasing productivity while lowering costs and evolving with rapidly changing market dynamics, new forms of learning are presenting game changing possibilities. Bersin by Deloitte has coined the term Guided Adaptation and defines it as “The extent to which the organization is able to provide employees with data, knowledge, and guidance needed to continuously improve performance.” Per Bersin, the results of bringing learning into the work process is a dramatic increase in business outcomes and stronger learner experiences. PlayerLync will lead a discussion to explore what’s practically working or not within Fast Casual companies.


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