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| Registration Opens

| Welcome & Opening Remarks
  • Cherryh Cansler | Vice President of Events | Networld Media Group
  • Justin Holmes | Chief Revenue Officer | 7shifts

| Opening Keynote

Bootstrapping Your Brand to the Big Time

Wow Bao President & CEO Geoff Alexander takes the stage to reveal how he has grown his brand from one unit to over 600 by relying on technology as well as a creative business model. Geoff, who has taken Wow Bao from traditional Brick & Mortar locations to airports, sport stadiums, college campuses, grocery, and more, launched a dark kitchen model like no other. Geoff will share a bit of his strategy, touching on what it takes to transform a small business into a thriving brand despite a pandemic, labor shortages, supply chain issues and rising food costs.
Keynote Speaker:
  • Geoff Alexander | President & CEO | Wow Bao

Sponsored by 7shifts
Keynote Speaker
Geoff Alexander
President & CEO
Wow Bao

| Networking

Casino Night to Benefit CORE

Join us at the start of the Summit for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a variety of games, including Blackjack, Roulette, Texas Hold'em and Craps, along with silent and live auctions with all funds raised going to CORE.

CORE is a national non-profit dedicated to serving food and beverage operations employees with children to provide financial relief when either the employee or their child faces a health crisis, injury, death, or natural disaster. CORE grants in all 50 states and in Puerto Rico. Each grant is based on need and may range from $500 to $4,000.

Sponsored by DailyPay

THURSDAY // MARCH 31, 2022

| Registration & Breakfast

| General Session

Executive Perspectives: Inspiration for Today’s Restaurant Leaders

In this session, you will hear three short, thought-provoking talks that will leave you challenged and inspired.

  1. 5 Pain Points and 4 Wins: Driving a Guestcentric Experience With Your Partners| Josh Halpern
  2. Legit. Data. Drives. Decisions – How to ‘Cue up Data To Drive Marketing Decisions | Laura Rea Dickey
  3. Untangling Your Techstack: Benefits of a Unified Commerce Platform | Savneet Singh
  • Laura Rea Dickey | CEO | Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants
  • Josh Halpern | CEO | Big Chicken
  • Savneet Singh | President & CEO, President | PAR Technology Corp., ParTech, Inc

Sponsored by PAR Punchh

| Refreshment Break

| Breakout Session

Automating the Franchisee Lifecycle

Vetting, onboarding, training and tracking franchisee progress are imperative to running a successful brand, but they are also expensive and time consuming.

What if there were ways to cut both the costs and the labor associated with managing franchisees? Well, there are several, according to our panelists who will share their go-to strategies.

  • Steve Lieber | VP Franchise Business Development | BurgerFi
  • Greg Sausaman | CEO & Co-founder | Topper's Craft Creamery
  • Jim Sullivan | Chief Development Officer | Qdoba
  • Susan Taylor | President & CEO | Juice It Up!

  • Taj Adhav | CEO | Leasecake

Sponsored by Leasecake
| Breakout Session

Labor Shortages? AI to the Rescue!

Labor shortages got you down? Have no fear; AI is here. Learn which types of technology can help operators fill in unemployment gaps left on the front line, at the drive-thru and the back of house.

  • Dave Craig | Vice President, Human Resources | Fazoli’s
  • Phil Crawford | Chief Technology Officer | CKE Restaurants
  • Sean Kennedy | President & CEO | Cowboy Chicken

  • Rob Carpenter | CEO & Founder | Valyant AI

Sponsored by Valyant

| Refreshment Break

| Breakout Session

Dog vs Chicken Showdown

CJ Ramirez of Dog Haus and Big Chicken’s Sam Stanovich will take on some of the industry’s hot-button topics.

No chairs, no podiums, just food for thought!

  • CJ Ramirez | EVP & Marketing Director | Dog Haus
  • Sam Stanovich | SVP of Development & Alliances | Big Chicken

  • Zack Oates | Founder & CEO | Ovation

Sponsored by Ovation
| Breakout Session

Marketing With Limited Resources

As nice as it sounds, we can’t all have the marketing budgets of Chipotle, Subway and McDonald’s, but that doesn’t mean your brand can’t capture customer engagement.

