2006 Multi-Unit Restaurant Technology Conference
Upcoming Events
Past Events

The Intelligent Enterprise - Making Smarter Decisions
about Operations, Employees and Guests

Sunday, March 5, 2006 / Arrival Day
11:30 am - 5:30 pm GOLF - Rio Secco Golf Course. Click here for more details.
* Shotgun Start 12:30 pm
3:00 - 8:00 pm Registration Open
7:00 - 8:00 pm * Welcome Cocktail Reception / Exhibit Hall
* Golf Awards
Monday, March 6, 2006 / First Day of Sessions
7:30 am - 5:00 pm Registration Open
7:30 - 8:30 am * Networking Breakfast
* Exhibits Hall Open
8:30 - 9:25 am

Opening Welcome Comments
Lenore O'Meara - Publisher, Hospitality Technology

Opening Keynote Address:

Keynote Speaker: Steven Johnson - Author: Interface Culture: How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate; Everything Bad is Good for You; Columnist, Discover magazine; Contributing Editor, Wired magazine

As new technologies emerge, the way people interface and interact with technology is going to change in ways both subtle and revolutionary. In this keynote address social critic, technologist and author Steven Johnson will provide fresh insight into how technological advancement will impact restaurant industry operations, as well as how the industry can take advantage of the intelligence that is already out there.  Building on the arguments first posed in his best selling books Interface Culture: How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate and Everything Bad Is Good for You, Johnson will discuss the internal steps necessary to create a more intelligent enterprise as well as the external forces that restaurants will need to adapt to. Based on real-world restaurant examples Johnson’s analysis is both entertaining and provocative.

9:25 - 10:15 am Networking Coffee Break / Vendor demos in Exhibit Hall
10:15 - 11:05 am

Concurrent Sessions Set #1

1-A: Operations Track

Speaker: Steve Ellis - Sr. Manager/IT, Metromedia Restaurant Group

HT TECH FINDINGS PRESENTED BY: Lindsay Elkins , Assistant Editor, Hospitality Technology magazine

Increasingly, restaurant companies are relying on their broadband connections for sophisticated two-way communications with remote restaurant locations. Whether it is e-learning, real-time data, high-speed credit card authorization or access to the corporate intranet portal, both corporate-owned and franchised restaurants are recognizing that the network connection is the first and most important step.

1-B: Employee Track

HT TECH FINDINGS PRESENTED BY: Andrew Gaffney, Group Publisher/Technology, Edgell Communications

Speaker: Jim Lux - VP of IT & Guest Relations, Bertucci's Corporation

Turnover is a constant for foodservice, but many restaurants have found that the best way to reduce turnover also helps boost better efficiency and improves scheduling. Companies with a holistic approach to employee management from hiring to scheduling and including human resources are keeping their best employees.

1-C: Guest Track

Moderator: Reid Paul - Editor-in-Chief, HT Magazine

Panelists: Matt Calabrese - Controller, Nicks Pizza & Pub; Alex Birnbaum - Senior Director of IT, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group, Inc.; Eric Spitz - CEO, KnowFat!

HT TECH FINDINGS PRESENTED BY: Reid Paul , Editor-in-Chief, Hospitality Technology Magazine

It is far easier for a restaurant to keep a loyal customer than find a new one. This session offers a panel of operators, each of whom has a successful loyalty program that is boosting gift card sales and keeping guests happy and coming back for more.

11:05 - 11:15 am Transition break
11:15 am - 12:05 pm

Concurrent Sessions Set #2

2-A: Operations Track

Speaker: John Doyle - Director of IT Support Systems, Ruby Tuesday

For many restaurants the kitchen represents the final frontier for improved operational efficiency. In this session you will hear how Ruby Tuesday has used new kitchen technology with such operational success that it is now implementing its kitchen display system at its bar, where the bar menu has “hundreds of items.”

2-B: Employee Track

Speaker: Carl Howard - SVP/COO, Damon's International

In the battle to win customers with service, restaurant operators have many tools – from business intelligence to POS and wireless. In this session, Damon’s COO Carl Howard will present a case study showing how Damon’s is driven by a customer-service-centric culture and highly focused employee training to provide superior customer service at every customer touch point.

2-C: Guest Track

Speaker: Bud Shaw - VP of Operations & Services, Back Yard Burgers; Jeffrey Zurofsky - CIO, ‘wichcraftnyc

As self-service grows in retail, lodging and other related industries, more and more quick-service restaurants are looking to see whether it make sense in foodservice. In this session, two restaurant operators discuss their implementations of self-service technologies and the results they have seen.

12:05 - 1:45 pm

Topic Table Luncheon in Exhibit Hall

TT#1: Online Ordering & Catering
Moderator: Jeff Zurofsky - CFO, 'wichcraft NYC

TT#2: Drive-Thru
Debra Jensen - Jack in the Box

TT#3: Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
Moderator: John Lauderbach - VP of IT, Noodles & Co.

