TUESDAY / MARCH 29, 2016

4:00 pm | Registration opens

5:00 – 7:00 pm | Opening Reception
Join us at the start of the Summit for a chance to network with attendees, speakers and sponsors over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.



7:00 am | Registration & Breakfast

8:00 am | Opening Remarks

• Cherryh Cansler | Director of Editorial | Networld Media Group

8:15 am |Opening Keynote

Social Media Is Running (Not Ruining) Your Restaurant… Why That’s A Good Thing

Andrew Gruel, Founder and Head Chef of Slapfish Restaurant Group, who is also the host and star of FYI’s reality TV show, “Say It To My Face!,” will discuss the importance of interacting with customers digitally through social media, as well as online review sites. Gruel, who responds to about 50 online reviews a day – regardless of whether they are positive or negative – will share how being able to correctly manage that aspect of the business can reap tremendous benefits and create a stronger fan base of customers.


Andrew Gruel
Chef | Founder & CEO
Slapfish Restaurant Group

9:00 am | Refreshment Break

9:30 am | Breakout Session

Customer Experience: Is There an App for That?

A tech-savvy customer experience is table stakes these days, considering that 28 percent of adults have downloaded a restaurant app over the last three months. The numerous platforms and the plethora of services are overwhelming, however. Do I need a white label app or a third party app? Is there a difference? What about a loyalty app or a payment app? How much does it cost? Can I just have one app or do I need several? How did Starbucks get so lucky with its app? What about gamification? These are just a few questions our experts will answer.

• Baron Concors | Global Chief Digital Officer | Pizza Hut
• Douglas Kwong | Digital Director | Cicis Pizza
• Stacy Peterson | CIO | Wingstop

Tracey Fullington | National Account Manager | SCA Americas – Tork

  • Sponsored by SCA Tork

9:30 am | Breakout Session

International Franchise Development & Expansion: Why You Don’t Have to be Big to Go Big

Many smaller franchisors incorrectly assume they cannot participate in the growing importance of international markets. This panel will explore the myths that keep smaller brands from going international from supply chain and training issues to outlandish costs and loss of brand control.

Shawnon Bellah | COO | Crest Foods, Inc. (franchisor of Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip)
• Sean Brennan | Founder and CEO | The Pie Hole
• Rafik Farouk | VP, Franchise Dev. and Ops. | Consolidated Restaurant Operations, Inc.

Anke Corbin | Founder and CEO | Globig.co

10:30 am | Refreshment Break

11:00 am | Breakout Session

How to Create A Franchise-Friendly Supply Chain

The supply chain is often a thorn in the side of franchisors, especially those who have brands spread across the nation or globally, and it’s just as frustrating for franchisees who are not adequately equipped with the information and resources to adhere to strict guidelines set by corporate. It doesn’t have to be such a struggle, however.

Learn a few tips to help you discover how you can use data and analytics to track performance, optimize your entire supply chain and make decisions that localize the in-store experience for your customers. Find out:

• If you are using the “right” ingredients for your top menu items.
• Where it’s OK to cut costs.
• When and where to pilot new menu options.
• How to measure the implementation and success of new programs.

• Jeff Linville | President and CEO | Taco John’s International
• Chris McNutt | VP, Brand Programs | CSCS (Applebee’s)
• Jason Valentine | Vice President of Operations | Cousins Subs

Bill Creekbaum | Vice President of Product | GoodData

  • Sponsored by GoodData

11:00 am | Breakout Session

To Catch a Millennial: How to Attract Young Entrepreneurs to Your Franchise

Millennials are known for being tech-savvy, creative and resourceful. The economy has forced them to reject traditional jobs to work independently. A recent Angus Reid survey found that 78 percent of millennials are motivated by the concept of “charting their own course,” and 76 percent of millennial business owners said they’re making a positive go of the companies they’ve started. The only question left to answer is, “How do I get a millennial to open one of my franchises?” Our experts will give you the inside scoop.

• Connie Alires | Director of Franchise Development | Which Wich
• Chris Newcomb | CEO and Co-Founder | Newk’s Eatery
• Laura Sporrer | Director of Franchise Development | HuHot Mongolian Grill

Tom Ryan | Co-Founder and Chief Concept Officer | Smashburger

12:00 pm | Lunch Session

Kitchen Design and Technology: 5 Ways to Improve Foodservice Operations

Rick Caron, SVP of Innovation at Manitowoc Foodservice, will discuss how a successful foodservice operation must incorporate three elements: food, people and equipment. He’ll explain how asking the right questions allow operators to visualize an improved system, select the right elements and then bring it all together. Lastly, Caron will share the Top 5 ways for restaurants to improve operations that his team uncovered while working with some of the world’s leading operators.

  • Sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice


Rick Caron
Senior Vice President of Innovation
Manitowoc Foodservice

1:00 pm | Breakout Session

It’s Time To Grow… Where Do I Go?

Although many franchisors have strategies in place to help them decide when to grow, they may not be as familiar with where to take their brands. Just because you get a few Facebook messages from some fans in Omaha urging you to open your funky sushi concept in their hometown, doesn’t mean you’ll do well there. This session will help you decide where your concept belongs and how to choose the right real estate for it.

