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March 30 – April 1, 2022 | Nashville — Early Bird pricing ends December 10, 2021. Sign up today!


Protecting Your Brand in the Wild, Wild East of the Franchising World

If franchising outside the comfort zone of your city or state can be nerve-wracking, taking on a whole other country and its unfamiliar culture can seem practically impossible.

This session will teach you how to vet potential out-of-country franchisees, how to identify and avoid potential pitfalls, how to negotiate a fair contract, and how to pursue legal protection for your brand in even the most “franchise-lawless” markets.


Andrew Gruel

Andrew Gruel | Founder & CEO | Slapfish

Andrew Gruel, a graduate of Johnson & Wales University, is currently the CEO and Founder of Slapfish Restaurant Group, the award-winning food truck turned international brick and mortar, based out of Huntington Beach, CA and Co-Owner of Butterleaf Restaurant and Two Birds Chicken. Andrew has appeared on multiple television series including his most recent role as a judge on Food Network’s Chopped Junior. He was recently the Host of FYI Series “Say It To My Face” as well as a judge on Food Network’s “Food Truck Face Off.” He has made appearances on the TODAY show, PBS, Cooking Channel, and has been featured in numerous publications.

Jim Perkins | VP of International Development | Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

Jim Perkins joined the Dickey’s Barbecue Pit family as the Vice President of International Development in 2018. Jim partners with the Franchise Sales team to continue to grow the Dickey’s brand internationally. At Dickey’s, Jim seeks to find the perfect partners for international expansion and works with them through every phase of opening their Dickey’s location. Before joining the Dickey’s team, he was the Vice President of Development at MAM Food Co. and Papa Murphy’s. Jim earned his BS in Mathematics and BA in Spanish from Purdue University.

Ryan Smolkin | Founder & CEO | Smoke’s Poutinerie

Ryan Smolkin is the Founder and Chief Executive Office of Smoke’s Poutinerie. After graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1995, Ryan established AmoebaCorp, an internationally-recognized Graphic Design and Branding company with clients including Nike, Molson, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Corus Entertainment, YTV, Sims Snowboards and Nelvana. Ryan’s primary goal has always been to bring Canada’s National Iconic dish to the rest of the world in an original and unique way, and to ultimately achieve GLOBAL DOMINATION! With Ryan at the helm of Smoke’s Poutinerie, the franchise has been growing at an astoundingly fast pace. Currently, The World’s Largest & Original Poutinerie has over 150 stores across North America.


Pedro Ramos | VP of Sales | Agilence

Pedro Ramos is responsible for managing the Agilence sales team across our national platform. He has overseen the growth of the 20/20 Data Analytics Suite of products adding over 110 logos in a 5 year period. Prior to Agilence, he managed the loss prevention and reverse logistics programs for Pathmark, a 141 store supermarket chain, acquired by A&P in 2008. While at Pathmark, he led Pathmark’s loss prevention program, which consistently delivered industry leading shrink results. Pedro is a former chairman of the New Jersey Food Council’s Loss Prevention Committee. He is active in the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, NY Food Industry Alliance and the Loss Prevention Foundation.

session sponsor