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Breakout Session / Monday / October 9, 2023 / 11:45 AM

Growing with a Leaner Team

Shortages when it comes to hiring cashiers, cooks and drivers aren’t the only labor issues facing the industry; corporate and franchise teams are also leaner than ever, which means those positions could use a little boost from technology as well as operations experts.

This session will teach you how the use of smart technology, combined with real estate brokers, in-house development and construction expertise can help you grow without hiring a new team.


David Bloom | Chief Development & Operating Officer | Capriotti’s & Wing Zone
David Bloom's early career in the restaurant and hotel industries included working with and for some of the most iconic brands and leaders in their respective industries where he learned how to strategically accelerate sustainable brand expansion. Having grown up in the restaurant industry in and around NYC, David’s entrepreneurial career began as a large multi-unit franchisee and serving as the SVP of Brand Expansion for Quiznos, growing it from a small regional brand of 18 restaurants to opening over 5,000 locations in 28 countries. Subsequent senior roles included the rapid growth of numerous enterprises including; Clockwork Home Services, Bridge International Academies based in Nairobi, Kenya, Famous Brands International and as President of Office Evolution. Today, David is responsible for all aspects of franchise development and operations for Capriotti’s and scaling a recently acquired fast casual concept Wing Zone to new heights.
Craig Blum | Owner & Founder | Johnny Doughnuts
Craig Blum is the owner and founder of the Bay Area favorite Johnny Doughnuts, known for its selection of premium, handcrafted doughnuts with both classic and specialty flavors alike. It all began in 2010, when Craig had an idea to rock the local food scene — selling artisan doughnuts made from locally sourced, organic ingredients from a traveling food truck. Four brick-and-mortar stores and a fleet of trucks later, Johnny Doughnuts has earned recognition as a local leader in specialty doughnuts and was named one of the top 5 doughnut shops in the country by Food Network. Before opening Johnny Doughnuts, Craig had several years of restaurant entrepreneurship experience under his belt. In the 90s, he founded Hawaii staple Cafe Fresh. He later opened John Dough, an all-natural, hand-crafted pizza crust shop in the Bay Area. Craig was also part of the opening team of the first Hard Rock Cafe in the US.
Jami Bond | VP of Franchise Development | Goodcents
Jami Bond, CFE, is vice president of franchise development for Goodcents. With an extensive background in restaurant marketing and franchise development, she loves helping entrepreneurs launch their own businesses, and she is very proud to work for a company that provides the support franchisees need to thrive. A graduate of Washburn University, Bond holds a degree in marketing and finance. She is a member of Chief, a private network built to drive more women into positions of power and keep them there.
Bill DiPaola | President/Chief Operating Officer & Co-Owner | Swamp Dawg

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.
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