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   Investing in Community: What's Next for Main Street?

After analyzing new habits developed from the pandemic, this session will forecast what's next for Main Street and Central Business Districts throughout the country. It's not a matter of David vs. Goliath, but how one-off restaurants and large chains can learn from one another to grow and succeed in this next wave of development.
Speaker: Lauren Chipman, CEO, Chipman Design Architecture

  Innovation Drives Transformation in the Commercial Kitchen

Innovation is the norm in the commercial kitchen, not the exception. Want proof? Look at all the ways commercial kitchens have evolved over the years to meet changing consumer preferences for both food and service styles. Yet the introduction of increased automation to solve current and future challenges for operations spanning all segments remains of critical importance. That’s because these emerging solutions can help operators make effective use of what labor they do have while also enhancing their environmental profiles. And data will help create context and lend credence as operators strive to find the right solutions to their challenges and address the opportunities that await their businesses.
Speaker: Meghan Daro, Vice President, Consultant Services, Middleby

   The Magic of Experience-based Foodservice Design

Bring a new ruler to this session because we’re changing how you measure the success of your design efforts. Move far beyond the "will it fit" thinking that anchors our industry to the past to a new metric of crafting and redefining experiential dining for the future of hospitality. Building upon heightened consumer expectations, operational headwinds and the evolving mindset of today's workforce, rethinking design is paramount in planning the foodservice spaces of tomorrow. This will challenge you to think outside the box allocated to the preconceived kitchen and bar notions, and inside the experience of both guests and staff for an outcome of experience-based foodservice design wizardry.
Speaker: Ed Doyle, President of RealFood Hospitality, Strategy & Design

   Five Ways Customers Have Changed The Way They Think About Restaurants

Customer expectations and the way they want to use restaurants have never been static. Pair that with the ongoing labor crunch, supply chain shortages and wild price increases and you have a dynamic unlike the restaurant and foodservice industries have ever experienced. The dynamic nature of today’s challenges requires some of out of the box and collaborative thinking by operators and their supply chain partners. To do so, restaurant and design professionals will need to look beyond their own backyards to adapt customers’ changing demands. This keynote presentation will provide context and food for thought around these challenges that will help everyone begin plotting their course for the future.
Speaker: Mike Kostyo, Trendologist and Associate Director, Datassential

   Modern Technology: Delivering Benefits to Operators and Customers

How can modern technology help meet the varied challenges that operators face today? Skill and labor shortages, rising material and untility costs, increased demand for quality in individualized menu offering, as well as increasing diversity in delivery methods and increasing hygiene requirements.
The Foodservice industry has seen enormous technological advancements over recent years, accelerated during the pandemic period. Selecting the right equipment can help future-proof your operation, ensure return on investment, and deliver a quality experience to the customer has never been more important.
Speaker: Simon Lohse, Executive Vice President, RATIONAL North America

   Tech Talk: When Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze?

Given the challenges operators face today, specifically the ongoing labor challenges that show no signs of abating, the benefits of automation continue to become more and more attractive. For automation and other advanced technologies to truly be worth the investment, though, implementation must solve business problems operators face. In other words, operators can’t afford to implement a certain technology and then find an issue for it to address. Taking the latter approach can lead to some pricey lessons learned for both the operators and their suppliers. Before determining if a specific technology can help a foodservice business meet the challenges of the day and whether the expense is worth it the business must first understand when, where and how it deploys labor. Only then can operators and their suppliers begin to understand the true impact of these technological developments and whether they will drive a return on investment through labor savings, better throughput and sales increases.
Speaker: Juan Martinez, PhD, PE, FCSI, Principal, Profitality

   Get Cooking in Record Time: How Adaptive Kitchens Save Time and Money for New Brands

There has been an explosion of multitenant food facilities over the last decade – from high-end production suites to entry-level shared kitchens and ghost kitchens. Savvy operators and designers have found creative ways to get the most out of multifunction kitchen spaces – “adaptive” spaces that can be optimized for CPG, commissary and food service applications. The industry is learning more and more about what works and what doesn’t. What do successful food operations need to know before choosing and moving into an adaptive space? How have some companies made small spaces incredibly productive? And what mistakes should be avoided at all costs? This presentation share lessons learned from early days to today, with examples drawn from adaptive kitchen operations around the globe.
Speaker: Mott Smith, Co-Owner & CEO, Amped Kitchens

   Gazing Into the Crystal Ball: The Future of Restaurant Design

There have been extraordinary changes in the hospitality sector over the last couple of years. Now that we have settled into a new reality, what does this mean for the future of restaurant design? This session will take a look at how interior design is evolving and adapting to meet the everchanging challenges operators are facing.
Speaker: Joseph Vajda, AIA, LEED bd+c, Principal, Aria Group

   Flexible by Design

In order to remain relevant in the eyes of the consumer, today’s restaurant concepts need to be more in tune with their clientele than ever before. To do so, operators need to be able to adapt not only when it comes to menu composition but also with design, real estate selection and more. When getting their food some customers may want to drive up while others will prefer to walk up and some will want to dine on premises. This session will explore how operators can remain flexible by design to adapt to customers’ preferences.
Speaker: Jill Ventura, Director of Restaurants, Core States Group