Day One: Monday, September 16
Tech + Restaurants = Business Success
On the opening day of the conference, we will be exploring the intersection of technology and customer experience in restaurants. From table tablets to tech-less dining experiences, we’ll hear from innovation experts about where the tech works best.
8:25 am - 8:45 am Opening Keynote Fireside Chat: How White Castle Is Attracting And Retaining The Workforce Of The Future
Imagining the restaurant of the future usually calls to mind images of chef robots, kiosks, autonomous displays, and other innovations. But this overlooks one of the most critical assets a restaurant has: employees. This session will explore how White Castle has both engaged their current workforce and prepared for the wants and needs of the workforce of the future by:
- Creating an employee engagement app in house for a workforce of this many, which 93% of employees have already begun using
- Selecting app features that empower employees by enabling them to swap shifts, request time off, communicate with managers, and more
- Prioritizing employee experience to ensure long-term loyalty and improve customer experience
Leslie PattonFood and Restaurants Reporter
8:45 am - 9:10 am Keynote Case Study: High Tech Vs. High Touch: A Framework For Evaluating Technology’s Role In Fine Dining
Impeccable service from an attentive waiter, a beautiful dining area, and fabulous food are typical hallmarks of a fine dining experience. And they’ve been the hallmarks of Del Frisco’s Grill, since 1981. It is possible that technology will become part customers’ expectations when they are at fine dining establishments. As the restaurant world becomes increasing digitized and automated, the question remains as to whether fine dining restaurants can be both high tech and high touch. That’s just what separates Del Frisco’s from their competitors. Join Brandon Coleman, President of Del Frisco’s Grill, as he explores how they’re doing it, as well as:
- Understanding the changing role of technology in customer experience at different tiers of restaurants
- Evaluating which technologies enable a high touch customer experience and which actually impede it
- Determining best practices for being simultaneously high tech and high touch
Brandon Coleman IIIPresident
Del Frisco's Grille
9:10 am - 9:15 am Bite-Sized Advice Help Huddle: Which Parts Of The Consumer Journey Actually Benefit From Tech?
Take five minutes to “huddle” with your peers and network! You’ll discuss how to infuse tech into the customer journey and get tons of advice!
9:15 am - 9:45 am Keynote Panel Discussion: Crystal Ball Session: Imagining The Restaurant Of The Future
The restaurant of the future will certainly reflect the modern consumer’s growing dependence upon technology and desire for personalized experiences, but what exactly will that look like and how can you prepare? Learn from tech leaders - from the team behind the burger flipping robot at Caliburger to Dunkin Brands who has helped to set customer expectations around the restaurant of the future.
- Determining which technologies are just novel inventions and which will stand the test of time
- Defining the role of innovation in the restaurant of the future
- Predicting the changing role of employees as tasks become increasingly automated and restaurants become increasingly digitized
- Deciding which technology investments, organization structure changes, and brand developments will best prepare you for the restaurant of the future
Our panelists will close out the session with J and L paddles to indicate their opinions and perspectives on what the future of restaurants may hold.
Dan WheelerSVP, Marketing & Innovation
Vadim ParizherSr. Director, New Technologies and BI
Kevin MyersChief Marketing & Information Officer
9:45 am - 10:30 am Morning Refreshment & Networking Break
Grab a coffee and take a spin around the Exhibit Hall during our first networking break of the conference! It’s the perfect opportunity to connect with your fellow attendees while checking out the exciting technologies and solutions on display
10:30 am - 10:50 am Keynote Fireside Chat: Integrating The Old With The New: Best Practices For Modernizing Your Restaurant
Is it possible to have a modernized POS terminal but still take orders on paper? Can you have a robot flipping your burgers but a real human running orders out to the tables? This session will explore the intersection of old and and explore how you can modernize your restaurant without a gut renovation. We will delve into:
- Determining which areas of your restaurant experience need a technology upgrade and creating a clear prioritization hierarchy for ongoing projects
- Ascertaining which new technologies will have a cascade effect and require parallel upgrades of other existing systems and which can be implemented in a “vacuum”
- Focusing on technologies that add value to employees’ experience as well
- Evaluating how best to create an integrated technology stack, the backbone a truly omnichannel experience
Phil FriedmanChairman & CEO
Salsarita's Fresh Mexican Grill
10:50 am - 11:10 am Keynote: From Restaurant to Cloud to Customer Experience - A Fireside Chat with Jack-in-the-Box CIO Drew Martin
The restaurant business is a people business, yet the role of technology cannot be understated in saving money, improving service and enhancing the customer experience. Drew Martin, CIO at Jack in the Box, understands the power of technology and shares his perspectives with us.
