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During three days - October 14, 28 and November 9 - beginning at 1PM Central, industry experts will be giving TED-Talk style presentations about a variety of the most pressing issues facing the foodservice equipment and design industry today. Each presentation will be about 15 minutes each. Below you'll find a brief description of each presenters session topic. To attend any of the sessions - live or on-demand - sign up at the registration page.

How Culture Drives Brand Experience

The pandemic has changed all aspects of the restaurant industry for good. From the way people work to the way consumers want to use restaurants and beyond, there’s really no going back to what was once considered normal. As a result, operators and their supply chain partners need to take a fresh look at what leadership, biz culture look and feel like to deal with decision making as the foodservice industry marches onward and deals with new and more complex issues. For example, despite the more widespread adoption of artificial intelligence in the industry, people will never be more important to an organization’s success. Owners AND workers are BOTH essential, which is something the labor market had been telling us prior to the pandemic. Moving forward it’s not just what companies will do but how they do it that will count as Rudy Miick will explain.
Speaker: Rudy Miick, CMC, FCSI, MA, Founder, The Miick Companies, LLC

Empowering Change to Drive Strategic Growth

While segments of the foodservice industry were still managing in crisis mode during the early months of the year, the summer months forced many to manage a demand surge. That presented a new set of challenges: supply chain disruptions, material shortages, intense inflation and an ongoing labor shortages. Leaders in this environment must prepare their teams to adapt to an ever-changing set of challenges. Steve explains his change management strategies that helped him face these challenges head on and gain the buy-in from his workforce.
Speaker: Steve Maahs, President and COO, Alto-Shaam

Form and Function Fuel Growth

Several years ago, Tom & Chee went from rags to apparent riches when the chain received an investment from one of the investors on the hit television show “Shark Tank.” But the concept never achieved its potential, due to inability to provide a compelling consumer value proposition and having a high cost of development. Enter GSR Brands, which bought the chain and set out to revitalize Tom & Chee’s by changing the form and function of the concept. In doing so, GSR made sure to optimize both customer’s experience as well as the team member’s journey to deliver optimum hospitality while streamlining development costs. The new concept aims to develop appropriate unit economics for the existing business, while ensuring an upside in sales capacity. Roger David, CEO of Tom & Chee, and Juan Martinez, principal and co-founder of Profitality Labor Guru, will take you through this evolutionary journey.
Roger David, President & CEO, GSR Brands, Gold Star, Tom & Chee
Juan Martinez, Principal & Co-Founder, Profitality Labor Guru


Emerging Concepts in the Evolution of Restaurant Design: What’s Next?

Restaurant operators have learned to adapt quickly and creatively to extraordinary circumstances that have upended the industry as we know it. The question now is, where do we go from here? How do restaurant designers incorporate the lessons of the past year and take them to the next level? //3877 co-founder David Tracz takes a look at emerging concepts and trends shaping the future of the restaurant design industry.
Speaker: David Tracz, AIA, LEED AP, Co-Founder & Principal, //3877

The Critical Role of Service for an Efficient Kitchen Operation

Speaker: Simon Lohse, Executive Vice President, RATIONAL North America

Energizing a Concept by Design

Despite the market turbulence brought forth by the pandemic, restaurants need to continue to keep one eye trained on the horizon as they plot their course for future growth. Doing so will require embracing what made the concepts successful in the past while evolving through the use of technology, updated menus and enhanced restaurant design. This will allow restaurants to achieve operate efficiently while energizing the concept in the eyes of the guest. David Bloom will address how Wingzone approached these issues and more as the chain prepares to fly into the future.
Speaker: David Bloom, Chief Development & Operating Officer, Capriotti’s & Wing Zone


The Name of the Game: Efficiency

Lots has changed in commercial kitchens of late. Takeout has taken over. Ghost kitchens are anything but spooky. And virtual brands continue to show real potential. Consumers using these evolving forms of foodservice often demand different and even competing experiences. The key to successfully balancing all of this is understanding the name of the game is still efficiency. Landmark Kitchen Design’s Antonio Rico will discuss the delicate balance between evolution and efficiency in today’s rapidly changing foodservice world.
Speaker: Antonio Rico, Principal/Partner, Landmark Kitchen Design

Forget Labor Challenges. Automate!

Labor. When you can find it, it's expensive and lacks the skills required to operate today's high demand and busy throughput kitchen. Enter automation. While examples of automation have been in our industry for some time now, the past 18 months have led to accelerated advancements in the quest to enhance profitability through the deployment of targeted technologies. From IoT to collaborative robotics, automation is broader than we realize, and it's making its way into every facet of operations of a typical brick and mortar restaurant to the virtual brand.
Speaker: James K. Pool III, Chief Technology and Operations Officer, The Middleby Corporation

Six Most Valuable Lessons Learned from Six Years as a Restaurateur

Today’s restaurant industry leaders must set the tone for teamwork, service and more. They have to alternate between guiding their teams and serving as a cheerleader to voice full support in challenging times. Restauranteur Meghan Lee will discuss six lessons learned, among them how to retaining great staff and mentor them for success while helping them achieve work-life balance; navigate being a female restaurant owner in a male-dominated industry; challenge standard business practices and daring to be different; how to trust your instincts and stay true to yourself, continually innovate – even after achieving success and more!
Speaker: Meghan Lee, Owner, Heirloom