These marketing gurus will share some innovative and inexpensive ways they’ve attracted a lot of attention (and dollars) for their brands.

  • Kyle Noonan | Owner & CEO | Free Range Concepts
  • Brooke Perry | VP of Marketing | Original ChopShop
  • Lily Saer | Marketing Manager | The Saxton Group

  • Rob Reed | Senior Advisor, Enterprise Brands | SOCi

Sponsored by Soci

| Lunch & Learn

Ventless Action Stations & Creating Pockets of F&B Revenue Anywhere

  • Scott Heim | Divisional President | Evo, Inc.

Sponsored by Middleby Corporation
Scott Heim
Divisional President
Evo, Inc.

| Breakout Session

Finding Middle Ground: Franchisees and Franchisors Weigh In

Franchising is obviously the fastest path to growth, but only if the operations model is solid and the franchisor is willing to work alongside their franchisees throughout the process. The franchisee, of course, must be willing to take advice and criticism.

This session brings together franchisees and franchisors, who have met one another halfway on the road to expansion. They will share the good, the bad and the ugly about their journey to success.

  • Justin Bartek | Marketing Director | JINYA Holdings
  • Adenah Bayoh | Founder, Franchisee | Cornbread, IHOP
  • Kristen Briede | Senior VP of International & Global Brands | P.F. Chang’s
  • Amy Ohde | Executive Director, Launch Support | Chick-fil-A

  • Patrick Pleiss | Co-Founder | Hyperlocology

Sponsored by Hyperlocology
| Breakout Session

Streamlining Your Hiring Process to Cut Drop-out Rates

Gone are the days when job seekers would jump through hoops for the chance to work for your brand. With labor shortages affecting nearly every industry, it’s imperative to make the hiring and onboarding processes quick and as easy as possible. This session will explore a variety of ways to use technology to do just that. Experts will discuss everything from making it easier for candidates to post their info and drug testing them to performing background checks and tracking vaccine status and policy and program review and development.

  • Steve Felson | VP of Operations | Bonchon
  • Chuck Imerson | President & CEO | Asian Box
  • Jason Valentine | President | Zoup! Eatery

  • Brandon Bulcroft | Director of Channel Partnerships | FSSolutions, a Vault Health Company

Sponsored by Vault Health Workforce Screening

| Refreshment Break

| Breakout Session

Tech Troubles

Systems that don’t talk to one another, complicated user systems, outdated hardware and expensive upgrades are just a few of the headaches caused by technology in the restaurant industry. Ditching it all, however, isn’t an option, so what are your options when it comes to tackling your tech issues?

Our techies weigh in!

  • Jonathan Almanzar | Co-Founder & CEO | Chick’nCone
  • Liz Bazner | Director of Digital | A&W Restaurants
  • David Roberts | Chief Information Officer | Cicis Enterprises

  • Lucas Burns | Enterprise Account Executive | Atmosphere

Sponsored by Atmosphere
| Breakout Session

Taking (Back) Control of Customer Data

Third-party delivery companies and ghost kitchens have made it possible for brands of all sizes to offer delivery, but it’s not always profitable. Restaurants getting it right are finding ways to not only capture customer data but also entice them to order from their own channels as opposed to the UberEats and GrubHubs of the world.

  • Doug Baker | Director of Marketing | Wing Shack Enterprises
  • Claiborne Irby | SVP, Customer Engagement & Strategy | Focus Brands
  • Sherif Mityas | Operating Partner | JAMCO Interests LLC

Sponsored by Lunchbox

| Refreshment Break

| General Session

Prove Your Case!

Operators hear pitches all the time about products and services that will grow their business, but where’s the proof? We’ve got it right here. This session includes three 15-minute presentations, each featuring one vendor and one operator sharing the how, when and ROI behind recent rollouts.

