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FastCasual seeking nominations for 2024 Perfect Pitch

20 MAY 2024

Nominations close June 30.

FastCasual producing restaurant catering workshop with Erle Dardick’s OPGA

2 MAY 2024

The Restaurant Catering Workshop will provide a blueprint for restaurant operators focused on catapulting catering sales.

Dave’s Hot Chicken, Biscuit Belly leaders share operations advice

5 JAN 2023

Top restaurant brand leaders at Dave’s Hot Chicken and Biscuit Belly provide insight on everything from growing a brand to smart hiring approaches during a session at the recent Fast Casual Executive Summit.

Assessing restaurant tech stack saves money, reduces management tasks

15 DEC 2023

Restaurant technology is great but sometimes a brand can amass a tech stack that’s proving to be expensive and hard to manage. Learn how minimization and embracing one-stop tech platforms can save money and time.

Embracing AI without killing the restaurant budget

21 NOV 2023

Leaders from Five Guys, BurgerFi, Papa Johns and Primanti Bros. shared how their brands are embracing AI without breaking the bank in a Fast Casual Executive Summit panel sponsored by Upside.

Rethinking restaurant customer engagement, loyalty strategies

13 NOV 2023

A panel talk on loyalty programs at the recent Fast Casual Executive Summit featured Bob Andersen, president of The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill; Jon Asher, CMO of Nekter Juice Bar; Josh Halpern, CEO at Big Chicken and Sara Kear, CMO at Condado Tacos.

WOWorks, Craveworthy Brands, Cousins Maine Lobster execs talk menu optimization, strategy

11 NOV 2023

Adam Terranova, senior director of growth for WOWorks, Jeremy Theisen, chief growth and development officer at Craveworthy Brands and Annie Tselikis, director for marketing and franchise sales for Cousins Main Lobster, discuss menu optimization to speed up service.

Capriotti’s, Wing Zone, Swamp Dawg, Goodcents execs talk growth with lean teams

30 OCT 2023

Restaurant labor shortages have become a pervasive issue, affecting both corporate and store-level operations. Three restaurant executives discussed labor issues and how tech can help at the Fast Casual Executive Summit in October.

Haven Hot Chicken wins The Perfect Pitch at the Fast Casual Executive Summit 2023

16 OCT 2023

Haven Hot Chicken won The Perfect Pitch concept competition at the Fast Casual Executive Summit in Louisville, Kentucky on Oct. 9.

How diversity became Shake Shack’s key ingredient

10 OCT 2023

Shake Shack set big goals for diversity. At the Fast Casual Executive Summit, Idris Stover, director of diversity, equity inclusion and engagement, discussed how the restaurant made it work.

Scooter’s Coffee exec: ‘The whole point of innovation is growth’

9 OCT 2023

Nathan Lester, senior director, drive-thru innovations for Scooter’s Coffee, spoke about pairing innovation and growth during the keynote address kicking off the Fast Casual Executive Summit in Louisville, Kentucky on Oct. 8.

Smashburger, Woworks, Craveworthy leaders revealing menu optimization tips

5 OCT 2023

Optimizing menus across channels is one of the most important tools restaurants have when it comes to increasing customer satisfaction. Happy customers equal higher check spend and more frequent visits, which is why a group of fast casual experts is revealing how menu optimization can yield a high ROI when done correctly.

Fast casual execs talk deploying AI when budgets are tight

23 AUG 2023

Cutting costs, reducing errors, improving customer satisfaction and enhancing the customer experience are just a few benefits of incorporating artificial intelligence into operations, but upgrading systems isn’t always affordable.

Introducing FastCasual’s 2023 Perfect Pitchers

9 AUG 2023

Founders of Haven Hot Chicken, Mahana Fresh, Pizzawala, Pucci Brothers Fresh Italian and Sankranti Indian Kitchen will take the stage on Oct. 9 to pitch their concepts to FCES attendees.

FastCasual to honor 2023 Hall of Famers

14 JUL 2023

Each leader will attend the summit to accept an award and share leadership experience, strategies and a few lessons learned along the way.

