WEDNESDAY / MARCH 30, 2016 / 1:00 PM

It’s Time To Grow… Where Do I Go?

Although many franchisors have a strategy in place to help them decide when to grow, they may not be as familiar with where to take their brand. 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 | CEO | The Chickery

Since graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, David has worked as a celebrity personal chef and as the Chef Proprietor of his own fine dining restaurant in Toronto. He has also starred in two series on Food Network Canada – Restaurant Makeover and The Opener – and has made appearances on other shows, such as the Iron Chef America. In 2015, he was named Nation’s Restaurant News 2015 Power List Reader Picks, an annual list of foodservice industry’s most influential players. David co-founded and crafted the menu for The Chickery in 2012, with the vision of giving a facelift to traditional QSR chicken and providing customers with the option of fast food with real ingredients.

Jeremy Cook | VP of Store Development| Which Wich

Jeremy Cook is VP of Store Development for Which Wich Superior Sandwiches. He leads a development team, handling all new store development, real estate, design, equipment and signage for the brand. Since joining the Which Wich team in February 2013, Jeremy has been integral in growing the real estate and construction departments, contributing to the opening of 400+ stores, and the introduction of cutting-edge initiatives like drive thru kiosks and remote ordering. Prior to joining Which Wich, Jeremy served as VP of Real Estate at Kahala Brands, a restaurant franchising group with brands such as Cold Stone, Pinkberry, Blimpie and Frulatti Café.

James Walker | President of Operations & Development | Johnny Rockets

James has over 25 years of senior level and management experience in the hospitality and retail industry, and has conducted business in a wide range of global markets, including Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Pakistan and Mongolia. Comfortable from the “Dish room to the Board Room,” James’ specific skill sets include mergers & acquisitions, development, operations, licensing, and R&D. Major positions have included stints in the roles of president, chief development officer, as well as senior operations and R&D positions. He has spent time with such brands as Baja Fresh, Cinnabon, and Sweet Factory and currently holds the position of president of operations & development for Aliso Viejo CA based Johnny Rockets.

John Davis | CEO | US Beef (franchisee of 400+ Arby’s units)

John R. Davis is the Chief Executive Officer of United States Beef Corporation (US Beef), headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma. US Beef is the largest franchisee in the world of the Arby’s Restaurant Group, and a franchisee of Taco Bueno Restaurants, LP. Prior to his current role as CEO, Davis has held various positions with the Company, including President, Vice President of Development, and Director of Operations. He has served as the 2010 Chairman-Elect of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association Executive Committee, and is currently an active member of the Association’s Board of Directors. He also serves on the Arby’s Foundation Board, Arby’s Restaurant Group Building Council, and the ARG (Arby’s Restaurant Group) President’s Council.


Stephen Polanski | Senior Vice President | Buxton

In his role as senior vice president, Stephen leads Buxton’s retail, restaurant and franchise consulting teams. For nearly a decade Stephen has worked to build relationships with his clients to help them to get the maximum benefit from customer analytics and create and execute successful growth strategies. Stephen’s clients include Wingstop, Famous Dave’s, Which Wich and UFC Gym. Before joining Buxton, Stephen was as a professional golfer. He received his bachelor’s degree in business management from Texas Christian University.

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