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Breakout Session / Monday / October 14, 2024 / 2:45 PM

Preparing Your Kitchen for the Robot Revolution

The restaurant industry is facing a triple threat: rising labor costs, shrinking profit margins and the increasing demand for speed and efficiency. While robots might seem like something out of a sci-fi movie, they're quickly becoming a reality in kitchens across the globe.

Our experts will discuss the rise of robotics in the restaurant industry and reveal the different types being used in food preparation, service and cleaning. They’ll also explore the real-world impact of automation on labor costs, operational efficiency and food quality as well as the potential challenges and ethical considerations surrounding robotic implementation.


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.
Craig Blum | Chief Enthusiast & Founder | Johnny Doughnuts
Craig Blum is the heart and soul behind Johnny Doughnuts, a beloved Bay Area institution known for its delectable, handcrafted doughnuts in both classic and inventive flavors. Craig's journey began in 2010 with a simple yet revolutionary idea: to elevate the humble doughnut using locally sourced, organic ingredients and to share these treats from a traveling food truck. Today, Johnny Doughnuts boasts four brick-and-mortar locations, with one more on the way in 2024, and a fleet of food trucks. The shop has been recognized as one of the top 5 doughnut shops in the country by Food Network.