March 11-13 | Louisville, KY  —  It’s not too late… Registration is still open! Sign up today!


Democratizing Dining: How the Changing Restaurant Landscape Opens Doors and Cuts Costs

Industry veterans and food entrepreneurs alike continue to navigate a costly restaurant landscape, often significantly investing in real estate, equipment, delivery operations and more. With a little creative planning, however, many innovative brands are cutting costs and streamlining operations in unexpected ways.

This panel will explore those strategies, which often include shared kitchen space, pop-up locations and centralized delivery hubs.


Alex Canter | Owner | Canter’s Deli

Alex Canter was raised in the kitchen of world famous Canter’s Deli in Los Angeles and is the fourth generation owner/operator of the restaurant. Growing up in the family business, his primary role was to identify and implement new technology to bring the old-school deli into the next generation. Canter’s Deli now has 180 full time employees in its West Hollywood location, and 2 additional commisary kitchens in LA focused on delivery only. In 2017, Alex also created Ordermark to help restaurants maximize the benefits of online ordering.

Kyle Gordon | Owner | Dillas Quesadillas

Kyle Gordon is a dedicated husband, father and restaurateur. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, he later attended The University of Texas. After graduation, he spent 7 years as a Certified Training Managing Partner at Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers. In 2013, Kyle started his own restaurant concept, Dillas Quesadillas. Dillas now has 4 locations and more than 10 in the works, employs over 100 Team Members and has sales over 5 million dollars. When he’s not flippin’ quesadillas, you’ll find Kyle spending time with his wife and business partner, Maggie, and two children, Parker and Grace.

Kyle Noonan | Owner & Founder | Mutts Canine Cantina

Kyle Noonan is an American entrepreneur, speaker, television personality, sommelier, and creative tastemaker. Pioneering fresh ideas in the restaurant industry like Bowl & Barrel, Mutts Canine Cantina, The Rustic and The General Public, Kyle and his company, FreeRange Concepts, continue to awe fans both old and young by providing restaurant experiences that up the ante on the traditional. Kyle has been recognized as an engaging media personality appearing in national outlets such as Bravo, ESPN, Food Network, Travel Channel, Food & Wine Magazine, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and many more. In addition, Kyle has been recognized as a 40 Under 40 entrepreneurs and National Restaurant News Restaurateur of the Year.

Sebastiaan Van De Rijt | Owner | Bamboo Asia

Sebastiaan Van De Rijt is a Dutch food entrepreneur and CEO and founder of California fast casual eatery chain Bamboo Asia. He started his food journey working as a young restaurant manager in Brussels, and during his global travels became enthralled by the scrumptious food marketplaces in countries like China and Vietnam. Along with 3 diverse co-founders, Sebastiaan launched the first Bamboo Asia locale in 2011, and followed this with 2 additional Bay Area locations. The restaurant won Fast Casual’s “Brands to Watch 2019” and is set to launch additional locations in 2019. Sebastiaan has been featured on Sous Vide magazine, Restaurant Hospitality, San Francisco Business Times, and more.


Atul Sood | Chief Business Officer | Kitchen United

Atul Sood was most recently Director of Global Business Development for McDonald’s Digital, a business unit formed to help spur technological innovation across the restaurant. In this capacity, Atul forged partnerships across the technology ecosystem – ranging from payment platforms to voice activated ordering to food delivery initiatives – to help McDonald’s build the ‘restaurant of the future’. Prior to this role, Atul founded and sold a big data start-up in the sales intelligence space. He has also been the turnaround CEO of a company in the Knowledge Process Outsourcing industry, led business development for an enterprise software company, and been an investment banker.

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