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Breakout Session / Tuesday / October 11, 2022 / 11:00 AM

Self-Service: The Touchpoint Restaurants Can’t Ignore

Pandemic or no pandemic, eating on the run has become an integral part of the modern dining experience, and restaurants that remove friction from the order process are winning customers.

The pandemic brought with it customer acceptance of ordering and paying using an unattended device, so brands are racing to find self-service technology that not only provides a frictionless customer experience but also allows them to scale. How does a restaurant find the right technologies and what does a restaurant need to look for in a prospective partner?

This session will explore these questions and offer insights into what operators need in order to win in today’s limited-service restaurant landscape.


Mike Freeman | Chief Brand Officer | McAlister’s Deli
Mike Freeman was named chief brand officer of McAlister's Deli in September 2021. He has been working with the brand for 13 years and most recently served as vice president of operations. Mike started as an assistant general manager at the McAlister's Deli in Bossier City, La. He has worked in various operations and training leadership roles. Mike has 25 years of experience in the food service industry ensuring dynamic brand development and consistent growth. He is known for advancing his team members and leveraging company restaurants to create strong community relationships. He has also held leadership positions in casual and fine dining concepts.
Ryan Harrison | Chief Operating Officer | Zunzi’s + Zunzibar
Ryan Harrison was promoted to the position of chief operating officer for Zunzi’s and its beach-bar sister concept, Zunzibar in 2021. In this role, Ryan is charged with developing programs to grow the Zunzi’s and Zunzibar brands, establishing operational systems to maximize efficiency, forging strategic partnerships and nurturing existing relationships with investors, vendors and other stakeholders, and providing the tools for the company to meet and exceed its sales and financial goals. He most recently served as Zunzi’s director of operations and catering. Before joining Zunzi’s, Ryan helped launch Gusto!’s catering program, eventually serving as that concept’s director of B2B and community development.
Deena McKinley | Chief Experience Officer | Papa Gino’s Pizzeria & D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches
Deena McKinley is Chief Experience Officer of New England Authentic Eats, LLC, parent company of Papa Gino’s Pizzeria and D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches. With 20 years restaurant industry experience, Deena oversees digital, brand, strategic marketing, technology, innovation, catering, and guest experience for both brands. Prior to NEAE, Deena was Chief Experience Officer at Mobivity, providing national, multi-unit restaurants like Subway, Sonic, and Dairy Queen a platform allowing them to engage with guests to increase retention, engagement, frequency and spend. Previously, Deena was Chief Client Officer at Zimmerman Advertising, working with clients such as Papa John’s Pizza, Boston Market, and Firehouse Subs.
Tinku Saini | CEO & Co-Founder | Tarka Indian Kitchen
Tinku Saini is CEO/CTO/CMO/CDO & Co-founder of Tarka Indian Kitchen. He is currently focused on growing the fast-casual restaurant into a national brand. Tinku has been running restaurants for over 25 years and has opened 12 of his own including Tarka and it's full-service predecessor, Clay Pit, Contemporary Indian Cuisine. Prior to the restaurant business, Tinku was Environmental Editor for the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, and went to school to get a degree in English Literature. Outside of work, Tinku is a devoted husband and father, and is an avid Trekker and dog lover.

Jake Berkowitz | VP of Enterprise Sales | Revel Systems
Jake Berkowitz is the VP of Enterprise Sales at Revel Systems and currently oversees enterprise sales, as well as the sales engineering group. During his 9-year tenure at Revel, he’s been responsible for winning some of Revel’s key accounts, and has built Revel’s enterprise division from the ground up. Prior to joining Revel, Jake oversaw new market launches for Cake (formerly Leapset), and played a role in the company’s successful acquisition by Sysco Foods. He brings with him a deep understanding of restaurant and retail industries, cultivated from over 13 years of experience.
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