WEDNESDAY / MARCH 30, 2016 / 4:00 PM

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

Laura Rea Dickey is CIO for Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants. She has worked in marketing and information technology for over 15 years. With an area of focus in business intelligence and aligning brand development with data insights, Laura has experience with a wide variety of clients at agencies such as Murray Brown Creative Group, The Richards Group and The Point Group. Her past clients have included Brach’s Candy, W Hotels, Texas Health Resources, American Heart Association, Blue Mesa, La Madeline, Chick-fil-A, Zom Realty, UCR and Fairfield Development. Laura specializes in the intersection of data, information technology and marketing, turning data insights into brand and business solutions.

Jeff Dinard | CIO | On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina

Jeff Dinard is Chief Information Officer for On the Border, and also oversees technology for all of the portfolio brands owned by the private investment firm, Argonne Capital. In this role, Jeff is charged with defining and setting the strategic vision for the ways in which technology will drive profitability and be a true differentiator for all of the brands. Prior to On the Border, Jeff was the VP of IT for Corner Bakery Cafe, led the front-of-house Restaurant Information Systems team at Taco Bell Corporate, and oversaw all technology initiatives for a Panera Bread franchisee in New Jersey.

Alex Glaser | Director of Development | Harbor Research

Alex Glaser is Director of Development for Harbor Research and an expert in smart systems thinking and design. He is responsible for leading the firm’s marketing, operations and business development strategy. Alex also helps lead Harbor’s Smart Systems Lab program – a real world laboratory where organizations can design, prototype and test new models for delivering smart systems and services value. He has deep experience developing qualitative and quantitative research studies related to the Internet of Things and smart systems. Alex brings a passion that drives his work— that IoT can help solve big world issues like water, energy and food.


Randy Landers | Sr. Director of Retail Solutions | EarthLink

Randy Landers is Senior Director of Retail Solutions for EarthLink, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Randy joined EarthLink in 2003, bringing with him nearly 20 years of sales, marketing and operations experience. EarthLink provides managed network, security and cloud solutions for multi-location businesses. They help thousands of specialty retailers, restaurants, financial institutions, healthcare providers, professional service firms and local governments deliver a reliable and engaging customer experience in their stores and branch offices. They do so by building and managing MPLS/Hybrid WAN networks, providing virtualized infrastructure, security, hosted voice, secure Wi-Fi and compliance solutions..

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