BREAKOUT SESSION / WEDNESDAY / FEBRUARY 24, 2021 / 11:00 AM
Connect, Diversify, Differentiate: What Restaurants Can Learn From Retail
The collapse of retail and the resulting boom in restaurants has been well documented. Now, restaurants are facing the same steady declines in growth and profitability, with too many options and not enough customers to go around. This panel of experts will examine three key strategies restaurants can use to survive and thrive in an age of industry disruption.
Paul Damico | CEO | Naf Naf Grill
Paul Damico serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Chicago-based Naf Naf Middle Eastern Grill. Prior to joining Naf Naf, Paul served as President of Focus Brands based in Atlanta, GA where he oversaw six brands comprised of over 5,000 locations for Moe’s Southwest Grill, McAlister’s Deli, Schlotzsky’s Deli, Cinnabon, Carvel, and Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. Prior to this role he was President of Moe’s Southwest Grill. Paul also previously served as Chief Operating Officer for SSP America, a leading airport concessions company based in VA. Prior to SSP, he co-founded FoodBrand, LLC a company that specialized in the development of restaurants in malls and airports.
Scott Davis | President & CCO | CoreLife Eatery
Scott Davis joined the CoreLife Eatery team in September 2016 to head up menu development and guide strategic brand growth. Scott’s experience during the growth of both Au Bon Pain and Panera Bread make him an invaluable asset to CoreLife Eatery. Scott served as Chief Concept Officer for Panera Bread from the inception of the brand until December 2014, during which time he oversaw menu development, category management, restaurant design, and sustainability efforts. Scott led many key initiatives that drove the long-term success of Panera Bread, as it became a leader in the fast casual segment of the restaurant industry.
James Walker | SVP, Restaurants | Nathan’s Famous
James Walker, CFE, is a top restaurant industry expert with a specialty in rebranding and repositioning iconic American comfort food brands. James is an industry-leading authority in restaurant technology and delivery channels, and he specializes in mergers & acquisitions, domestic and international development, operations, franchising, and new product development. With more than 30 years of broad based, senior level, management experience in the hospitality and retail industries, James has served as President, Chief Development Officer, as well as in Senior Operations and New Product Development positions, for brands such as Baja Fresh, Cinnabon, Johnny Rockets and Subway. He has conducted business in more than 65 international markets.
Sharon Napier | Chair & Founder | Partners + Napier
Named one of Ad Age’s 100 Most Influential Women in Advertising, Sharon Napier oversees all executive leadership at Partners + Napier, an integrated creative company best known for amplifying food and beverage brands. Partners + Napier’s clientele includes established and fast-growing franchises like Smashburger, CoreLife Eatery, and BurgerFi, plus leading consumer and foodservice brands like Instant Pot, Pyrex, Saputo Dairy Foods, and 50+ wine, beer, and spirits in the Constellation Brands portfolio. Sharon is a frequent speaker at industry events and has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and numerous others. She is Vice Chair of the American Association of Advertising Agencies.