Shake Shack, Scooter’s Coffee execs keynoting Fast Casual Executive Summit

28 JUN 2023

Idris Stover, Shake Shack’s director of diversity, equity, inclusion and culture, and Nathan Lester, senior director of drive-thru innovation at Scooter’s Coffee, are keynoting this year’s summit being held Oct. 8-10 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Can a restaurant have ‘too much tech?’

19 JUN 2023

Restaurants of all sizes have spent the past few years investing in a variety of technologies to help them understand the health of their brands, gain visibility into their spend management and streamline many of their processes.

2023 Fast Casual Perfect Pitch open for nominations

18 MAY 2023

As part of its commitment to spotlighting up-and-coming fast casual brands, FastCasual is hosting its ninth annual Perfect Pitch contest Oct. 8 and is accepting nominations until June 30.

Former Perfect Pitch contestant lands $2.5M investment to fuel growth

21 FEB 2023

Seattle-based Dué Cucina, a fast casual Italian brand that competed in the 2019 Perfect Pitch at the Fast Casual Executive Summit, has landed a $2.5 million investment from Mac Haik Restaurant Group.

Capriotti’s, Original ChopShop, Sweetfin leaders talk extending hospitality to digital customers

21 DEC 2022

Technology is playing a big role in providing a robust digital customer experience.

Chipotle, Fazoli’s, Smokey Bones share drive-thru, AI insight

14 DEC 2022

Top fast casual brand leaders offer valuable insight on how AI is driving a more robust digital drive-thru experience.

Video: Fast Casual Executive Summit Highlights, October 9–11, 2022

12 DEC 2022

The 17th annual Fast Casual Executive Summit was held October 9-11 at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis, Indiana. Check out the video highlights!

Chipotle, Jason’s Deli, Ampex Brands talk AI role in customer experience

7 DEC 2022

Artificial intelligence, from data gathering efforts to robot creation, is gaining ground with restaurant brands. Top leaders share insight on AI innovation and the role it plays in everything from better customer experiences to loyalty program enhancements.

Starbird, Fuku, Atomic Wings leaders talk love-hate relationship with delivery apps

1 DEC 2022

Brand leaders offer insight on managing third-party delivery apps and the brand app and hurdling challenges.

Mooyah Burgers, Jersey Mike’s leaders share loyalty program tips

18 NOV 2022

As food prices continue to climb so does the value of a restaurant loyalty program, for both the customer and the brand.

Restaurant execs discuss labor issues still plaguing industry

14 NOV 2022

Four restaurant executives discussed labor issues plaguing the industry at the Fast Casual Executive Summit in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Layne’s Chicken Fingers, Consolidated Concepts, Farm Burger execs talk supply chain issues

4 NOV 2022

Four restaurant executives discussed challenges with supply chains at the Fast Casual Executive Summit in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Flake Pie Co. wins The Perfect Pitch at the Fast Casual Executive Summit

26 OCT 2022

Zack Oates, founder of The Perfect Pitch sponsor Ovation, Flake Pie Co. founders Rick Timmons and Todd Smith, and editor Cherryh Cansler. Photo by Networld Media Group

sweetgreen CMO talks future of restaurants

10 OCT 2022

Daniel Shlossman, chief marketing officer for sweetgreen, said digital is the wave of the future in the opening keynote address at the Fast Casual Executive Summit being held Oct. 9-11.

Fast Casual Hall of Fame inductees include Fazoli’s, Panera Bread, Native Brand leaders

11 AUG 2022

Fazoli’s former CEO Carl Howard, Native Foods CEO Carin Stutz and Blaine Hurst, former Panera Bread CEO, make up the inaugural class of the Fast Casual Hall of Fame and will be honored at the annual Fast Casual Executive Summit.

Exploring AI? Learn from Chipotle, Jason’s Deli, Yum Brands

28 JUL 2022

Execs from Chipotle, Jason’s Deli and Ampex Brands will share their journeys into the world of AI at this year’s Fast Casual Executive Summit, being held Oct. 9-11 in Indianapolis.