Chat with us, powered by LiveChat
General Session / Tuesday / October 11, 2022 / 3:45 PM

CEO Roundtable / State of Industry

This panel packed with fast casual CEOs will talk about important issues restaurant operators face today and what it will take to succeed in 2023 and beyond.


Chris Baggott | CEO | ClusterTruck
Chris Baggott has been an entrepreneur, leader and futurist in data driven software and data innovation for more than 20 years and has created a lasting and significant impact on the technology ecosystem. In the early 2000’s, Baggott co-founded ExactTarget, a provider of digital marketing automation and analytics software and services. In 2012, the company successfully executed an IPO and was later acquired by tech giant Salesforce for $2.7 billion. In 2006 Chris co-founded Compendium Software, a pioneer in data driven content marketing that was later acquired by the world’s largest software company, ORACLE. In addition to a successful career disrupting the marketing software space, Chris entered the agriculture industry in 2011 to combine his passion for technology and food. In 2015, Baggott brought his tech background to the on-demand food delivery market as co-founder and CEO of ClusterTruck, a software platform that powers profitable, vertically integrated delivery-only kitchens.
Jeff Chandler | CEO / President | Hopdoddy Burger Bar & HiBar Hospitality Group
A proven leader with more than 30 years in the restaurant industry, Hopdoddy CEO Jeff Chandler joined award-winning Hopdoddy Burger Bar in 2016. During his tenure, he has led brand expansion doubling unit growth while building strong teams and achieving category-leading financial results. In 2021, Chandler was also named CEO of HiBar Hospitality, a growth-focused umbrella company owned by L Catterton that in 2022 completed its first acquisition, Grub Burger Bar. In this role, he’ll continue leading both brands while seeking additional growth opportunities through mergers and acquisitions. Prior to Hopdoddy, Jeff served as CEO for Opper-Melang Restaurants, where he was responsible for successfully increasing unit count 70% in two years. Previous restaurant industry leadership positions include president and managing partner at RAM International.
SG Ellison | President & Franchisee | Diversified Restaurant Group
SG Ellison holds pivotal roles at three Sonoma, California based companies as the President of A&C Ventures, Inc., a real estate and restaurant investment firm (ACV), Franchisee of Diversified Restaurant Group, LLC, an innovative restaurant management company (DRG), and Founder of First Street Development, LLC, the real estate development company that serves as the development arm of ACV and DRG. In his roles for ACV and DRG, SG oversees the management and operations of DRG’s portfolio of 325 Taco Bell & Arby’s locations, with $600 million in annual revenues, and ACV’s $1 billion real estate portfolio comprised primarily of triple net retail and multifamily assets. SG obtained a BSE in Civil Engineering from Arizona State University. He planted roots in Phoenix for 20 years prior to moving to wine country to lead acquisitions, investments, and franchise operations for the three companies. SG currently sits on the Board of Arby’s Franchise Association and the Food Service Insurance Group.
Patrick Renna | President | BurgerFi
Patrick Renna has extensive experience within the restaurant industry, and is currently the President of BurgerFi. Previously, Mr. Renna was the President and CFO of Wahlburgers, a Boston based burger restaurant founded by Executive Chef Paul Wahlberg, and celebrity brothers Mark and Donnie. Prior to that Patrick was CEO at Boloco, a fast casual globally inspired burrito chain, where he also served as CFO for four years. Previously, he held CFO positions at Sebastian’s Café and Catering, where he spent four years overseeing all financial and administrative policies and procedures for the company; this included leadership during the company’s most profitable growth period, Fresh Concepts, which operates fast casual restaurants under the name Fresh City and Souper Salad, as well as FiRE+iCE, where he also served as President. Patrick began his career with New England Restaurant Company, a Chili’s franchisee and owner of Bertucci’s Brick Oven Pizzeria, a 90-unit casual dining chain.

Sam Gerace | CEO |
Sam Gerace leads the team as they launch innovative data science products that drastically increase revenue forecasting accuracy and optimize labor scheduling for the restaurant industry. Sam is a five-time tech entrepreneur – the founding Chief Executive Officer of Convey, a licensor of patents and mobile+cloud CRM libraries for sales and account management teams; Veritix (Flash Seats), a sports and live-entertainment SaaS platform company processing over $1 billion in ticketing transactions annually; Be Free, a digital marketing platform company processing over $2 billion in commerce transactions annually; PCXIS, Inc. a public utility marketing software company; and PCX Consulting, Inc., a systems development firm serving heavy industry. Sam and his wife are committed to organizations helping children facing significant challenges. Sam has chaired the board of Minds Matter of Cleveland for eight years, is the President of the board of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra.
View Full Agenda

session sponsor