Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit | Louisville 2018

MONDAY / APRIL 9, 2018

3:00 pm | Registration opens

Doing Well By Doing Good

Jeff Sinelli, founder and CEO of Which Wich Superior Sandwiches, a 500-location sandwich chain best known for its customizable sandwiches, creative ordering system, and personalized sandwich bag, will discuss his take on entrepreneurship and taking risks. He will describe his transformative personal and professional journey, through highs and lows, providing actionable items to begin utilizing in your businesses immediately. Learn why Jeff believes in the power of doing well by doing good and how he ultimately arrived at creating Project PB&J, a charity that donates two PB&J sandwiches for each sold in-store.

5:00 pm Spreading Party

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches aren’t just for kids. During this special Which Wich Spreading Party, conference attendees will have the opportunity to Spread the Love by making sandwiches for those in need in DFW. Join us for an hour of fast-paced team-building, filled with lots of music and fun!

The Spreading Party event is an initiative of the Which Wich Cares Foundation launched in 2014. Every single sandwich will be immediately wrapped, packaged and donated to Dallas-area food banks, veteran organizations and schools.

“We believe that the simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich can make the world a better place,” said Jeff Sinelli, founder, CEO and chief vibe officer of Which Wich, who will be one of the sandwich-makers in attendance. “Peanut butter, jelly and bread come together to mean so much more. For the organizations we give to, and the people they help, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches can be a reminder of home during a hard time and a meal for an empty belly.”


Jeff Sinelli
CEO & Founder
Which Wich Superior Sandwiches

5:00 – 8:00 pm | Opening Reception

Join us at the start of the Summit for a chance to network with attendees, speakers and sponsors over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.


TUESDAY / APRIL 10, 2018

7:00 am | Registration & Breakfast

8:00 am | Opening Remarks

• Cherryh Cansler | Director of Editorial | Networld Media Group

8:15 am | General Session


In this session, you will hear three 15-minute, thought-provoking talks that will leave you challenged and inspired.

• Stacy Brown | Founder | Chicken Salad Chick


9:00 am | Refreshment Break

9:30 am | Breakout Session

There’s More at Risk Than Just Food Safety: Lessons from Restaurant Data Breaches

While food safety is a problem that can kill a restaurant brand, it’s certainly not the only pitfall that brands must avoid. Regaining customer trust after a data breach incident isn’t impossible, but it’s not easy. This session features executives from a few brands that were able to learn from their breaches and win back customers.

9:30 am | Breakout Session

Franchisees Tell All: Are You Listening?

Rolling out anything new – whether it’s adding a new menu item or deploying the latest technology to help streamline operations – is often a challenge in the franchise world.

Franchisees often feel pressured to spend money that they don’t have,and franchisors can become frustrated at what they perceive as a franchisee’s lack of passion for growth.

This session features franchiees who have a successful and mutually beneficial relationship with their franchisors. As franchisees, they will tell attendees what they need and expect from the corporate office in order to be profitable.

• Steve Weigel | CEO | Cerca Trova Restaurant Concepts

10:30 am | Refreshment Break

11:00 am | Breakout Session

Conquering the Industry’s Top 5 Revenue Drainers

Cost cutting is a huge challenge whether it’s controlling labor issues, managing the increasing costs of commodities, enhancing the menu, rolling out technologies to improve the customer experience or simply innovating to keep up with customer demands. Execs in this session share what keeps them up at night and what they do to keep costs down.

• Doug Hogrefe | Senior Operator | Amerigo

11:00 am | Breakout Session

Taking Your Brand to the Streets

Food trucks, which were once seen only as an economical way to provide foodservice to worksites, are now finding popularity with a variety of brick-and-mortar restaurant chains – big and small. While some brands are using these restaurants on wheels as a way to market their standard concepts, others are solely operating mobile businesses.

This session will not only uncover how brands can use food trucks and stalls as marketing vehicles, but will also focus on best practices when it comes to franchising a mobile concept.

• Rich Mainzer | Chef/Owner | The Boneyard Truck

12:00 pm | Lunch Session

Eradicating the inefficiencies that needlessly cost operators $MM’s per year

New technology is exposing the true cost of owning and operating food service equipment. It’s revealing the fact that great inefficiencies, caused by a fragmented industry using disparate systems—among other factors—are needlessly costing the industry tens, maybe even hundreds of millions every year. Fortunately, that same technology is also making it possible for chains to do something about it and put at least that much back to the bottom line where it belongs. In this session attendees will learn how they, with little to no investment, can reverse this trend, and increase the health of their business along with the reliability, longevity and overall ROI they receive from the equipment they rely on each and every day.

