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


Remodeling Done Right: Create a Stellar New Look with Staying Power

Renovation and renewal are part of the natural evolution for any brand, but rushing to remodel only to change course again a short time later can be detrimental to a franchise’s growth.

Designers and restaurant operators will discuss lessons learned from their own remodeling efforts and offer some do’s, don’ts and best practices that can make your restaurant remodeling a resounding success.


Bob Bafundo | President | RAVE Restaurant Group

As President of RAVE Restaurant Group, Bob Bafundo oversees day-to-day operations for all RAVE brands. An industry veteran with a passion for restaurants, Bafundo joined RAVE in 2016 as president of Pizza Inn. During his tenure, he developed and implemented successful initiatives leading to positive same-store sales and a resurgence in restaurant growth for Pizza Inn. He also led the brand to introduce a new non-traditional brand, PIE, as a complement to the brand refresh and expansion of Pizza Inn. Previously, Bob served as President of Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill. With a background in operations, Bob has worked through the ranks of both single and multi-unit operations.

Larry Jones | VP of Construction | Captain D’s

Larry Jones has been with Captain D’s LLC since 2011 and is currently Vice President of Construction. Larry is responsible for new restaurant construction for Captain D’s and Grandy’s brands, as well as restaurant design, remodels, facility services, equipment innovation, and design. Previously, Larry was Vice President of Innovation for Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (1991-2011). Larry has a degree in Political Science from Macon State University.

Jason Valentine | President & COO | Zoup! Eatery

Having worked in the industry for more than 25 years, Jason Valentine has experienced every aspect of what it takes to operate a restaurant franchise. Jason is the President & Chief Operating Officer for Zoup! Eatery, which has restaurants across the U.S. and in Ontario, Canada. Before joining Zoup!, Jason was the Vice President of Operations for Cousins Subs, joining the company’s Leadership Team after operating his family’s multi-unit Cousins Subs franchise. Jason has a deep understanding of the restaurant industry from the perspective of both franchisee and franchisor, and his experiences are of tremendous value to Zoup! as he leads the company’s rebranding transition from Zoup! Fresh Soup Company to Zoup! Eatery.

Doug Willmarth | CMO | Mongolian Concepts

Doug Willmarth is Chief Marketing Officer at Mongolian Concepts leading brand strategy and marketing for Genghis Grill, bd’s Mongolian Grill, and FlatTop Grill. In the last year, he has led brand revitalization initiatives for Genghis Grill and bd’s Mongolian Grill brands including updates to positioning, marketing creative and asset remodel designs. Prior to Mongolian Concepts, Doug worked with restaurant and retail companies as a fractional Chief Marketing Officer. He has previously served as Chief Marketing Officer for Wingstop and Rave Cinemas and held senior marketing positions with Pizza Hut, Frito Lay and Chili’s.


Sam Brewer | Project Lead, Restaurant Design | Chick-fil-A

Sam Brewer leads initiative work for Restaurant Design Innovation at Chick-fil-A. Leaning on a background in Industrial Engineering and experience with General Electric Appliances and Disney Parks and Resorts, he is focused on designing new layouts, equipment and operations to meet the expectations of the Chick-fil-A’s future Guest. Recently leading program development and rollout of new equipment to support catering production, a front of house redesign to support fulfillment of mobile orders, and internal testing of revolutionary drive thru layouts. Sam is passionate about the restaurant industry and providing a remarkable and repeatable experience for every single Guest.

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