Testimonials from the 2016 Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit that took place on March 29-31 in Dallas. Executives interviewed include: Barry Westrum, Dairy Queen; Linda Veatch, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop; Laura Sporrer, HuHot Mongolian Grill; Ben Ross, Muscle Maker Grill; Dennis O’Toole, Manitowoc Foodservice; Matt Silk, Waterfall.

I love the opportunity to network with other people that are doing marketing for restaurants. And the fact that this focused on franchise brands, made it that much better for me to connect with people that are struggling with the same things that I am.

 

Linda Veatch, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop
2016 Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit

I really enjoyed both the opening and closing speakers. Both were excellent presenters and so well versed in their field.

 

Liz Bazner, A&W Restaurants
2016 Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit

It’s the intimate conversations that you have with brands. So the fact that it was a small enough conference that we probably got to talk to everyone in the room over the course of the last two days. So it’s an amazing time.

 

Matt Silk, Waterfall
2016 Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit

For me it’s all about the people. Amazingly talented, smart people in this industry and sharing ideas and hearing thoughts and expanding your mind. It’s just a great time.

 

Randy Gier, Pizza Inn
2014 Fast Casual Executive Summit

It’s been a great experience…All the topics were on top of everything that I needed to discuss and I wanted to discuss, especially mobile payments which is a hot topic for us as well.

 

Tcheilly Nunes, Dunkin’ Brands
2015 CONNECT Mobile Innovation Summit

The Summit was a very productive use of our resources as a sponsor. Being highly focused it had all of the right people in the room, leading to engaging conversations and new business ventures.

 

Chris Hunt, Swrve
2015 CONNECT Mobile Innovation Summit

We’ve met many of our existing customers. We have met many of our potential customers. We have met many of our partners and other suppliers. And everyone has been absolutely open and fantastic, warm and welcoming and sincere. We’ll be back.

 

Neil Sudaisar, DIRECTV
2014 Fast Casual Executive Summit

Whether you’re coming from a big brand or a small brand, we’re all facing those same challenges…How to harness social media. How to protect your brand. How to grow your brand. I really felt like there was a wonderful mix of both big and small here and we could all learn from each other, which was terrific.

 

Barry Westrum, Dairy Queen
2016 Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit

Everyone was able to talk, connect and really learn from each other. It was very open dialogue. Smooth format. The sessions broke out perfectly where we had nice breaks in between so we could catch up on work, do what we had to do. But also really take in all the information, network and meet the people that are here.

 

Ben Ross, Muscle Maker Grill
2016 Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit

So many different brands here. So many emerging brands. This is probably the best place if you really want to find the leaders of the next generation of the restaurant business. It’s really great.

 

Scott Davis, Panera Bread
2014 Fast Casual Executive Summit

I really enjoyed the summit, got a lot out of it and was glad I made the decision to come.

 

Andrew Hubbard, Bob Evans Farms
2014 Fast Casual Executive Summit

It’s been great. Just getting to know the folks. Meeting some other brands and other partners. Some real quality vendors. It’s nice. I go to a fair number of conferences and this one’s kind of smaller, a little more intimate. Gives you more time to actually get to know folks as opposed to being part of the crowd.

 

Chad Bailey, Robeks
2014 Fast Casual Executive Summit

Sponsoring a Brain Exchange table at CONNECT 2014 was a home run for us. The conference was the perfect size and format for cultivating personal connections with merchants we met there. Since then, we have had meaningful conversations with nine restaurant chains that were represented at our table. Three of them are now clients and we are nearing deals with four others.

 

Jeremy Theisen, Punchh
2014 CONNECT Mobile Innovation Summit

I think that conferences tend to be very general and then you have to go apply it. But this is one that I’m taking a few more concrete pieces. So actual pieces of software that I want to use and test and new strategies and a ton of great contacts.

 

Laura Sporrer, HuHot Mongolian Grill
2016 Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit

The show was very successful for us.

 

Spencer McCluskey, Square
2016 Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit

We came here and we made some new relationships. But we also interacted with some of our very good customers. Maybe we spoke to somebody that we had known previously, but we had a different type of conversation or maybe we got to know somebody else inside that organization. So even if we are doing business with them, there was value in getting to know some of their other functional leaders.

 

Dennis O’Toole, Manitowoc Foodservice
2016 Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit

I almost skipped the event this year as I thought I was too busy running my restaurants. Thank goodness I changed my mind and registered last minute. I always leave the conference with dozens of take-away ideas from not only the presenters, but from operators I meet during the breaks.

 

Brian Bailey, Ichor Restaurant Group
2014 Fast Casual Executive Summit

Great event. Lots of great nuggets to build our mobile presence.

 

Curtis Lund, Taco John’s International
2014 CONNECT Mobile Innovation Summit

We had a lot of successful contacts here. It’s been intimate enough that we’ve actually had a chance to speak with them. Everybody’s been extremely welcoming. We have been able to interact a lot with all the attendees, which has been great.

 

Melissa Reed, CradlePoint
2015 ICX Summit

This has been an awesome Summit. I’ve been a number of times and this is one of the very best. I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly.

 

David Gilbert, Heartland Payment Systems
2014 Fast Casual Executive Summit