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MONDAY / OCTOBER 10, 2016 / 4:00 PM

How to Run a Restaurant in the Digital Age

Twenty-five percent of restaurants will fail in the first year of opening, according to a 10-year joint research project conducted between Cornell University & Michigan State University. It also found, however, that brands that embrace technology have a much better success rate. This panel will introduce attendees to a variety of technological tools that have previously been available only to big chains. Whether it’s in marketing, inventory, employee management, or any aspect of your business, the right technology will help you increase revenue, drive down costs, give you more time with your customers, and generally equip you with the data you need to succeed.


Karen Porter | Vice President of Marketing | Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt

With more than 20 years of marketing and sales experience for the restaurant, high tech and hospitality industries, Karen Porter leads her team and several agencies to conceptualize and implement local and national market strategies for Orange Leaf’s global brand, which encompasses more than 300 stores. At Orange Leaf, Karen manages market research and planning, and provides strategic direction for promotions, advertising, digital and social media communications strategies, public relations and franchisee communications. Previously, Karen was the Director of Marketing at Destination Hotels overseeing the hospitality, real estate and resort development marketing programs and budgets for Suncadia resort, a 6,400-acre resort community in the Pacific Northwest.

Mike Speck | COO | The Halal Guys

Mike Speck is a 25 year restaurant operations and training veteran, who recently joined The Halal Guys as their COO, after the brand’s decision to launch a worldwide franchise program. His previous experience includes VP of HR and Training for Qdoba Mexican Grill, as well as various HR and operations positions in company and franchisee roles with brands like Cici’s Pizza, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Boston Market and Einstein Bagels. Mike has also served as a past chairman for the National Restaurant Association HR Executive Group.


Joel Doherty | Head of Global Strategy & Business Dev. | EPSON

As a seasoned technology and business development executive, Joel is focused on the effective deployment of relevant technology solutions in the hospitality and retail markets. He has street level experience as an entrepreneur having developed one of the largest POS companies in Canada, and was founder of a market leading data analytics company, Livelenz that provided real-time analytics to over 10,000 restaurants on behalf of Subway, Arby’s and a handful of other QSR brands. Today Joel is responsible for setting the global strategy and business direction for EPSON’s OmniLink Merchant Services or “cloud” initiative.