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Agenda
Built specifically for growing brands
7:00am – 7:30am

RD Running Club

Location: Departure from Cascades Lobby Entrance
7:30am – 5:30pm

Registration and Information Desk

Location: Delta A Lobby
Presented By:
Sysco Corporation
7:30am – 5:30pm

CARRE Foundation Desk

Location: Delta A Lobby

Grand prize drawing tickets are available, benefiting the Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry campaign, whose goal is to end childhood hunger in America by connecting kids in need with nutritious food; teaching their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals; and engaging the public to make ending childhood hunger a national priority. Choose to CARRE and donate today!

Presented By:
Sysco Corporation
Wildflower
7:30am – 8:30am

Networking Breakfast

Location: RD Pavilion (Delta Ballroom B-D)
Presented By:
Texas Pete
8:30am – 10:30am

General Session

Location: Delta Ballroom A
Economic Update: A 30,000-Foot Perspective

To set the stage for planning a business strategy, our expert provides a macro view of the economic environment and a forecast for the coming year

Speakers:

Assistant Professor of Management & Marketing
IIT Stuart School of Business, Illinois Institute of Technology

The Consumer of Tomorrow

Based on a wealth of proprietary data and insights, Technomic’s consumer insights specialists will examine 5 impactful consumer demographic, behavioral and attitudinal shifts that will drive foodservice usage in the coming decade. Learn how these shifts will impact your business as well as strategies and tactics to meet the demands of a quickly evolving and increasingly complex consumer. 

Speakers:

Vice President of Innovation
Technomic

Director, Consumer Insights
Technomic

Presented By:
PepsiCo Foodservice
A Morning with Steve Levitan

With credits that include over a dozen of America’s most popular TV comedies—including the Emmy Award winning hit series Modern Family—Steven Levitan is one of television’s most acclaimed writers, producers, and directors. Levitan has won seven Emmys for his work as creator, writer, producer, and director of Modern Family, which also won for Outstanding Comedy Series for the fourth consecutive time in 2013. Levitan’s other award-winning shows include Wings, Frasier, The Larry Sanders Show, and Just Shoot Me!, which he created.

In a fun and interactive program, Levitan takes audiences behind the scenes of Modern Family, giving a rare glimpse of all that goes into making the series such a beloved hit. Levitan shares anecdotes and never-before-seen clips and describes how his own life (and the lives of his fellow writers) inspired much of what we see and love on the screen.  Levitan also discusses the benefits of being willing to “fail on your own terms.” He talks about the Hollywood tendency to flock to wherever the lightning strikes and encourages audiences to spark their own lightning, rather than chase the storm.

Speakers:

Award-Winning Creator, Writer and Director
ABC's Modern Family

Presented By:
NCR Corporation
10:30am – 11:00am

Networking Break

Location: RD Pavilion (Delta Ballroom B-D)
11:00am – 11:45am

Education Forums (choose 1 of 8):

Take advantage of the opportunity to learn from the industry’s leading experts. They'll share the recent successes and challenges their businesses have faced and deliver useful takeaways.

Option 1: Menus Built for Scale
Location: Bayou A

As a restaurant chain grows, menu development must adjust from daily chef specials based on the latest trend to a more consistent and cost-effective strategy. Here's how to create a scalable menu while retaining creativity.

Speakers:

Senior Editor | Moderator
Restaurant Business Magazine and FoodService Director Magazine

Director of Culinary
Piada Italian Street Food

CEO & Founder
Saigon Sisters

Founder & CEO
Melt Shop

Presented By:
McCormick & Company, Inc.
Option 2: Overpromised & Underdelivered? Assessing the Value of Your POS Provider
Location: Canal B

POS systems are the lifeblood of restaurant enterprises, yet many of these systems are anemic when it comes to generating sustainable profitability. All too often, POS systems either fall short of operator expectations or operators are simply unaware of the power that can be harnessed from a POS that is essentially your valued 'business partner.'

Learn how to leverage your POS and POS provider to:
•             Elevate and protect your brand
•             Directly increase sales
•             Decrease tangible expenses (e.g., labor!)
•             Reduce profit-detering intangibles

Speakers:

VP of Marketing
PDQ Signature Systems

Presented By:
PDQ Signature Systems
Option 3: From Design to Installation to Management, Future Proofing the Digital Infrastructure
Location: Bayou B

Restaurants are moving toward more applications, putting more demand on their networks from inventory, POS, digital signs, CRM, loyalty, VoIP, Wi-Fi, and cloud-based security are growing network demand 40% annually. Enterprise networks are in the midst of a renaissance that is driving innovation in a market that hasn’t changed in 30 years.