  1. Brixx Pizza & Thanx
  2. Checkers & Rally’s Drive-In Restaurants & Schoox
  3. Fazoli’s & ConverseNow
  • Afsheen Afshar | Partner | Brixx Pizza
  • Benjamin Brown | Vice President of Marketing | ConverseNow
  • Jocelyn Flojo | LMS Administrator | Checkers & Rally’s Drive-In Restaurants
  • Zach Goldstein | CEO & Founder | Thanx
  • Xavier Lazo | Chief eLearning Guru, L&D Consultant | The eLearning Gurus, Checkers & Rally’s Drive-In Restaurants
  • Wayne Pederson | CIO | Fazoli’s Restaurant Group

Sponsored by ConverseNow, Schoox, Thanx

| Offsite Event

Dinner Party at Wildhorse Saloon

Join us at the World-Famous Wildhorse Saloon, an entertainment venue featuring southern smokehouse cuisine,  line dancing, mechanical bull riding, live music, cocktails and true southern hospitality. Cowboy up! 


Sponsored by 7shifts

FRIDAY // APRIL 1, 2022

| Breakfast

| 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.

Brain Exchange Topics:

  • AI & PERSONALIZATION | Sponsored by Skellam AI
  • CUTTING EQUIPMENT COSTS | Sponsored by 86 Repairs 
  • DATA & FRANCHISEE MARKETING | Sponsored by Vya
  • HIRING STRATEGIES | Sponsored by Workstream

| Refreshment Break

| Breakout Session

Sipping Into Higher Sales With Beverage Innovation

Customers are more interested now than ever in treating themselves to innovative beverages while dining out, according to December 2021 research from The National Restaurant Association. The group predicted that flavored sparkling waters, seltzers, spicy-rimmed cocktails and CBD-infused beverages to gain popularity in 2022, but creating such intricate drinks for mass consumption could be quite the challenge for restaurants suffering labor shortages. This session will discuss how to quench the consumer’s thirst despite fewer workers and rising supply costs.

  • Michelle Gil | Director of Operations | I Love Juice Bar
  • Steve Madonna | SVP of Culinary | Bar Louie
  • Reid Nolte | Vice President of Brand Strategy | Ballard Brands
  • Aaron Noveshen | CEO / Founder & Chairman | Starbird / The Culinary Edge
  • Scott Slaymaker | Managing Partner | Winger Brothers Management

  • Jodi Bertram | Director, Marketing | Botrista

Sponsored by Botrista Technology
| Breakout Session

What if the (Menu) Price Is Wrong?

Food costs aren’t getting any cheaper, but does that mean you can pass it on to your customer? And who decides the price: Marketing or Finance? Also, when is it time to raise prices?

Our experts answer all of these questions and more!

  • Tony Reaman | CFO | Luna Grill
  • Chris Sasser | VP of Finance & Analytics | Tropical Smoothie Cafe
  • Mike Sebazco | EVP of Operations & Development | MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes

  • Ted Babcock | VP, Menu & Pricing Analytics | Personica

Sponsored by Personica

| Refreshment Break

| Breakout Session

Making Your Brand the Place To Be

Attracting employees and inspiring them to stay can feel a bit like bribing your teenager to spend time with you, but it shouldn’t have to feel as demoralizing. The “employee whisperers” on this panel will share specific ways they have helped employees love their brands. And like any good parent of a teen, they’ll be sure to share lessons learned from mistakes they made along the way.

  • Stacey Kane | Restaurant Marketing Consultant
  • Claudia Lezcano | SVP, US Marketing Officer | Church's Chicken
  • Carrie Martin | VP of Operations Services | Mr Brews Taphouse

  • Justin Holmes | Chief Revenue Officer | 7shifts

Sponsored by 7shifts
| Breakout Session

Getting into the Self-Service Game

Customers demanding quicker service, COVID-19 concerns and labor shortages have led to an increase in restaurants using technology to better serve their customers.

Speakers in this session will share what went into their decisions to offer self-service solutions and what to look for in a partner as well as customer reaction and the effect on the bottom line.

