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Creating the Ultimate Workforce

While the restaurant industry employs more than 14 million people, the competition for finding and retaining the best of the best never ends. Hear from three executives who have mastered the art of finding, training and retaining talent.


Steve Erickson | President | PDQ Restaurants

Stephen Erickson serves as Principal, Executive Vice President of Sales & Franchise Relations for the award-winning PDQ restaurant brand, which currently operates 62 locations in 11 states. Erickson has overseen all aspects of the operation, including launching the first restaurant in Tampa, Florida in October of 2011. He has played a major role in creating an environment for team members and guests that embodies PDQ’s creed: People Dedicated to Quality. Erickson managed virtually every other aspect of the day-to-day operations of the brand, including marketing, operations, public relations, purchasing, and research and development.

Frank Klein | Founder & CEO | Asian Box

Frank Klein is Founder and CEO of Asian Box, a lifestyle fast casual restaurant group. Asian Box focuses on a more healthful yet massively flavorful and authentic Vietnamese food experience. Founded with his fine dining partners “The Box” as it is known tries to nail that $10 price point by exceeding expectations. Based in California Klein plans to take Asian Box national in the coming years. Prior to founding Asian Box Frank started FK Restaurants & Hospitality. There he consulted with some of the biggest names in the restaurant industry and takes special pride in his work also for The District of Colombia Public Schools as well as for minority concession owners in The National Parks.

David Littlefield | Director of Hospitality and Training | Billy Sims BBQ

As the newly appointed Director of Hospitality & Training, David Littlefield trains Billy Sims BBQ franchisee and company-owned management and crew on his proprietary formula for creating powerful and productive hospitality environments. David is the founder and creator of the Hospitality Personality Training Program and Hospitality Feedback, which he has begun implementing at Billy Sims BBQ. His Hospitality Personality Training Program is intended to motivate customer service professionals to think positively, work creatively and respond to guest’s needs with enthusiasm and passion. David’s reputation as a motivator and trainer has provided him the opportunity to earn his exemplary reputation as a turn-around specialist.

Andrei Stern | Partner, CFO | SuViche

Andrei Stern is an entrepreneur and businessman with a focus on financial and strategic decision-making. Stern is Partner and CFO at SuViche Group, a multi-brand Hospitality company that owns and operates restaurants in South Florida. Andrei focuses on evaluating funding opportunities and securing capital for the business while developing long-term relationships with investors. Stern has been able to increase the profitability of the Group to levels well above industry standards thanks to the processes he has established since co-founding the company in 2010.


Scott Absher | Co-Founder & CEO | ShiftPixy

Scott Absher, Co-Founder and CEO of ShiftPixy, brings over 25 years of expertise in Human Capital Management strategy and support for small business. Scott has had significant exposure to the unique challenges and pressures restaurant and hospitality operators face and offers a unique insight as to the origins of and new approaches to meeting these new challenges. Scott will address the strategy that drives ShiftPixy’s leverage of leading edge technology to help its operator clients navigate today’s human capital realities.

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