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It’s true that consumers today are busier than ever and crave more convenient options to meet their dining needs. But in our quest to fulfill this call for convenience, are we missing out on the very reasons restaurants have become such an integral part of our society? We are all social creatures, born of the need to interact within our families, communities and the world at large. Dining has played a large role in fostering our ability to connect with each other. People want to be seen, known and exist in the lives of others. There is now a polarization between two dining motivations: convenience and connection. If we replace the opportunity for connection with technology, what are we really gaining? Is it worth sacrificing the connection? And how can we get get it back?

Steve Starr, President, Starrdesign

With decades of experience in the industry, Steve Starr has become a nationally-recognized leader in restaurant and retail design. While his insight and expertise spans the hospitality industry, his focus is on branding, consumer behavior and the development process. Steve leads a creative, multi-disciplinary team of architects, interior designers, graphics designers and branding professionals at Starr Design in Charlotte, NC – where they concentrate on connecting people with brands through creative environments and responsible processes.