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TUESDAY / OCTOBER 11, 2016 / 11:15 AM

Paying a Living Wage: Why It’s Not Impossible

Whether or not to increase the minimum wage is a hot button in the industry as restaurateurs often struggle to meet the needs of their employees without taking huge cuts to their bottom lines. This session brings together a few executives who have been able to find the right balance. They’ll share what they’ve learned so far and will also discuss a variety of other topics related to hiring and training.


David Jones | CEO & Co-Founder | Blazing Onion

David Jones is CEO & Co-Founder of the Blazing Onion, which profiles both a technology driven fast-casual restaurant as well as a full service sports lounge and new whiskey bar, making it a hybrid in the evolving fast casual segment. David has also been a Subway franchisee for over 15 years and is a strong voice in the company for franchisee rights. He serves on multiple boards/councils including Board Chair on the local Seattle/Tacoma advertising board for Subway, Vice President of the Snohomish County Softball Umpires Association and is a council member of the National Restaurant Association’s Fast Casual Industry Council.

Frank Klein | CEO and President | Asian Box

Frank Klein is CEO and President of Asian Box, a lifestyle fast casual restaurant group he co-founded. Frank cares deeply about staff engagements and in this day of heavy competition for labor provides an interesting perspective on attracting and retaining key staff. Frank has consulted with some of the biggest names in the restaurant industry and takes pride in his work also for The District of Colombia Public Schools as well as minority concession owners in The National Parks. His business endeavors focus heavily on sustainability in operations, care for the Earth’s resources and building sustainable and profitable operations with a socially conscious mindset.

John Pepper | CEO | Boloco

John Pepper is the Co-founder and CEO of Boloco, a 17-unit fast-casual restaurant chain with locations throughout New England. He is also a founder of EEApp, Inc., a technology platform built to dramatically improve the overall experience of hourly and low income workers in their place of employment. EEApp (temporary name) is currently in Beta phase at a number of restaurants in NYC and Boston. John is a co-founder and board member of restaurant chain B.Good (27 units, Boston) and Southeast Asian Noodle-focused Kigo Kitchen (2 units, Seattle). He was the Winner of the 2012 Regional Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for New England.


Mary Kay Hyde | Vice President of Marketing | HotSchedules

As Vice President of Marketing at HotSchedules, Mary Kay Hyde is responsible for driving the strategy and execution of all marketing activities. Prior to joining HotSchedules in 2011, she managed global strategic customer programs at Dell where she created and grew their Global Customer Reference Program, CIO Advisory Board and Executive Sponsor Program. The rest of her career was spent in various sales and marketing roles at Hewlett Packard and Maxim Integrated Products. Mary Kay graduated from Texas A&M University with a Master of Arts in Communications and from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Communications.

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