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March 30 – April 1, 2022 | Nashville — Early Bird pricing ends December 10, 2021. Sign up today!



3:00 pm | Registration opens

4:00 pm | Welcome

Opening Remarks

• Cherryh Cansler | VP of Events | Networld Media Group

4:10 pm | Keynote Session

Session Topic – Coming Soon!

4:10 pm | Keynote Session

Restaurant Strategy and Execution in a Post-Covid World: The Evolution of Store Management, Footprint, and Technology to Meet the New Reality

Beto Guajardo, the president of Focus Brands International, will share his personal and professional lessons in business growth, innovation and leadership. He will provide concrete takeaways on how to partner with stakeholders, prioritize what matters and stay close to the customer. Beto will speak about ways to implement changes that positively impact the business in constrained operating environments and competitive marketplaces.

Beto Guajardo | President | Focus Brands International

  • Sponsored by Immediate


Beto Guajardo
Focus Brands International

5:00 pm | Group Activity

Community Give-Back Party

Join us for a Community Give-Back Party! More details to follow.


5:00 – 8:00 pm | Networking

Casino Night to Benefit CORE

Join us at the start of the Summit for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a variety of games as well as an opportunity to raise money for CORE, which provides financial relief to children of restaurant employees during a health crisis, injury, death or natural disaster.



7:00 am | Registration & Breakfast

7:45 am | Breakfast Briefing

Session Topic – Coming Soon!

7:45 am | Breakfast Briefing

Transforming the Restaurant IT Network with SD-Branch

• Chase Mullican | Regional Director of Sales |  Netsurion

  • Sponsored by Netsurion


Chase Mullican
Regional Director of Sales

8:00 am | General Session

Executive Perspectives: Inspiration for Today’s Restaurant Leaders

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


Five Pain Points, Four Wins
Josh Halpern | CEO | Big Chicken


9:00 am | Refreshment Break

9:30 am | 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.

9:30 am | 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.

9:30 am | Breakout Session

Using Mobile Marketing to Defend Your Turf

Competition for customer dollars is steeper than ever as brands are not only going head to head with one another but also with grocery stores, gas stations and subscription meal services.

There’s no doubt that these nontraditional restaurant experiences are a threat, but luckily fast casuals have a weapon at their disposal, and it’s mobile marketing.

Whether it’s finding their nearest location in mobile search or seeing an offer shared by their friend, mobile influences 56% of all offline transactions.

Executives in this session will share how they’re using mobile marketing techniques to protect their piece of the fast casual turf.

Chris Demery | Chief Technology Officer | Blaze Pizza
Steve Felson | VP of Operations | Bonchon
Danielle Porto Parra | CMO, VP Marketing | McAlister’s Deli

Stu Greer | Enterprise Account Executive | SOCi

  • Sponsored by SOCi

9:30 am | Breakout Session

Are you Preparing and Equipping Your Frontline for Success?

It’s a brand’s job to not only protect its employees but also make sure they have everything they need in order to perform their duties. And that has never been truer when so many restaurants are dealing with labor shortages. Workers now have the luxury of choosing only the companies that equip them with the proper technologies to handle an ever-increasing demanding industry. They expect convenience when it comes to managing their schedules, training and daily tasks. This session will feature executives who have found affordable ways to do just that.

Dennie Laney | VP of Training & Development | MOOYAH Burgers Fries and Shakes
David McDougall | CEO | Your Pie Franchising, LLC
Phil Tumberger | Director of Business & Client Development | Rosnet

Cherryh Cansler | VP of Editorial | Networld Media Group

  • Sponsored by Rosnet

10:30 am | Refreshment Break

11:00 am | 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

Lily Saer | Marketing Manager | The Saxton Group

11:00 am | 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 a few mistakes learned along the way.

12:00 pm | Lunch  & Learn

Session Topic – Coming Soon!

12:00 pm | Lunch  & Learn

Dispelling the Myths and Skepticism Surrounding Ventless Kitchens

Scott Heim | President | Middleby Ventless Solutions & Evo America

  • Sponsored by Middleby Corporation


Scott Heim
Middleby Ventless Solutions & Evo America

1:15 pm | Breakout Session

Pounding the Pavement: How to use trucks, carts, halls and buggies to extend your brand’s reach

Whether it’s buying a full-sized truck to peddle cuisine across town or setting up shop down the street from a brick-and-mortar store to draw traffic, mobile selling can be a huge revenue generator. Experts on this panel will discuss how they use “outside-the-wall” options for marketing purposes as well as a way to serve more customers.

1:15 pm | Breakout Session

Money Hungry: Remodels, acquisitions and build-outs

You know what they say, you have to spend money to make money, but where does that money come from? This panel centers around how to help franchisees raise money to grow their footprints.