Jeff BradburySenior Marketing Director, North America
Jack In The Box
11:10 am - 11:35 am Keynote Case Study: Emerging Roles In Marketing And Digital Experience + CASE STUDY: Building Your Own Digital Ordering Platforms
Learn about 4 emerging roles that will play key roles in setting up your team for success. See how each of them work in-action with a case study on how Bareburger used these roles to help build their own omnichannel digital ordering ecosystem.
•Discover 4 roles that will help create a fantastic in-house marketing team
•Defining new roles that will help keep your marketing/creative team lean and mean
•How to efficiently build your own omnichannel digital ordering for your restaurant
Zach McCurdyCreative Director
11:35 am - 11:55 am Keynote Case Study: Delivering Fun & Escapism: How Margaritaville Empowers Their Frontline To Create Great Guest Experiences
With 9 out of 10 guests ranking their interaction with a frontline employee as a key driver of their satisfaction, Margaritaville has become a leading lifestyle brand built on offering an anytime, anywhere taste of paradise. Hear from the President of Margaritaville Hospitality, Dan Leonard, on how the iconic brand empowers their staff to deliver authentic, tropical escapism to fans around the world and change the latitude (and attitude) of more than 20 million travelers each year.
Jordan EkersCo-Founder & Chief Customer Officer
11:55 am - 12:25 pm Keynote Panel Discussion: Establishing Where Tech Works Best: Fitting Technology Into Your Customer’s Journey
This session explores best practices for determining which elements of your diners’ journey can benefit from technological enhancements (and which may not). This interactive group discussion will inform your understanding of:
- Determining which elements of the customer journey necessitate a person to person interface and which can be expedited through technology
- Looking at guest feedback, social listening, and engagement metrics to determine exactly where in your customer journey technology might be able to replace a human interaction
- Testing how customers feel about tech (such as digital ordering, experiencing delivery from a robot, iPad usage on location, requesting a refill with a button) in specific locations before rolling out to your other locations or franchisees
5 Napkin Burger
Zaid AyoubFounder & CEO
Val KingVice President, Information Technology
True Food Kitchen
Kevin WardenFounder & President
Flyrite Chicken, Inc.
Zach GoldsteinFounder & CEO
12:25 pm - 1:15 pm Slice Of Advice Roundtable Discussions
These interactive roundtable sessions take a deep dive into the specific areas you came to learn about. Sit and learn in an intimate format from industry thought leaders and problem solvers. You pick which roundtables to partake in – choose the topics relevant to your most pressing initiatives and divide and conquer with your team members taking a seat at the other tables. Each Roundtable discussion lasts 25 minutes. This session is for restaurant attendees only.