  • Sponsored by Welbilt


Gary Meehan

1:15 pm | Breakout Session

A Look at Legality: What to Consider in Franchise Negotiations

Targeted toward franchisors in the relatively early stages of development (5-75 locations) or to those who are looking to diversify their franchising options to attract more partners, this session will teach attendees to ask the right questions during negotiations.

Experts will discuss: diversifying contract options, when to give more power to franchisees, accountability issues, rights, standards, obligations and procedures.

• Chris Cheek | Chief Development Officer | Newk’s Eatery

1:15 pm | Breakout Session

Using Mixology to Liven Up Your Menu

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.

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

• Shannon Salupo | Corporate Beverage Manager | Quaker Steak & Lube

2:15 pm | Refreshment Break

2:30 pm | Breakout Session

Joining the Clean-Movement Trend without Losing Profit and Customers

The trend of ditching chemicals and preservatives isn’t going away, but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy to remove from the menu. It can be expensive, time consuming and may even leave a few loyal customers angry about losing their favorite menu items.

Experts on this panel will share how and why they cleaned up their menus without isolating customers or losing too much money.

• Donna Josephson | SVP & CMO | Corner Bakery Cafe

2:30 pm | Breakout Session

I’ll Take Digital To Go

The to-go experience can make a break or brand, which is why this session looks at what it takes to win customers over whether it’s via carry out, drive-thru or delivery.

From deploying digital menu boards and mobile apps to pleasing customers at the pick-up window or counter, attendees will learn how to successfully implement some of today’s must-haves at the drive-thru.

  • Sponsored by LevelUp

3:30 pm | Refreshment Break

4:00 pm | Breakout Session

Is Your Culture Making Your Leadership Quit?

This session dissects what a culture and training program entail and offers tips and techniques to create employee loyalty and retention. Specifically, experts will discuss how they upgraded their recruiting, training and onboarding processes by incorporating digital mediums.

Attendees will also learn how to identify and stop sources of monetary, reputational and company culture losses.

• John Hughes | Brand Ambassador | Jersey Mike’s
• Dennie Laney | VP of Training & People Development | MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes

4:00 pm | Breakout Session

Where is Digital Marketing Headed: What Eggs Should I Put in Which Baskets?

The technology boom has led to seemingly countless ways to get a brand’s message in front of people via screens. But what’s the best mix? And what does the digital realm of 3-5 years and beyond look like?

Our experts will discuss the trends and predictions to start preparing now for the digital marketing plan of the 2020s.

• Scott Iversen | VP of Marketing | Toppers Pizza

6:30 – 9:30 pmDinner Party

After a full day of inspiring keynotes and information-packed sessions, relax and recharge while enjoying great food and great conversation.

Wine Tasting at Times Ten Cellars

After a full day of informative and inspiring sessions, get ready for an evening of great food and great conversation in a unique setting. Attendees of the Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit will be treated to a private dinner party at Times Ten Cellars. We’ll experience a wine tasting and enjoy an Italian buffet dinner, including pizzas from Urban Crust food truck and desserts from Cheesecake Love. This winemaking facility offers wines from select vineyards in California’s premier wine regions as well as their own wines from their vineyard in Alpine, Texas. The dinner party is included with your Summit registration at no additional cost.

Transportation will be provided. Buses will depart at 6:15 pm.



8:00 am | Breakfast

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.


10:30 am | Refreshment Break

A Great Recipe to Scale a Positive Culture at Work

Most of us have learned how to scale our recipes, production systems and financial metrics. The challenge in this day and age, especially with those in the “people” business, is the ability to scale a positive, high-performing work environment. Nick Sarillo, Owner of Nick’s Pizza & Pubs knows it is possible and how you can do it across your restaurants, too. Do you wonder what kind of wisdom a guy with only two pizza restaurants in Illinois can provide to make you want to stay till the end of the Summit? Consider this…Nick’s Pizza & Pub has margins nearly twice that of the average pizza restaurant and boasts more than a 75 percent employee retention rate. Nick credits his company’s success to his purpose-driven culture, which is the focus of his book, A Slice of the Pie: How to Build a Big Little Business. His insights have been featured in Inc., The New York Times, The Economist, Fast Company, Entrepreneur and Investor’s Business Daily.


Nick Sarillo
Entrepreneur, Speaker, Author
A Slice of the Pie: How to Build a Big Little Business

12:00 pm | Summit adjourns

Agenda and speakers are subject to change.

Group Discount

Take Your Team to the Summit

Register two attendees from your company and add a third attendee at no additional cost.


Applies only to qualified attendees.

Hotel Reservations

Omni Louisville Hotel
Rate: $189/night* | Deadline: 3/19/2018

Call (502) 656-7220 and mention that you’re attending the Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit.
* Subject to availability at time of booking.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsoring the Summit will put you in meaningful conversations with executives in your target market. Opportunities are available for almost any budget. Download the Sponsor Prospectus to learn more.

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