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Breakout Session / Monday / October 14, 2024 / 11:30 AM

Building Restaurant Empires: Redefining Customer Engagement & Operational Excellence

Join this session to explore cutting-edge solutions that revolutionize customer engagement and operational excellence. Attendees will discuss how to future-proof their brands while also sharing best practices for optimizing workflow, inventory management and data utilization to drive efficiency and cost savings.

The experts will also dive into innovative strategies to engage, retain, and build loyalty and unlock untapped opportunities for growth through personalized marketing, strategic partnerships and emerging technologies.


PANELISTS

Geoff Alexander | President & CEO | Wow Bao
Geoff Alexander joined Chicago-based Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (LEYE) in 1993 and following his work on multiple concepts within LEYE’s portfolio, he took over LEYE’s Asian concept, Wow Bao in 2009. A pioneer in both technology and social media, Geoff redefined the fast casual space by implementing mobile ordering, self-ordering kiosks, bicycle delivery and nationwide shipping. Geoff has overseen Wow Bao’s inclusion into airports, major sports stadiums, university campuses, music venues, grocers around the country sell Wow Bao’s frozen retail line. Shortly after being named to both Nation’s Restaurant News’ Power List and Most Influential Restaurant CEOs in the country, Geoff changed the game in the restaurant industry once again by creating Wow Bao Now; launching more than 500 Wow Bao Dark / Virtual Kitchens in more than 400 cities in less than 18 months.
Gregg Majewski | CEO | Craveworthy Brands
Gregg Majewski is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Craveworthy Brands. Previously, he served as the Chief Executive Officer of Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches. The Craveworthy Brands portfolio includes Wing It On!, The Budlong Southern Chicken, Krafted Burger Bar + Tap, Lucky Cat Poke Company, Pastizza, and Scramblin Ed’s, as well as legacy brands Genghis Grill, BD’s Mongolian Grill, and Flat Top Grill, all formerly part of Mongolian Concepts Restaurant Group, for which Gregg previously served as CEO. Known for driving business transformation while putting people first, Gregg leads teams with humility. His approach includes introducing new revenue streams and crafting effective grassroots marketing strategies. Gregg serves on the Board of the Texas Restaurant Association and is a member of the board of Big Chicken. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Ovation, the Fast Casual Industry Council, and the Lunchbox Food Tech Council.
Daniel Smith | President | Rusty Taco
Daniel Smith, President of Rusty Taco, brings over two decades of executive leadership experience to the fast-casual restaurant industry. His career began with a 26-year tenure at Claim Jumper Restaurants, culminating as VP of Operations. Smith has also held key roles at Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza, Bonefish Grill, and became a multi-unit Pieology franchisee; most recently, he served as the COO at Hopdoddy Burger Bar. Smith is passionate about harmonizing processes and systems to deliver exceptional guest experiences and aims to enhance operations and refine marketing strategies in his new role at Rusty Taco.
André Vener | Founding Partner | Dog Haus
Along with his two business partners, André Vener co-founded Dog Haus in April 2010, with the mission of elevating stadium food classics into culinary masterworks. Over the last decade, Dog Haus has expanded from its Pasadena, CA, base to nearly 50 locations from coast-to-coast. André and his partners have spearheaded the craft-casual brand’s rapid expansion by forming alliances with leading ghost kitchen networks, an innovative partnership with Live Nation and the 2020 introduction of The Absolute Brands – a suite of virtual restaurant concepts spun off from several of Dog Haus’ signature menu items, such as the Bad Mutha Clucka. André has been interviewed as a restaurant industry expert on multiple national platforms, including CNN, FOX News Channel and MSNBC. He and his Dog Haus partners were featured on the cover of QSR Magazine’s April 2020 edition, and they have been profiled in Entrepreneur magazine, Food & Wine and more.
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