Table #1: Modern Restaurant Accounting: Shifting From Cost Center To Trusted Operational Advisor
Hosted by: Jimmy Speyer, Vice President, Restaurant365
Table #2: Seen & Heard: Enlivening Guest Experience Through Entertainment And Technology
Hosted by: Nadine Zgonc, VP, Customer Engagement & Brand Strategy, PlayNetwork
Table #3: Empowering Your Team With Digital Tools For Your Field Visits, Restaurant Operations And Training
Hosted by: Don Chapman, Head of Partnerships & Strategy, Yoobic
Table #4: Restaurant Technology Network Ideation: Get to Know the Membership Community Taking on Industry Standards
Hosted by: Dorothy Creamer, Editor-in-Chief, Hospitality Technology, Abigail Lorden, Vice President, Group Brand Director, Hospitality Technology & Founder of RTN, Restaurant Technology Network
Nadine ZgoncVP, Customer Engagement & Brand Strategy
Don ChapmanHead of Partnerships and Strategy
Restaurant Technology Network
1:15 pm - 2:15 pm Lunch For All Attendees
1:15 pm - 2:15 pm Private Lunch
Track B: Mobile And The Omni Experience2:15 pm - 2:25 pm Chairperson’s Afternoon Remarks
Interactive Campfire Chats & Problem Solving Sessions – For Restaurant Executives Only2:25 pm - 3:10 pm Campfire Chat #1 Savoring And Sharing Consumer Generated Content: How To Take Advantage Of Social Sharing
Robert Guarino CEO 5 Napkin Burger
Robert Guarino CEO 5 Napkin Burger
Relax by the “fire” in an intimate restaurant-only session with 10-15 other restaurant executives where your “storyteller” will share a quick case study and then open up the floor to questions.
It is becoming increasingly common for reviews, social media posts, photos and other related content about your restaurant to appear not only on your own website and social channels, but also on those of your consumers. Join us as we discuss ways to harness the power of consumer generated content (CSG) as a powerful form of brand advocacy. Takeaways include techniques for:
-Creating branded hashtags and taggable social media geo-locations to streamline posts about your restaurants
-Designing “wow” moments through food presentation, activations, events, packaging elements and surprises to encourage social media posting about your brand
-Featuring consumer generated content on your own channels to amplify the voices of those speaking favorably about you
-Turning consumer generated reviews and content into meaningful brand relationships by closely monitoring, responding to, and featuring the feedback collected through these channels
5 Napkin Burger
Track A: Employee Engagement And Optimized Operations2:25 pm - 2:50 pm Genuine Care, The Secret To Sustained Franchise Growth And Profitability
Thoughts on how to build a strong foundation for a franchise system that delivers unit profitability and invests in the long term sustainment of the brand.
- How to build a system that balances the need for long term franchise unit profitability and delivers franchisor financial health.
- How to create effective and efficient work flow systems as a franchisor that support this profitability balance.
- How to create long term and annual strategic planning and review systems that support this profitability balance.
- Defining genuine care and building strategy that delivers it. No room for a failure to communicate!
- How to build a true culture of excellence that delivers results.
- Provide 7 core principles that must be present in your system to ensure sustained profitability
Ryan AchterhoffChief Administrative Officer
Track B: Mobile And The Omni Experience2:25 pm - 2:50 pm Fireside Chat: Merging The Old With The New: Retro-Fitting Your Restaurant For Mobile Orders
Most restaurants were not designed to simultaneously accommodate both on-location dining, mobile ordering and the slew of delivery partners that have joined the fray. As the demand for these types of "experiences" explode, restaurants must adapt their existing locations, operations and processes quickly to accommodate this customer preference. While a full restaurant redesign would be ideal, the speed of change of customer preferences necessitates immediate action. This session will explore best practices for:
- Integrating mobile orders into your on-site POS system to streamline food preparation, maximize efficiency, simplify fulfilment, and accurately predict demand
- Identifying existing areas of friction and inefficiency for in-store fulfilment of mobile orders
- Designing fulfilment fixtures like shelving and cubbies to clearly delineate order collection processes for off-premise diners
- Harnessing your existing understanding of your guests’ preferences and processes to adapt your restaurant without an expensive gut renovation or substantial redesign
- How to drive loyalty and repeat visits from customers by holding onto your brand experience even with all these shortcuts in place
Gregory ZamfotisFounder & CEO
Track A: Employee Engagement And Optimized Operations2:50 pm - 3:10 pm Presentation: Delighting Customers Starts with Employees:
Retailers have gone great lengths to evolve their customer experience through enhanced personalization, loyalty overhauls, grab-and-go and every omni-channel innovation in between. In the wake of this investment, store employees have been left with insufficient tools and substandard processes to do their job effectively – especially in a world of heightened customer expectations. Join Matt Sebek, Vice President of Digital at World Wide Technology, as he discusses how retailers can leverage the intersection of digital and physical insight to transform how they empower their store associates to make better in-store decisions and drive sales.
