Navigating the Supply Chain

Whether you’re taking your brand global or to a different neighborhood, controlling the supply chain is imperative to a successful business. This panel will teach you how to navigate the supply chain and learn ways to set up relationships that benefit both franchisor and franchisee.


Richard Downs | Director of Franchising and Business Development | Casual Dining Group

Richard Downs spearheads the ambitious roll out of CDG brands across the globe, adding franchised operations to the 300 equity sites the company currently trades. Alongside this, he leads CDGs tender process for new concepts within their growing concessions business. With over 20 years of experience, both in running and directing operations, Richard understands our restaurant brands inside out, and guides our partners in preparing for their opening programmes. His work includes contract negotiations, site selection guidance and an active role in supply chain and product approval which takes in projects across 4 continents. His team currently has 60+ sites signed in development agreements both in the UK and overseas.

Rafik Farouk | VP, Franchise Development & Operations | Consolidated Restaurant Operations, Inc.

Rafik Farouk has served as Consolidated Restaurants Operations Inc. Vice President of Franchise Development and Operations since February 2006. He has worked with restaurant brands that include El Chico, Cantina Laredo, III Forks Prime Steakhouse, Silver Fox Steakhouse, Cool River, Chili’s Grill & Bar, Champs Americana, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Seattle’s Best Coffee, specifically in the Middle East. Rafik specializes in global and domestic restaurant growth, positioning, development, operations, supply chain, and sourcing. He has successfully leveraged his knowledge of many cultures to unite business leaders to develop and grow a variety of new businesses.

Stuart Fitzgerald | CFO and co-founder | Freshii GB

Stuart Fitzgerald is CFO and co-founder of the company that operates the Freshii master franchise in Great Britain. He has worked with a range of franchised concepts in food & beverage and general retail and has intimate knowledge of the elements that are required to build, manage and control a successful supply chain. Freshii GB leverages best in class technology throughout their supply chain process to optimise operational and financial outcomes. Supply chain aside Stuart also specialises in corporate fundraising, financial reporting & control, strategic planning and corporate leadership. He is proud to be part of a team that is helping the citizens of Great Britain to live better by making healthy food convenient & affordable. Eat Energize!!


Steven Rodgers | Vice President, Business Development – Analytics/Supply Chain/Promotions | HAVI

Steven Rodgers is the VP, Business Development – Analytics/Supply Chain/Promotions for HAVI, a leading provider of analytics and supply chain consulting solutions supporting the Food Service, Consumer Packaged Goods, and Retail Industries. With over 25 years of global business development experience and a successful history of leading global operations & supply chain, technology integration and Lean/Six Sigma transformation, Steven has delivered multiple business model innovations and growth. Having worked and lived across multiple geographies for numerous global brands including Philips, Fortune Brands, and Ernst & Young, Steven also brings extensive collaboration and cross-functional expertise from his background in Asia, The Americas, and Europe. Steven earned an MBA in Corporate Finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University and holds certifications in Lean/Six-Sigma and SAP.

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