What will the restaurant industry operating environment look like in 2021? How will the way consumers use restaurants change in the coming year? What will be the key ingredients in operators’ recipe for success moving forward? Two of the industry’s most respected thought leaders will tackle these issues and answer audience questions in this lively give and take.

David Portalatin, VP, Food Industry Advisor, The NPD Group, Inc.

David Portalatin is The NPD Group’s national analyst on all aspects of food and beverage consumption in home and away from home. In his role as vice president, industry advisor, Portalatin provides information, insights, and analysis on how U.S. consumers eat and drink, their attitudes and motivations, diet and nutrition, snacking, and personal characteristics. He works closely with food manufacturers and retailers; foodservice distributors, manufacturers, and operators; and media outlets in providing strategic business insights into current and future eating patterns in America.

Portalatin’s diverse background and experience give him an in-depth understanding of consumer behavior and foodservice industry dynamics. Prior to his current role, he was NPD’s industry analyst in the convenience retailing industries, automotive aftermarket, and motor fuels. Portalatin held various positions in foodservice wholesale distribution and convenience retailing before joining NPD in 1999.

He is a frequent featured speaker at food and foodservice industry events and corporate conferences and meetings with distributors, manufacturers, and operators. Portalatin is the author of NPD’s annual Report on Eating Patterns in America, which captures the nuanced and significant shifts in eating and drinking habits and looks at how consumption behavior will change in the future. He also serves as a media source for a wide variety of articles on consumer and foodservice trends and how these trends impact the industry. Portalatin’s comments have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and other nationally recognized media outlets.