2:15 pm | Refreshment Break

2:30 pm | Breakout Session

Taking (Back) Control of Customer Data

Third-party delivery companies 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.

2:30 pm | 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 heachaches 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!

3:30 pm | Refreshment Break

4:00 pm | 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 four 15-minute presentations, each featuring one vendor and one operator sharing the how, when and ROI behind recent rollouts.

6:00 – 9:00 pm | Offsite Event

Dinner Party

After a full day of informative and inspiring sessions, get ready for an evening of great food, conversation and fun.


6:00 – 9:00 pm | Offsite Dinner Party

The Painted Pin

After a full day of informative and inspiring sessions, get ready for an evening of great food, conversation and fun at The Painted Pin!

The Painted Pin is an upscale boutique bar, bowling and entertainment venue with 20 full-service lanes in an industrial warehouse space in the heart of Buckhead’s Miami Circle. In addition to bowling, complimentary classic interactive games including indoor bocce ball, table shuffleboard, ping pong, skeeball, southern skittles, giant Jenga, bimini ring toss and oversized basketball pop-a-shots are available.

This private dinner party is included with your Summit registration at no additional cost. Transportation will be provided.

  • Sponsored by Immediate

FRIDAY / APRIL 1, 2022

8:00 am | Breakfast

8:45 am | Breakfast Briefing

Session Topic – Coming Soon!

8:45 am | Breakfast Briefing

All the Right Restaurant Performance Metrics to Track

• Mandi Wooledge | President & COO | Decision Logic

  • Sponsored by Decision Logic


Mandi Wooledge
President & COO
Decision Logic

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.


2022 Brain Exchange Topics:

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.

Brain Exchange Topics:
CONTROLLING COSTS | Sponsored by MarketMan
DELIVERY | Sponsored by Restaurant365
 DRIVING VISITS & SALES | Sponsored by GroundTruth
 LABOR | Sponsored by Workstream
 LOYALTY | Sponsored by Chatmeter


10:00 am | Refreshment Break

10:30 am | 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 and more!

10:30 am | Breakout Session

Just Tell Me What You Want: Keeping up with the Fickle Customer

The old saying of, “You can’t please everyone,” went out with “not wearing white past Labor day.” Restaurants, these days, must be everything to everyone, which means engaging with young customers on TikTok and Instagram while providing service with a smile to older customers. Plus, you have whole groups of customers who may not behave like the rest of their cohorts. Some boomers, for example, love ordering from kiosks as some “younger” customers will tell you technology is killing their social skills. What’s a brand to do?

11:30 pm | Lunch  & Learn

Session Topic – Coming Soon!

12:00 pm | Lunch  & Learn

How to Level up and Meet the Moment

Bob Vergidis is the founder and Chief Visionary at The Point of Sale Cloud. For the over 30 years his focus has been to identify future trends and help restaurants be one step ahead.

In this session he will discuss how in just one year, the COVID-19 experience has moved the restaurant business 15 years into the future and what that means for what is coming next. He will share future trends for store format, team member management, technology, and more with practical examples to help your business level up and be ready to take advantage of future trends.

Bob Vergidis | Founder/Chief Visionary | The Point of Sale Cloud

  • Sponsored by The Point of Sale Cloud


Bob Vergidis
Founder/Chief Visionary
The Point of Sale Cloud

12:30 pm | Breakout Session

Local Store Marketing: Simple and Effective Tactics

Everyone talks about the importance of “LSM,” but how many really understand how to create campaigns that lead to a measurable ROI? Marketing execs will reveal what they’ve learned from trial and error.

12:30 pm | Breakout Session

Session Topic – Coming Soon!

1:30 pm | Refreshment Break

2:00 pm | Breakout Session

Session Topic – Coming Soon!

2:00 pm | Breakout Session

Session Topic – Coming Soon!

3:00 pm | Refreshment Break

3:15 pm |  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.


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.

Ericka Garza | Brand President | Au Bon Pain
Joe Guith | President, Restaurant Category | Focus Brands
Ricky Richardson | CEO | Eggs Up Grill
Charles Watson | CEO | Tropical Smoothie Cafe

Mark Wayne | Chief Revenue Officer | Viking Cloud

  • Sponsored by Viking Cloud

4:15 pm | Summit adjourns

Agenda and speakers are subject to change.


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.


Grand Hyatt Nashville

Rate: $289/night* | Deadline: 3/7/22
* Subject to availability at time of booking.

Click below to book online or call 1-615-622-1234 and mention Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit.


Starting at under $7,000

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

Download the Sponsor Prospectus to learn more.