• David Adjey | Founder and Head Chef | The Chickery
• Jeremy Cook | VP of Store Development| Which Wich
• James Walker | President of Operations & Development | Johnny Rockets
• John Davis | CEO | US Beef (franchisee of 400+ Arby’s units)

Stephen Polanski | Senior Vice President | Buxton

  • Sponsored by Buxton

1:00 pm | Breakout Session

Teaching Your Franchisees the Importance of Digital Branding and Social Media

Marketers have been touting the benefits of digital marketing for years, but motivating franchisees to carve out time to learn the ropes can be difficult. This panel will show you a few tricks to share with your franchisees that will inspire them to become digitally savvy.

• Christine Ferris | Director of Public Relations & Social Media | Smashburger
• Jeff Jackson | Co-Founder and President | Billy Sims BBQ
• Stacey Kane | Chief Marketing Officer | East Coast Wings & Grill

Matt Silk | Head of Strategy | Waterfall

  • Sponsored by Waterfall

2:00 pm | Refreshment Break

2:30 pm | Breakout Session

Should My Franchise Cater?

Off-premise sales seems like the easiest way to increase profits, but franchisors and their franchisees must be ready to invest the time, money and strategies it takes to be successful. Our panel of experts will discuss not only best practices but how to know when catering makes sense for your brand.

• Scott Goodrich | COO | Uncle Maddio’s Pizza
• Paul Hicks | SVP, Ops. Services & New Concept Dev. | Corner Bakery Cafe
• Jessica James | Principal | Clean Plate Consulting

• Travis Wagoner | Editor | QSRWeb.com and PizzaMarketplace.com

2:30 pm | Breakout Session

Franchise Financing 201: Have You Explored All Funding Options?

As recently as two years ago, borrowers for the restaurant segment could expect to be required to make a 50 percent equity injection to obtain a loan for a start-up if they could find an interested lender. Those numbers are much lower now that we are coming out of the financial crisis, but that doesn’t mean it’s ever easy to obtain funding. This panel explores a variety of funding opportunities for franchisors who not only want to expand their footprints, but who also want to spend money on improving their operations.

• Michael Morales | CFO | MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes
• Tim Mullany | CFO | Pie Five Pizza Co.
• Michael Nishi | CFO | Wetzel’s Pretzels

• Stephen LaMastra| Managing Principal | Monarch Investments Group

3:30 pm | Refreshment Break

4:00 pm | Breakout Session

State of the Restaurant Industry

Operating a restaurant brand of any size is a challenge especially with the variety of legislative issues facing the industry. This panel of experts will give attendees insight on how to navigate their brands through everything from food safety procedures and minimum wage increases to menu labeling and the ACA implications.

Fredric Cohen | Founding Partner | Cheng Cohen LLC
• Carl Howard | President and CEO | Fazoli’s
• Matt Walker | VP, Government Affairs | National Restaurant Assoc.

Tracy Markie | Chairman and Chief Product Development Officer | Small Box Energy

  • Sponsored by Small Box Energy

4:00 pm | Breakout Session

Are You Embracing the Internet of Things in Your Franchise?

Everyone seems to be talking about the “Internet of Things” or IOT, but what does that have to do with restaurants? The official definition is a “Scenario in which objects, animals or people are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.” In a nutshell, it’s just a fancy way of describing how we use technology, and there are a variety of exciting ways to embrace the IOT in your franchises.

• Laura Rea Dickey | CIO | Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants
• Jeff Dinard | CIO | On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina
• Alex Glaser | Director of Development | Harbor Research

Randy Landers | Sr. Director of Retail Solutions | EarthLink

  • Sponsored by EarthLink

6:30 – 9:30 pm | Dinner Party

Dine under the Dinosaurs

After a full day of informative and inspiring sessions, get ready for an evening of great food and great conversation in a unique setting. Attendees of the Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit will be treated to a special opportunity to “dine under the dinosaurs” at The Perot Museum of Nature and Science.

This private dinner party is included with your Summit registration at no additional cost. Buses depart The Highland Dallas for The Perot Museum at 6:00 pm.


8:00 am | Breakfast

9:00 am | General Session

Brain Exchange

The Brain Exchange breaks attendees into small groups to discuss some of the most pressing issues facing restaurant operators today. These informal group discussions allow attendees to learn from one another’s mistakes and successes.


10:30 am | Refreshment Break

11:00 am | Closing Keynote Session

Innovation through New Products, Marketing and In-Store Design

ln 1940, Dairy Queen established their brand with an innovative soft frozen dairy product. Today, Dairy Queen continues to innovate through new products, marketing and in-store design. ln this session, Barry Westrum of Dairy Queen will discuss how a heritage brand has had to re-invent itself to a new generation of younger consumers, and inspire multi-generation franchisees to re-invest in the brand. He will share how they have driven sales growth that has outpaced the industry with best practices and case studies behind their recent new “Fan Food, Not Fast Food” marketing campaign and new product launches such as DQ Bakes! and $5 Buck Lunch.


Barry Westrum
EVP of Marketing | Dairy Queen

12:00 pm | Summit adjourns

Agenda and speakers are subject to change.

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Hotel Reservations

The Highland Dallas
Rate: $224/night | Deadline: 3-Mar-2017

Call (214) 520-7969 and mention that you’re attending the Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsoring the Summit will put you in meaningful conversations with executives in your target market. Opportunities are available for almost any budget. Download the Sponsor Prospectus to learn more.

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