  • Josh Goodman | Founder & CEO | PourMyBeer and PourMyBeverage
  • Aaron Noveshen | CEO / Founder & Chairman | Starbird / The Culinary Edge
  • Arne Saupe | VP of Technology | Farmer's Fridge

  • Cherryh Cansler | Vice President of Events | Networld Media Group

Sponsored by PourMyBeer

| Lunch & Learn

From “Click to Cluck”: Owning the Hybrid Customer Journey

Whether you are a marketer or partner with marketers, you are not going to want to miss out on this Lunch & Learn!

Come enjoy a local menu staple - Nashville Hot Chicken - while we share the “secret sauce” for franchise marketing success. We’ll provide spicy hot tips to help you drive more clicks online and “clucks” or conversions for your brand’s locations.

Through our scenario based presentation, we’ll walk in the shoes of three personas - Dan a hybrid consumer, Molly a MVP corporate marketer, and Fiona a rockstar franchise owner - and learn how corporate marketers like Molly can:

  • Prove the value of marketing to franchisees
  • Market locally at scale
  • Empower franchise owners to create on-brand local campaigns
  • Turn digital first consumers into raving fans
  • Justin Lerner | Marketing Manager, Americas | Uberall

Sponsored by Uberall
Justin Lerner
Marketing Manager, Americas

| Breakout Session

Attracting Multi-Unit Franchisees

Franchising is all about growing a brand’s presence, but while some brands thrive at capturing the attention of successful multi-unit operators, others fall flat. But why? What is missing from those brands’ operations model that just can’t seem to get it right? This panel of franchisors and franchisees will tell you.

  • Rafik Farouk | Sr. Director of Global Business Development | PF Changs
  • Brian Farris | Chief Development Officer | WOWorks
  • Drew Kellogg | President & CEO | Oath Pizza
  • Clifton Rutledge | CEO | Shipley Do-Nuts

  • Brett Berger | VP of Sales | SynergySuite

Sponsored by SynergySuite
| Breakout Session

Revving Up Your Drive-Thru Experience

The pandemic elevated the importance of a fast, accurate and friendly drive-thru experience and established it as the primary touchpoint for many brands. The key for restaurant operators, however, is to balance their ability to provide an elevated and efficient drive-thru customer experience while maintaining high food quality, continuing to serve dine-in and curbside guests, as well as keeping internal theft in check, given the constraints of today’s QSR labor shortages. This session will explore the variety of processes, platforms and technologies available to help restaurants speed up wait times, increase order accuracy, maximize sales volume, and ultimately delight customers at the drive-thru.
  • Jon Aiello | Market President | Flynn Restaurant Group
  • Frances Allen | President & CEO | Checkers & Rally’s Drive-In Restaurants
  • Haris Khan | Senior Director of Restaurant Excellence | Chipotle Mexican Grill
  • John Ramsay | Vice President Franchise Sales | Noodles & Company

  • Matt Umscheid | CEO | Envysion

Sponsored by Envysion, a Motorola Solutions Company

| Refreshment Break

| General Session

Franchising Think Tank

This panel, packed with CEOs and franchisors, will talk about the latest issues of the day and what it takes to succeed in franchising.

This session will definitely be worth staying until the end of the Summit.

  • Tom Gordon | CEO | Slim Chickens
  • Rob McColgan | Co-Founder & CEO | Modern Restaurant Concepts
  • Mandy Shaw | CEO | Blaze Pizza
  • Nick Vojnovic | President & Majority Partner | Little Greek

  • Jeff Bowman | Director of Growth & Strategy | Voxie

Sponsored by Voxie

| Summit adjourns

View 2021 Agenda


Take Your Team to the Summit!

Restaurant/Foodservice Operators who register two attendees may add a third attendee at no additional cost.

Group discount does not apply to Franchise Brokers/Consultants or Vendors.


InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza

To reserve your room, call 1-816-756-1500.


Connect with Restaurant Execs

Sponsoring the Summit will put you in meaningful conversations with executives in your target market.

Download the Sponsor Prospectus to learn more.