• What are the defining elements that drove the need for a complete network overhaul
• The promise of easily configured networks meets the reality of the technical expertise required
• Benefits of a managed service provider when the solution requires a heterogeneous collection of vendors and services
• Zero-touch deployments and the level of coordination across the portfolio required to succeed

Speakers:

Director, Strategic Initiatives
Ventus

Presented By:
Ventus
Option 4: Purchasing Power
Location: Bayou C

Mid-market chains don't have the buying power of national brands, but there are ways for smaller chains to build knowledge and leverage supplier relationships that will help position themselves as they grow.

Speakers:

Owner
48 North Supply Chain Consulting, LLC

Presented By:
SpenDifference
Option 5: Finding the Pot of Gold: New Ways to Find Funding
Location: Canal C

Whether opening new units or investing in existing restaurants, growth takes investment. This session uncovers the myriad ways operators are funding expansion and development, from asking patrons to participate in funding, to finding the right private equity partner.

Speakers:

Co-Founder and Chairman | Moderator
Monroe Moxness Berg PA

Co-Founder
XO Marshmallow

Managing Partner
Gala Capital Partners, LLC

Presented By:
Birchwood Resultants, LLC
Option 6: The Future of Sustainability - And What That Means for the Restaurant Industry
Location: Bayou D

Take action – learn sustainability best practices as it relates to sourcing, animal welfare, environment (packaging), and energy and how you can apply them to your business. Tim Faveri, Vice President, Sustainability & Shared Value at Maple Leaf Foods Inc, will share his experience and how Maple Leaf is leading the way and changing the future of food. Maple Leaf Foods is the largest producer of Raised Without Antibiotics protein in North America; and an industry leading pioneer in sustainable farming practices, animal welfare, and corporate responsibility.

Speakers:

Vice President, Sustainability & Shared Value
Maple Leaf Foods Inc

Presented By:
Maple Leaf Foods
Option 7: Sexual Harassment Realities in Growing Companies
Location: Canal D

New layers of management, increasing staff size and culture shifts can be factors in sexual harassment claims. This session will address how to set and enforce workplace policies.

Speakers:

Partner
Davis Wright Tremaine

Option 8: The Future of Guest Experience: Investments that Drive Traffic, Loyalty & Check Size
Location: Canal A

In the ever-evolving world of foodservice and technology, one thing remains the same – experience matters. And that experience transcends on-premise dining and spans every touchpoint for your patrons’ interactions with your brand.

Learn how underlying drivers – like declining store traffic, sub-segment blurring, and restaurant oversaturation, to name a few – are propelling the need for brands to invest in the totality of their guests’ experience.

Expanding on 2017’s standing-room-only session, join Georgia-Pacific Professional (GP PRO) as we specifically focus on the Generation Z mindset and behaviors that influence both their peers and families’ dining decisions.

Industry experts from Famous Dave’s and one other Operator join a panel discussion with Gen Z consumers on the benefits of advancing the “Future of Guest Experience”.

Learning Objectives Include:
1. Why does the totality of the restaurant “experience” matter to guests, especially Gen Z? And, why now?
a. What are the key differences between Gen Z and previous generation’s expectations?
b. What specific restaurant attributes is Gen Z looking for when deciding where to spend their dining dollars?
2. What specific investments in “experience” impact both on- and off-premise guest traffic?
3. How can operators drive higher traffic, loyalty, and check size from investing in the “Future of Guest Experience”?

Speakers:

Senior manager, Marketing Strategy | Moderator
GP PRO

Chief Operating Officer
Famous Dave's

Director, Off Premise Marketing
McAlister's Deli

Presented By:
Georgia Pacific Professional
12:00pm – 2:00pm

RD Pavilion Exploration and Lunch

Location: Delta Ballroom B-D

The RD Pavilion is the optimal time to build and develop professional relationships with top suppliers and learn about new opportunities to enhance your foodservice operations. Enjoy a delicious lunch featuring offerings from some of the best suppliers in the foodservice industry, while perusing the latest and greatest in food, beverages, equipment, services and supplies our sponsors have to offer.

Presented By:
Hershey Company, The
12:00pm – 1:00pm

Steve Levitan Meet & Greet

Location: RD Pavilion (Delta Ballroom B-D)
Presented By:
NCR Corporation
2:15pm – 3:00pm

Education Forums (choose 1 of 8):

Option 1: Balancing Health and Indulgence
Location: Canal B

Consumers say they want evermore healthy meals, but their definition of health keeps changing. At the same time, they want to treat themselves. What does that balance look like on the menu?

Speakers:

Senior Editor | Moderator
Restaurant Business Magazine and FoodService Director Magazine

VP of Brand
MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes

Director of Sales
Jason's Deli

CMO
Newk's Eatery

Presented By:
Local Alternative Inc.
Option 2: Increasing Throughput in a Shrinking Footprint
Location: Canal C

How to keep up with orders--much of them off-premise--in a smaller kitchen with a smaller staff.

