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General Session / Tuesday / October 10, 2023 / 9:00 AM

Executive Perspectives: Inspiration for Today’s Restaurant Leaders

In this session, you will hear four short, thought-provoking talks that will leave you challenged and inspired.

  • Decoding the Future: Navigating Unexpected Consumer Patterns | Suzy Badaracco
  • Fast Growth: Growing Fast with Franchisees | Jim Bitticks
  • Scratch Made Success: Key Lessons Learned from a Startup Restaurant Concept | Chad Coulter, Lauren Coulter
  • Creating a Hiring Experience That Encourages Long-Term Employee Engagement | Desmond Lim


Suzy Badaracco | President | Culinary Tides, Inc.
Suzy Badaracco is the President of Culinary Tides, Inc. and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminalistics, Associate degree in Culinary Arts, and Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition. Suzy has been trained in military intelligence, Chaos theory, and predictive analysis techniques and has been practicing trends intelligence and predictive forecasting for more than 18 years. Using these techniques, she has been able to successfully predict and profile government, technology, adversary and ally, food, flavor, consumer, industry, and health trends. Culinary Tides, Inc. helps food industry partners navigate trends by revealing relevant patterns so they can create products that connect with customers. They specialize in foretelling a trend’s birth and forecasting its origin, trajectory, and longevity. The forecast results are used to create entrance, navigation, and exit strategies.
Jim Bitticks | President & COO | Dave's Hot Chicken
Jim Bitticks is the President and Chief Operating Officer for Dave’s Hot Chicken. He oversees the day-to-day operation of the company with direct oversight over operations, training, procurement, construction, and technology. Jim joined the Dave’s team when there were just four restaurants and has helped grow the brand to 150 locations across the U.S., Canada, and the Middle East. Prior to his current role, Jim was the Chief Restaurant Officer and EVP of Operations, Training, and Construction for Blaze Pizza, and oversaw the successful growth of that brand from two restaurants to three hundred seventy-two restaurants before making the move to Dave’s.
Chad Coulter | Founder & CEO | Biscuit Belly
Chad Coulter dove into the restaurant industry after a short and successful career as a clinical pharmacist. His first concept, LouVino, was a Southern inspired small plates restaurant and wine bar with over 40 wines by the glass. After the fifth LouVino opened, focus shifted towards diving into the idea of opening a biscuit focused concept. In 2019, the first Biscuit Belly was born after months of meticulous menu, branding and concept development. Biscuit Belly now has 4 corporate locations and over 20 franchised units in development in Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.
Lauren Coulter | Director of Franchise Sales & Development | Biscuit Belly
Lauren Coulter is a pharmacist turned restaurateur. After graduating pharmacy school, she and husband Chad Coulter - opened Louisville's first "paint and sip" businesses. In 2014, they shifted into the restaurant scene by opening LouVino, a southern inspired small plates and wine bar restaurant. They grew LouVino to 5 locations in Louisville, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati before starting Biscuit Belly. The first Biscuit Belly location opened in May 2019. Since then they have grown to four ‘corporate locations’ along with an additional 5 open through franchise partners in Lexington, KY, Alabama, Georgia, and Virginia. Two more locations are slated to open by the end of the year. Biscuit Belly has an additional 20 units in the pipeline.
Desmond Lim | Co-Founder & CEO | Workstream
Desmond Lim is co-founder and CEO of Workstream, a mobile-first hiring and onboarding platform for the hourly workforce. He is a Harvard University and MIT Media Lab graduate, a former Product Manager at WeChat, and an investor at Dorm Room Fund. He contributes to, Workstream Blog, and Huffington Post. He splits his time between San Francisco and Utah, and represented the Singapore National Team in basketball.
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