It’s not too late! Registration is open until March 22. Register Now

Breakout Session / Wednesday / March 22, 2023 / 1:00 PM

Uncovering the Secrets to Hiring and Retaining Workers RIGHT Now

With labor shortages still hindering the restaurant industry, what if you could increase application flow as well as your retention rates? This session is packed full of experts who will share how they are able to keep their stores staffed even when labor shortages are at an all-time high. During this session you will learn top reasons employees left in 2022, best practices on how to keep them in 2023 and more insights from exclusive HourWork data from 1,000s of restaurants across the country.


Adenah Bayoh | Founder, Franchisee | Cornbread, IHOP
Adenah Bayoh embodies the American dream. At age 13, she escaped the civil war in her native country of Liberia, immigrated to the United States and is now one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the state of New Jersey. Inspired by her grandmother, who owned a restaurant in Liberia, Adenah is now the owner of 8 restaurants including 4 IHOP franchises in northern New Jersey. She opened her first IHOP in Irvington Township, New Jersey at the age of 27, making her one of the youngest franchisees in the country at that time. In late 2017, Adenah launched Cornbread, her first independent fast casual, farm-to-table, soul food restaurant, which she co-founded with fellow entrepreneur, Zadie B. Smith. They recently opened their second location in downtown Newark, and a third in Brooklyn, NY. Additionally, in keeping with Adenah’s mission of bringing high quality food and services to urban communities, in the summer of 2021 she launched her latest restaurant concept, Urban Vegan, in downtown Newark.
Dawn Petite | President | Friendly’s Restaurants
Dawn Petite is the President of Friendly’s Restaurants, which operates over 130 (company-operated and franchised) friendly, full-service restaurants serving signature entrees, burgers, sandwiches, and hand-crafted, specialty ice cream. Dawn began her career at Friendly’s Restaurants as an operations manager and has been with the Friendly’s brand for over 40 years. Currently, she oversees a multi-functional team of employees from corporate operations to franchise operations and training. Dawn previously worked as the Chief Operating Officer for J&B Restaurant Partners, where she oversaw operations for the largest franchisee in the Friendly’s organization, as well as multiple beach restaurants, bars, and the Gatsby on the Ocean Catering Hall.
Mike Speck | CEO & Partner | FUSIAN
Mike Speck has significant experience in Operations, Training, HR, Business Acquisitions and Senior Level Leadership, in both corporate and franchise national high growth casual dining and fast casual service restaurant companies. He is the Chief Executive Officer & Partner of Fusian and CEO, Co-Founder of Paceline Restaurant Partners (FUSIAN development arm) with full responsibility for building the organizational, operational and financial businesses of FUSIAN, and emerging brands; The Wizard of Za and Hunny Bee’s Crispy Fried. In addition, he is also an active Board Member, former CEO with Asian Box. Immediately prior was Chief Operating Officer of The Halal Guys, the New York City most iconic brand.” Other experience with unique brands of Qdoba, Red Robin and Steak and Ale proudly credit a life long good fortune of mentorships. Mike is also a professional mentor at the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business and has been a past chairman for the National Restaurant Association HR Executive Group.
David Walsh | VP of People Services | New England Authentic Eats

Rahkeem Morris | CEO & Founder | HourWork
Rahkeem Morris is the Founder and CEO of HourWork. His emphatic leadership and boundless energy never fail to inspire those around him. Before Cornell, Google, and Harvard Business School, Rahkeem was a high-school dropout who balanced multiple part-time jobs (working 13 in total) over nine years to make ends meet. HourWork, borne of his personal experience, is helping 10,000+ quick-service restaurants navigate a historic labor shortage by doubling applicant flow and increasing employee retention by 30%. Rahkeem serves as Vice Chair of the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology and was appointed a member of the 17-person Special Commission to Study the Future of Work for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
View Full Agenda

session sponsor