Conference Program

Friday, April 22

Keynote: The Future of Foodservice
Presenter: Mike Lee
Mike Lee will examine the consumer behaviors and innovations that are shaping the Future of Food, and their implications on foodservice businesses today and tomorrow. The Future Market tracks 16 macro trends in food that are disrupting every part of the supply chain, from farm to fork. We will explore a selection of the most salient trends that are shaping how foodservice producers and consumers will need to operate into the next decade. We will also examine the mindset of 21st century eaters and how their needs and values are shaping our food landscape. Using the three key value lenses of the 21st Century Eater—experience, sustainability, and health–we will explore what the future of food and foodservice might look like and how companies need to use logic, emotion, storytelling, experience, and flavor to create the foodservice experiences of the future to serve increasingly demanding eaters.

Let’s Talk About KPI’s
Key Performance Indicator is a quantifiable measure of performance over time for a specific objective. KPIs provide targets for teams to shoot for, milestones to gauge progress, and insights that help people across the organization make better decisions.  Join Brad Wilson as he explains how KPIs can impact you and your clients.

Strategic Planning Workshop (Part 1 of 2)
Deep Dive: Strategic Workshop, part 1 of 2 – A strategic plan can help set the groundwork for a successful year by establishing goals that align with your company’s overall strategic plan and can provide measurable results for your strategic efforts. 

The New Voice of Human Resources
Session details coming soon!

Ventless Technology 101
Ductless, or ventless, technology refers to cooking equipment that is fully self-contained and does not need overhead hoods. It can also refer to free-standing hoods that can be used in pop-up and mobile applications, or where the opportunity for traditional ventilation is limited. Learn the purpose and application for this technology, the types of systems available, how to specify the equipment for varying menus, and what pitfalls to avoid.

Automation, Robots and the Eye in the Sky
In this session we will explore what is possible in the future and what is available today in the fields of robotics and automation. We will discuss and present participants with useful and actionable information on things they can implement in their consulting practices and push the envelope in what is possible in commercial kitchens today and into the future. From time and temperature sensors in the ceiling to dishwashing and coffee robots, we will push the envelope and get you thinking about what is next in our industry. 

Easy to Create Video Marketing Solutions
Video shorts and clips are the new norm when it comes to marketing.  Unlike text heavy emails, videos can capture the attention immediately to promote your message.  Come join us as we walk you through how easy it is to film and publish short videos using cameras and mobile devices to market yourself and your firm.

Strategic Planning Workshop Part 2
Whether you’re just getting involved in the process or you need some helpful tips to refresh your current strategy, this session is perfect for you. Join us for an in-depth look into the strategic planning process and learn how you can prepare, create, and deploy a strategic plan that will help set your company up for success. 

The New Sustainability
Session details coming soon!

Saturday, April 23 

General Session: Our Industry – Looking Ahead
Session details coming soon!

Connectivity in Commercial Kitchens
Most of today’s discussions about connectivity are centered on data and primary operations recording, such as food safety, recipe development and processing specific to individual pieces of equipment or limited inter-connectivity of data usage.  This session will concentrate on the actual control characteristics, needs and approaches necessary for standardization and platform development that will join the restaurant operator with building and energy management systems in meeting financial, sustainable, energy efficient, and labor reduction goals.  Through a discussion of global developments in IOT and AI of governmental and corporate policies affecting connectivity, including movement toward smart cities, smart buildings, and maximization of smart utility infrastructure and renewable energy, attendees will glean the complexities of a truly connected commercial kitchen.

New Channels of Distribution
We are starting to see new channels of distribution in the industry or ways that operations can increase sales with less cost. These new channels are due to the increase in snacking, use of mobile phones, higher labor costs and labor shortage, and overall high construction costs to satisfy the “I Want It Now” culture. The new channels of distribution include expanded order/pay, delivery, new vending, micro-markets/mini-kiosks, and expanded grab-n-go.

Project Management: Never Ever Missing a Deadline
Session details coming soon!

Designing for the Customers’ and Owners’ Needs Post Pandemic
Explore how designers, consultants and operating companies are helping clients to adapt existing foodservice spaces and/or plan space allocation for new projects with new operational and customer behavior realities in mind. We will take a look at the newest and best innovative products and review the best ideas on how to integrate the best practices into the client’s operation and facility design.

POS/Mobile Ordering at 30,000 feet
How have the last 18 months changed the way customers order food?  Come talk about the shift in customers’ expectations when it comes to ordering delivery, takeout and online menus. We will review the latest tech including POS Systems and online and mobile ordering, discuss the ongoing costs, and compare solutions.

The Adventures of Joint Ventures
Session details coming soon!

Keynote: Economy of the Next 50 Years
The days of begging for likes are over. The customer economy is all about doing likeable things. As the network gets smarter and smarter, it’ll know your favorite places before you do, and share those with the world – when the world is looking. So, if your friends are looking for a restaurant in New York City, and you live there, it’ll show them the places you hangout, automatically, because logic suggests that if you go there a lot, you like the place, and your friends usually like what you like. What does this mean for your business? It means that it’s time to start focusing on the customer experience – Without that, no amount of advertising, marketing, or SEO will save you. Join Peter as he shares his thoughts on:

  • The five rules of the customer economy
  • Why speed matters
  • How to stay “top-of-mind” in every customer’s mind, from beginning to end
  • How millennials, as well as Generations Z and Alpha are consuming content, and how you can get in front of them