TT#4: Enterprise Data Management
Toma Bella - Jason's Deli

TT#5: Contactless Payment
Reid Paul - Editor-in-Chief, Hospitality Technology Magazine

TT#6: Loyalty Programs
Moderator: Michael Friedman, Darden Restaurants

TT#7: Business Intelligence
Alex Birnbaum - Sr. Director of IT, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group

TT#8: Connectivity
Ahmet Oner - CEC Entertainment

TT#9: Wireless
Moderator: Steve Brooks - Tumbleweed Inc.

TT#10: Takeout / To-Go
Jim Lux - Bertucci's

TT#11: Intranets
John Koontz - Real Mex

1:45 - 2:35 pm

General Session


Moderator: Dorian Cougias - CEO, Net Frontiers

Panelists: Jim Vitek - IT Security Director, Domino’s Pizza Inc.; David Starmer - Director of IT, Biscuitville Inc.; Richard A. Guariglia - CIO & Director of Information Systems - Sbarro; Tom Lindblom - VP/CTO, CKE Restaurants

Network security remains a top-of-mind concern for restaurant IT leaders. Led by security expert Dorian Cougias, this expert panel will cover a range of security concerns that keep IT managers up at night. The panel will cover both threats to restaurant systems, as well as potential solutions.

2:40 - 3:30 pm

General Session


Speaker: Steve Brooks - Director of Mission Control, Tumbleweed Southwest Grill

How do you raise sales and guest satisfaction at your best location? For Tumbleweed Southwest Grill the answer has been implementing a wireless handheld point-of-sale system. Steve Brooks explains how wireless POS speeds table turns and cuts labor costs at this causal-dining chain.

3:30 - 4:10 pm Networking Coffee Break in Exhibit Hall
4:10 - 5:00 pm

General Session


Speaker: Susan Carroll-Gale - Director of Information Systems, White Castle

Speed sells. This session will examine how White Castle is leveraging its VPN network for transaction processing and a host of mission critical applications. By utilizing customer-facing credit-card terminals at the front counter and the drive thru, White Castle has cut wait times and increased credit card and gift card usage dramatically. Carroll-Gale will also discuss how White castle has leveraged its IP-network for other applications ranging from HR to its intranet portal as well as White Castle’s plans to integrate its gift and loyalty card programs.

5:00 - 6:00 pm * Exhibit Hall Open
* Cocktail Reception in Exhibit Hall
After 6:00 pm Sponsor "Dinners for Five"
Tuesday, March 7, 2006 / Second Day of Sessions - Closing Day
8:00 am - 12:30 pm Registration Open
8:00 - 9:00 am * Exhibit Hall Open
* Continental Breakfast in Exhibit Hall
* Editorial Advisory Board Breakfast
9:00 - 9:50 am

Second Day Keynote

Opening Comments:
Andrew Gaffney - Group Publisher/Technology, Edgell Communications


Speaker: Martin Sprock - Founder, Raving Brands!; CEO, Moe’s Southwest Grill

Martin Sprock, the founder and chief of Raving Brands! is one of the most dynamic visionaries in the restaurant industry today. Sprocks’ Raving Brands! features food brands Moe's Southwest Grill and Mama Fu's and beverage brands Planet Smoothie and PJ's Coffee, as well as a healthier-choice portfolio and a family entertainment concept launched in late 2005 called Monkey Joe’s. Today, Sprock will share his vision for his company and the place technology holds in supporting its success, which includes the placement of Moe’s Southwest Grill at #11 on Inc. magazine’s recent Top 500 list of fastest-growing companies – the only placement on this year’s list by a restaurant chain.

9:50 - 10:40 am * Exhibit Hall Open
* Networking Coffee Break in Exhibit Hall
* Vendor Demos in Exhibit Hall
10:40 - 11:30 am

General Session


Moderator: Reid Paul - Editor-in-Chief, HT Magazine

Speaker: Greg Buzek - President, IHL Consulting Group

The point of sale is the heart of a restaurant’s operation and nobody understands the point of sale industry better than Greg Buzek, founder and president of IHL Consulting Group. Buzek will discuss emerging trends in POS deployment in the foodservice industry including those that move POS from point of sale to point of service. In addition Greg will share insights from IHL’s Sophia project that links IT spending to technologies, personnel and financial results, drawn from data from 2,500 retailers and restaurants.

11:35 - 12:25 pm

Closing Keynote


Speaker: Lynne Jacoby - Food & Beverage Practice Leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Using business intelligence effectively remains a challenge for many restaurant companies. As more data pours in from POS, HR, and other systems, it is becoming even more critical to know how to use it effectively. This session will discuss the strategies and business processes necessary for making business intelligence the key step for an intelligent business.

12:25 pm MURTEC 2006 Conference Concludes