•Apply human-centered exercises for customers AND employees
•Understand how to leverage available data to empower store associates.
•See how key retailers are putting this insight into action
Matthew SebekVP, Digital
World Wide Technology (WWT)
Track A: Employee Engagement And Optimized Operations3:10 pm - 3:40 pm Panel Discussion Remix: Too Expensive To Replace: Reducing Turnover In Restaurant Employees Through Enhanced Job Satisfaction
According to TDnK’s 2018 “Recruiting and Turnover Report,” the average annual turnover rate for fast-food restaurants in the United States is 150%, meaning 100% of the existing workforce plus half of new hires. This creates a need for constant hiring, which is a drain on resources and creates a customer experience issue as well, as it is no secret that your employees’ satisfaction with their job has a trickle-down effect to your customers’ experience with your brand. This session will define techniques for:
- Listening to employee feedback both for insights into what employees need as well as critical business intelligence that can only be learned on the “front lines”
- Offering flexibility in shift-swapping as well as learning formats to bolster employees’ sense of independence and freedom
- Clearly defining expectations for specific roles and specific metrics for success so that employees can feel fulfilment in their roles and have assurance that they are being evaluated fairly
- Creating a company culture that values employee experience at the same level as customer experience
Kim DinsmooreVice President of Restaurant Operations
The Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, Inc.
Steve RothensteinSenior Director of Franchising
Nicole DaCostaSenior Manager, Learning & Development
Track B: Mobile And The Omni Experience2:50 pm - 3:20 pm No Track B Session: Feel Free To Check Out Track A!
Track B: Mobile And The Omni Experience3:10 pm - 3:40 pm Panel Discussion: Building A Cohesive Omnichannel Strategy Across All Consumer Touchpoints
In order to execute an omnichannel strategy, you must align your channels for seamless user experience. But this does not mean that all of the channels will function the same way; just that they must function in a way that creates a consistent brand engagement experience. This session will explore:
- Understanding which channels your customers prefer for discovering, ordering, or having orders fulfilled
- Optimizing each of your channels for the specific functions that your customers prefer them for
- Ensuring consistency of item availability by customizing specific menu options for different locations and ensuring that your POS is engineered to process orders accordingly
- Creating a seamless experience that makes the most of each of your unique channels by acknowledging their individual strengths, weaknesses, and potentials
- Harnessing the power of your brand’s existing identity and customer loyalty to unify brand experiences
Taziki’s Mediteranean Café
Eric RosenzweigVice President – Information Technology
Qdoba Mexican Eats
Rashpal AhluwaliaDirector of Technology
Earls Kitchen + Bar
Alan PaulCo-Founder, Head of Strategy & BD
3:40 pm - 4:25 pm Afternoon Networking & Refreshment Break
Refuel and refresh during our afternoon networking break in the Innovation Lab! We will have beverages and snacks to graze on as you check out the awesome solutions and technologies offered by our awesome partners.
Track A: Employee Engagement And Optimized Operations4:25 pm - 4:30 pm Bite Sized Advice Help Huddle: If You Were On The Front Lines Of Your Restaurant, Which Employee 'Perks' Would Be Most Important To You?
You’ll put yourself in your employee’s shoes during this five minute roundtable exercise. This mini-session is done in your seat / roundtable.
Track B: Mobile And The Omni Experience4:25 pm - 4:30 pm Bite Sized Advice Help Huddle: What Are The Best Restaurant Apps On Your Phone And Why?
Take a look at the mobile restaurant experience and work through app challenges with your peers. This mini-session is done in your seat / roundtable.