Speakers:

Editor, Foodservice Group | Moderator
Winsight Media

Co-Founder
Asian Box

CEO
Crushed Red

Founder & CEO
Melt Shop

Presented By:
DanoneWave Away From Home
Option 3: Third-party Delivery: Friend or Foe
Location: Bayou A

Many restaurants go in guns blazing when it comes to adding on delivery partners. However, restaurants may not realize shortcomings in foregoing due diligence before going live. They also may not realize all the different value they’re getting from adding on these Third-party Online Ordering Solutions (TOOS). Many restaurants believe Third-parties are taking advantage of them, but in this session we'll talk about how your restaurant can take full advantage of these networks.

Speakers:

CEO
Chowly

Presented By:
Chowly
Option 4: Won't Back Down: Brands that Stand For Something
Location: Bayou B

In an era where restaurant brands often function as lifestyle brands, what can we learn from brands that are founded on — and stand behind — a strong mission? From sweetgreen to Pizza and Panera, what does it mean to not only have a mission and purpose but firmly communicate it to your guests and connect everything that you do back to it?

During the presentation, we'll be sure to focus on strategies for how brands can "find their core" and stick to it as they expand, change their menu, market themselves.

Speakers:

Senior Strategist
The Culinary Edge

Option 5: So You Think You're Ready to Franchise
Location: Canal D

This session will outline what franchisees and investors are seeking in a brand, and how to determine if pursuing franchising is an appropriate goal.

Speakers:

CEO | Moderator
iFranchise Group, Inc.

Chief Marketing Officer & Partner
Wings Etc. Inc.

Vice President, Development & Member Services
IFA

Founder and CEO | Managing Partner
Fransmart | Kitchen Fund

Presented By:
International Franchise Association
Option 6: Seven Ways to Increase Loyalty… What's Yours?
Location: Canal A

Loyalty is one of today’s buzzwords in our business.  The truth is…there are many ways to increase loyalty (i.e. share of occasions), but we often can get “boxed-in” to just one way.  Come to this interactive session where you will hear seven proven ways to enhancing loyalty and then be able to share your own method of success with others via “open mike”.

Speakers:

Founder and President
Growth Partners, LLC

Presented By:
Punchh
Option 7: The Care and Feeding of General Managers
Location: Bayou C

Exploring how leading operators recruit and retain the most important employee in the restaurant.

Speakers:

Executive Director, Insights & Knowledge
TDn2K

Presented By:
TDn2K
Option 8: Big 4 Restaurant Trends
Location: Bayou D

What is the trend? What are consumer saying? What is the industry doing? What is the impact on customers? Come explore the top four restaurant trends as we deep dive into these questions.

Speakers:

Sr. Director, Segment Visioning
SyscoLABS

Presented By:
Sysco Corporation
3:15pm – 5:00pm

General Session

Location: Delta Ballroom A
State Associations – Business Advocacy, Shared Strengths

Your state’s restaurant and hospitality association knows your story – what you’ve encountered, endured and experienced in launching a new or expanded enterprise.  Learn from these experts about the solutions to shared issues faced by entrepreneurs as they grow their businesses in a sea of red tape, changing consumer demands and a fluctuating competitive and economic landscape.  Come out the other side with new tools in your belt and ideas to take home!

Speakers:

Senior Vice President of Public Affairs | Moderator
National Restaurant Association

CEO
Tennessee Hospitality Association

CEO
Georgia Restaurant Association

President & CEO
Alabama Restaurant & Hospitality Association

Future 50 Emerging Chains of the Year

We recognize this year's class of high-growth, high-potential concepts within the fastest-growing menu segments, followed by a panel discussion on their brand positioning, consumer appeal and, of course, their expansion strategies.

Speakers:

Chief Executive Officer | Moderator
Elliot Advantage

CEO | Panelist
BarFly Ventures LLC (HopCat)

Founder & CEO | Panelist
Punch Bowl Social

CEO | Panelist
Snooze, an AM Eatery

Presented By:
Nestlé Professional
5:00pm – 6:00pm

Happy Hour

Location: RD Pavilion (Delta Ballroom B-D)

Before leaving for dinner, head over for everyone's favorite hour … happy hour!

Presented By:
Lamb Weston
6:00pm – 8:30pm

Dinner on Your Own

Be sure to check the Restaurant Directions Event App for local restaurant suggestions.

8:30pm – 10:30pm

RD After Dark

Location: The Falls (located near the Cascades Lobby)

At Restaurant Directions, the fun, excitement and networking opportunities extend well beyond the ballrooms. RD After Dark is the final evening event of the 2018 program and THE place to unwind after a full day of education and exploration. 

60+Speakers
770+Attendees