Using Mixology to Liven Up Your Menu without Confusing Your Customers

Beverages are more than just something to grab with your burger. These days, entire concepts are thriving around the juice, tea, coffee and smoothie sectors, and major food brands don’t want to be left behind. That being said, it’s important to make sure your beverage offerings complement your food menu and your brand.

This session will show operators how to mix up a few beverage offerings to help drive profits.


Peter Boylan | President | Ballard Brands

Formally Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer for Ballard Brands, Peter Boylan joined Ballard Brands full-time in October 2011 serving on their Board of Directors for several years before that time. Boylan adds over 25 years of professional and executive leadership experience to the Ballard Brands team. Prior to joining Ballard Brands, Peter held senior executive positions in various companies to include the Coca-Cola Company and Honeywell, Inc. He earned an MBA from Wake Forest University’s Babcock Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Jonathan Luther | Co-Founder & Proprietor | JJ’s Red Hots

Jonathan Luther is the creator and co-founder of a successful fast casual restaurant brand called JJ’s Red Hots in Charlotte, North Carolina. Jonathan has over 30 years of experience in building restaurant brands and creating multi-media in-store customer experiences for Fortune 500 retail brands. Prior to JJ’s, Jonathan led the Media Architecture group for Mood Media (formerly Muzak), the world’s leading provider of in-store media where he worked with a wide range of retail and restaurant brands in creating compelling in-store sensory experiences. Prior to working at Mood, Jonathan designed, built and managed other start up restaurant concepts, including Cool Peppers and Mike’s Warehouse Grill.

Steve Schulze | Co-Founder & CEO | Nékter Juice Bar

Now with more than 100 locations, another 150 in development and $100 million in systemwide sales, Steve Schulze, as CEO, has grown Nékter Juice Bar into the clear leader and pioneer of the $2 billion juice bar industry. Founded in 2010 upon a promise to reinvent a restaurant category that had lost its way, Nékter Juice Bar has been a catalyst for change, vowing ingredient integrity and authenticity across its menu of 100% freshly made and entirely clean juices, smoothies, bowls and other healthy snacks. Nékter plans to grow to 425 restaurants by 2020 and is well on its way as it prepares to open 75 restaurants in 2018.

Nicole Shepard | Innovation Brand Manager | Dunkin Brands

Nicole Shepard is an Associate Marketing Manager for Dunkin’ Donuts, focusing on beverage innovation. In this role, Nicole is responsible for identifying new opportunities and trends in the beverage landscape, and bringing them to life under Dunkin’s approachable, on-the-go brand strategy. Nicole also manages the marketing elements for the brand’s innovation to market process, spanning across multiple beverage categories like coffee, espresso, tea, frozen beverages and more. Prior to her role in marketing, Nicole spent six years in the Social Media and Public Relations industry, working with a number of national food, nutrition and fashion clients.


Michelle Davis | Senior Director of Sales | F’real Foods

Michelle Davis has been a sales executive for over 25 years, during this time she has directly managed key retail accounts and now leads f’real’s newest initiative in Food Service: opening new markets. Michelle exceeds aggressive sales goals every year by deploying a simple, yet creative strategy. She lends a keen ear to her clients, then launches innovative products and promotions geared towards benefiting both the client and f’real. As a result, long term relationships with key retail partners have emerged. While fostering these relationships, Michelle’s position as a sales executive has allowed her to help grow business in the USA, Canada and the international marketplace.

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