Interactive Campfire Chats & Problem Solving Sessions – For Restaurant Executives Only4:25 pm - 5:30 pm Collaborative Problem-Solving Session: Tech-Enabled Farming & The Future Of Food
Our host will kick off the session by posing three questions to the roundtable participants. They then work in groups of two to solve those problems. The facilitator walks around to each group of two, helping them with their solutions. At the end the session, they can present back to the entire group with their solutions
Taziki’s Mediteranean Café
Track A: Employee Engagement And Optimized Operations4:30 pm - 5:00 pm Presentation: Hungry For More: How To Build More Units And Expand Your Business
Jeff Fenster Founder & CEO Everbowl
Jeff Fenster Founder & CEO Everbowl
Expanding into new markets and adding more locations to your business is an important way to develop your brand’s identity and drive revenue. But how do you go about expanding your footprint without overextending yourself? This session will explore:
- Emerging trends in retail formats that can be used in your expansion efforts
- Utilizing food halls, pop-ups, and collaborations with other brands to test new ideas before putting down roots in a city or neighborhood (and disentangling yourself when these partnerships conclude)
- Developing a business model that fosters growth for your organization
- Growing your company’s footprint while maintaining control over your brand image
Jeff FensterFounder & CEO
Track A: Employee Engagement And Optimized Operations5:00 pm - 5:30 pm Lighting Round Panel: From Soup To Nuts: Tailoring Operations To Fit The Physical Journey In Your Restaurants
As the preferences and habits of today’s customers change, both the physical flow and operations of your restaurants must change to keep pace with them. This session will explore steps you can take to tailor your operations create a more seamless and enjoyable path to purchase in your restaurants, including:
- Physically segmenting separate employee operations for dine-in and carry-out customers to ensure personalized service that is optimized for every type of fulfilment
- Harnessing the power of self-serve kiosks as a time-saving solution for customers to increase efficiency
- Harnessing an understanding of typical guest turnover times for seated dining experiences to accurately plan reservations, organize wait lists, and meet customer expectations around speed of service
- Reimagining your operations to optimize efficiency, minimize congestion and confusion, improve experience, and drive repeat visits
Ryan NowickiSenior Director of Operations Excellence & Strategic Initiatives
Dave & Buster’s
Steve FelsonEVP, Business Operations
Track B: Mobile And The Omni Experience4:30 pm - 5:00 pm Fireside Chat Remix: Driving Loyalty Through Your Mobile App: Keep Your Customers Coming Back
Restaurant mobile apps are a dime a dozen and it can be difficult to incentivize consumers to download your app, let alone use it regularly. However, loyalty programs offer a unique opportunity to incentivize app usage through programs that offers exclusive perks and promotions to mobile app users. This session will explore best practices for driving mobile app engagement by:
- Offering app-only exclusive loyalty benefits like free items and extra points to bolster app engagement
- Collecting and utilizing data on what time your customer orders, which locations they frequent, which items they prefer and how often they visit to customize their mobile app experience
- Determining the level of personalization customers want for an experience that is tailored but not creepy
- Personalizing app features based on your consumer’s location, past orders, loyalty program engagement to create a unique experience for users
Rick StanbridgeEVP / Chief Information Officer
Marco's Franchising, LLC
Track B: Mobile And The Omni Experience5:00 pm - 5:30 pm Case Study: Meet Them Where They Are: Using Location Data To Create Personalized Experiences
Location services within your mobile app can provide you with a plethora of data
regarding where your customer goes and when. In the case of Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, this opens a window of opportunity to provide better and more personalized customer experiences. This session will explore how location data can be used to understand who your customer is and what they want so that you can personalize their experience accordingly. Sean will cover:
- Offering GPS-enabled directions to your nearby restaurant locations
- Harnessing an understanding of the competitive landscape in which your customer works or lives to directly compete with other restaurants in the area
- Aggregating customer preferences based on location to make for location-optimized environments and a truly personalized and thoughtful brand experience
Sean ThompsonIT Director
Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm Future Restaurants Reception
Take a moment to unwind at our welcome reception. You’ll get a chance to mix and mingle with fellow attendees and speakers and celebrate the end of a full day of learning.