March 24-26, 2024 | Kansas City, MO — Early Bird registration ends Feb. 23. Register Now

Breakout Session / Monday / March 25, 2024 / 10:30 AM

Robotics & AI: Fleeting Fad or Here to Stay?

Restaurants around the world are testing robotics and AI, which are often lumped together but not exactly the same thing. Robotics deals with the development of robots, which can be automatic or need initial instructions from humans, while AI develops software that can perform tasks usually done by humans, such as decision-making, problem solving and logical reasoning.

Automating tasks people don’t want to do or are dangerous seems like a no-brainer, but using it in the wrong areas is just as dangerous as ignoring it. Our experts reveal how to  accomplish long- and short-term goals by choosing the most appropriate applications as well as finding ways to lower costs.


Jim Bitticks | President & COO | Dave's Hot Chicken
Jim Bitticks is the President and Chief Operating Officer for Dave’s Hot Chicken. He oversees the day-to-day operation of the company with direct oversight over operations, training, procurement, construction, and technology. Jim joined the Dave’s team when there were just four restaurants and has helped grow the brand to 150 locations across the U.S., Canada, and the Middle East. Prior to his current role, Jim was the Chief Restaurant Officer and EVP of Operations, Training, and Construction for Blaze Pizza, and oversaw the successful growth of that brand from two restaurants to three hundred seventy-two restaurants before making the move to Dave’s.
Scott Ford | President & Co-CEO | Hawaiian Bros Island Grill
Scott Ford, as President & Co-CEO of Hawaiian Bros Island Grill, possesses a rich three-decade background in the food service sector. His expertise in supply chain optimization, operational design, and brand management speaks to his dedication to the industry. At the core of Hawaiian Bros’ success lies Ford’s ability to assemble and lead a talented team, adeptly navigating the brand through the challenges of the fast-casual restaurant market. Prior to spearheading initiatives at Hawaiian Bros, Ford demonstrated his industry acumen as a principal at DKA Services LLC in Kansas City. Moreover, his leadership at Mr. Goodcents Franchise Systems, Inc., where he ascended to the role of president and CEO, solidifies his standing as an industry stalwart. With Ford's consistent emphasis on experience and teamwork, Hawaiian Bros is confidently positioned for enduring success and continued growth in the ever-evolving restaurant landscape.
Andrew Simmons | CEO | Mamma Ramona's Pizzeria

Anand Tumuluru | CEO & Co-Founder | Loop
Anand Tumuluru is the CEO and co-founder of Loop, a SaaS co-pilot for delivery profitability helping 1000s of locations across the nation's top brands like Dave's Hot Chicken, Freddy's and Mo'Bettahs. Over the past decade, he wore several hats as a restaurateur, AI researcher and was most recently at Uber witnessing the growth of delivery. He believes that the future of food is going to be shaped heavily by data driven insights on consumer behaviour and an AI based co-pilot for operators to take control of everything from guest experience to finances.
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