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Opening Keynote / Sunday / October 8, 2023 / 5:10 PM

Burgers to Beans: Navigating Innovation from a Billion Dollar Company to a Growth-Oriented Company

Explore the journey and transition from the realm of burgers to the aromatic world of beans. Nathan Lester, senior director of drive-thru innovation for Scooter's Coffee, shares his adventure through experiences and lessons learned navigating the intricate path of innovation.

Discover how he successfully adapted his expertise from a billion-dollar company to embrace the challenges and opportunities of a growth-oriented coffee enterprise. With engaging anecdotes and practical insights, this keynote offers a roadmap for leveraging innovation regardless of your company’s size.


Nathan Lester | Senior Director, Drive-Thru Innovation | Scooter’s Coffee
Nathan Lester is a dynamic leader who successfully managed and innovated restaurants. He introduced groundbreaking initiatives like voice-activated drive-thrus, predictive production management, and robotic cooking equipment, enhancing customer experiences and improving business efficiencies. Nathan also excelled in change management, safety, and training, overseeing a team of 100+. Additionally, he led global teams in food safety, sustainability, and quality systems, and implemented cross-functional processes for improved performance. His remarkable achievements highlight his visionary leadership and commitment to excellence in the restaurant industry.

Jocelyn Rodgers | Director of Brand Partnerships | Botrista Beverages
Jason Valentine | Chief Strategy Officer | Botrista Beverages
Having worked in the industry for more than 25 years, Jason Valentine has experienced every aspect of the restaurant industry. In the summer of 2022, Jason joined Botrista Beverages as Chief Strategy Officer. Most recently, he was the President of Zoup! Eatery and exited after completing a successful acquisition plan. Jason has a deep understanding of the restaurant industry from the perspective of both franchisee and franchisor, and his experiences are now being applied to help brands implement DrinkBots, which enables brands to add craft beverages to their menu without operational complexities. Botrista DrinkBots automate the portioning, dispensing and mixing process using algorithmic dispensing to deliver a fresh and consistently blended drink in under 20 seconds.
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