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Breakout Session / Tuesday / March 26, 2024 / 11:15 AM

Reducing Food Waste AND Boosting Profits: It’s Possible!

Restaurant brands produce nearly 11.4 tons of food waste each year, leading to $25 billion in losses for the industry. Although waste is seen as an unavoidable consequence of operating a restaurant, cutting it is imperative, not only for the environment but also for a brand’s bottom line.

This session will explore how the right technology and processes in place can help restaurants track inventory from delivery to preparation and drive consistency with forecasting, predictive ordering and recipe management.


Tom Foley | Founder | Indigo Group LLC
Tom Foley is T2D Concepts’ creator in the boardroom overseeing business strategy and operations for the purpose-driven hospitality group, which operates Roots Southern Table, Roots Chicken Shak, and Radici (opening early 2024). T2D’s the mission is to provide great food, great service, great conversation, and great impact; and ultimately to bridge the gender and racial wealth gap in the hospitality industry through the power of good food and meaningful dialogue around the table. Tom aims to achieve this goal through an innovative franchising model that will expand the Roots Chicken Shak footprint, deliver consistent chef-driven food, and provide incentives and opportunities for minorities to operate their own franchise. Tom started his career practicing law in New York, handling large civil litigation, mergers, acquisitions, and real estate matters. After actively practicing law for 15+ years, Tom transitioned to explore social impact business opportunities and founded Indigo Group on the belief that businesses must drive social impact.
Natalie Green | Chief Operating Officer | Nékter Juice Bar
As Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Nékter Juice Bar, Natalie Green is a proven and results-focused professional driving operational excellence and steady company growth. Her keen and strategic vision coupled with a collaborative and hands-on leadership style has helped propel Nékter Juice Bar’s leadership position within the juice bar category. Today, Nékter Juice Bar has more than 330 locations open or in development. Natalie is a key voice in all essential facets of the company including operations, supply chain optimization, menu development, franchising sales and development, marketing, and human relations. Natalie joined Nékter Juice Bar in 2011 as controller building and leading the company’s in-house accounting team, and later was promoted to senior vice president of business operations. Before Nékter Juice Bar, Natalie served as an Account Manager for Costa Mesa-based Pacific Restaurant Advisors.
Eric Knott | Chief Operating Officer | PDQ Restaurants
Eric Knott is a restaurant executive with a proven track record built upon operational excellence, driving revenues with favorable returns, and a passion for developing best in class teams. Currently leading the fast casual brand People Dedicated to Quality (PDQ) as the Chief Operating Office, Eric has committed over a decade to driving strategic growth across the business. Understanding the importance of a holistic vision, Eric is directly responsible for producing results through a vast array of incentives. Innovation across Operations, Technology, Real-Estate, and Marketing campaigns are a few examples of how Eric has created superior value to the organization.
Brandon Knudsen | Co-Founder & CEO | Ziggi's Coffee
Brandon Knudsen, CEO of Ziggi's Coffee, forged his path outside the conventional route. With entrepreneurial roots and a drive to create, he and his wife ventured into business ownership after leaving college. Their journey was challenging, but the rewards of building Ziggi's from scratch outweighed the obstacles faced. Drawing from his basketball background, Brandon leads with a strategic vision, fostering growth and excellence in his team. Beyond Ziggi's, his entrepreneurial endeavors include investments in Bearded Brewer and Gold Seal Distributing. Family-centric, Brandon thrives on shared passions and new pursuits, finding joy in cheering his son's college games and bonding over shared activities like golf.

Marielle Kokos | Head of Sales and Partnerships |
Marielle is the Head of Sales and Partnerships at, helping restaurants take control of two of their biggest expenses: labor and food costs. Previous to her time there, she was leading new business sales at Glassdoor and headed up the Restaurant Success team Grubhub. Marielle has 18+ years experience leading successful sales and customer success teams in the tech industry. She's passionate about working with small and medium sized businesses to help them find the right technology solutions to increase their success. Marielle has resided in Chicago for the last 17 years where she enjoys all the amazing restaurants the city has to offer and watching the sports teams try real hard to win.
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