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2008 Restaurant Executive Summit
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 / Arrival Day
10 am - 7:30 pm Registration Open
12:00 - 5:00 pm

Golf- Lost Canyons Golf Course

6:00 - 6:30 pm Editorial Advisory Board Meeting

6:30 - 8:00 pm

Opening Cocktail Reception
Evening Sponsor Activities / Dinners
Thursday, September 18, 2008 / First Day of Sessions
8:00 am - 4:00 pm Registration Open
7:45 - 8:45 am
Networking Breakfast
8:45 - 8:55 am
Opening Remarks: Lenore O'Meara, Publisher, Hospitality Technology 
Remarks from Honorary Chairperson (James Parrish, Chief Operating Officer, Church's Chicken)
9:00 - 9:50 am
THE GROWTH HORIZON: Real World Strategies for Excelling in a Dynamic Business Climate
Keynote Speaker: Richard Hastings, Consumer Strategist, Global Hunter Securities LLC

Growing your business in today's dynamic economic climate requires a sound understanding of consumer behavior, well-honed tactics for identifying opportunities, and real-world strategies for turning knowledge into action. Join leading economist Richard Hastings as he examines the Growth Horizon, delving into the trends, challenges and opportunities affecting the restaurant industry today, and in the coming year.

Hastings will discuss the issues that are top-of-mind with your customers, ranging from green initiatives to gas prices to discretionary spending, and how these issues affect the real mechanics of succeeding in the restaurant industry. He'll discuss the leading factors that dominate the American economy, and how they trickle down to casual dining. And he'll share the tools that restaurant operators need to offset negative impacts and the groundwork they should be laying today for growth and results tomorrow.

Attendee ROI

  • Cows, cars and consumer discretionary spending: understanding the impact of these and other factors in today's business climate.
  • Tools for turning knowledge into action: digital signage, targeted promotions, leveraging the Internet and more 
  • Identifying and reducing operational pressure points and high overhead costs
9:55 - 10:40 am General Session #1


Speaker: David Head, President & COO, Captain D's LLC

This session takes an in-depth look at the operations side of the restaurant business, discussing the core challenges affecting ops executives today, and the strategies they can employ to position their company for growth by properly addressing these trends. Topics may include: dealing with escalating operating costs, the "green" movement, evolving customer expectations, economic challenges, maintaining an effective workforce, enhanced food safety, health-consciousness, leveraging technology to reduce costs and more.

Attendee ROI

  • Strategies for prioritizing initiatives
  • Leveraging cross-departmental strengths and task forces 
  • Identifying areas for immediate intervention and areas for long-term change
10:40 - 11:00 am Networking Coffee Break
11:00 am - 11:50 pm 
General Session #2

Gen Y @ Work: Engaging Emerging Employees Today for Growth Tomorrow

Speaker: Jason Ryan Dorsey, "The Gen Y Guy," Bestselling Author

Restaurant operators identify recruitment and retention as a top concern today; and that's before the industry adds another 2 million jobs by 2018. This session will discuss how growth-oriented restaurants can pave the way for a satisfied and accountable workforce. A leading operator will discuss the effect of the latest generation, "the Millenials" on the restaurant industry, as well as approaches for training new staff, maintaining positive employee-relations, and fostering a culture that will help position the company for future growth.

Attendee ROI
  • Understanding the labor dynamic: current challenges and a look ahead
  • Identifying and attracting core hiring populations: Millennials, multi-cultural groups, and the 55+ population
  • Tools for mitigating turnover, including self-service technology, new training methods, and more.
11:50 am - 12:10 pm
Golf Awards & 2008 Breakthrough Awards
Golf Awards: Presented by Lenore O’Meara, Publisher, Hospitality Technology

2008 Breakthrough Awards: Presented by Abigail Lorden, Editor, Hospitality Technology

  • Overall Technology Innovation
  • Excellence in Guest Services
  • Brand Growth
12:10 - 1:30 pm  
Networking Luncheon
*Including 5 Topic Tables
1:30 - 2:20 pm
General Session #3/ Panel

TOP TECH TRENDS: Investments with Proven ROI

Moderator: Tom Lindblom, VP and CTO, CKE Restaurants, Inc.

  1. Brian Pearson, Vice President, Information Services, BJ's Restaurants Inc.
  2. Ted Stathakis, VP of IT, Claim Jumper Restaurants
  3. Kevin Verde, CIO, Jason's Deli

Behind any successful restaurant operation are well-oiled technology systems that put the right information and tools in the hands of the people who need it most. Get the inside scoop on some of the latest technologies that are improving operations in the foodservice industry, and can position restaurants for growth. Restaurant operators share what technologies are offering them real ROI, both financially and operationally.

Attendee ROI

  • New advancements in back-of-house and front-of-house IT
  • Real-world examples of technology with proven investment returns
  • Strategies for deciding what and when to upgrade
2:25 - 3:45 pm
These hands-on workshops give restaurant executives a platform to discuss pressing business challenges and solutions in a roundtable setting. Two sessions, offered concurrently, will allow groups of 25 operators to work through the top-of-mind issues that are most important to them. In each session, teams of two moderators will help drive group discussion and capture group results. Pre-set agendas will be further shaped during the workshop based on the needs and interests of the group. Operators can choose from one of two workshops:

In this workshop, senior executives will have an opportunity to discuss issues most pressing to a healthy business strategy and daily operations. The agenda may include such topics as: strategies for holding margins in the current economy, new purchasing tactics for rising commodity costs, attracting and retaining talented staff, strategies for preserving the guest relationship and securing share of wallet.
  1. Greg Buzek, President, IHL Consulting
  2. James Parrish, Chief Operatoring Officer, Church's Chicken
In this workshop, senior executives will discuss pressing technology issues for driving growth and success. The agenda may include such topics as: PCI compliance and security challenges and solutions, leveraging social networking and web 2.0 at your organization, exploring new service models (self-service, pay-at-table, online ordering), and business intelligence as a competitive differentiator.
  1. Abigail Lorden, Editor, Hospitality Technology
  2. Brent Bushnell, Chief Technology Officer, uWink  
5:00 - 6:00 pm

Networking Cocktail Reception


Sponsor Dinners

Friday, September 19, 2008 / Closing Day
8:15 - 11:15 am Registration Open
8:15 - 9:25 am


8:25 - 8:35 am
CLOSING DAY OPENING COMMENTS: Summit Honorary Chairperson
James Parrish, Chief Operating Officer, Church's Chicken
EDITORIAL COMMENTS: Abigail Lorden, Editor, Hospitality Technology
* 8:35 - 9:25 am
DAY TWO KEYNOTE/ General Session #4 


Speaker: Emanuel "Manny" Hilario, CFO, Secretary and Director, McCormick & Schmick's

In this session, a leading restaurant CFO will take a no-holds-barred look at the financial metrics that matter most in a dynamic business climate. Get strategic insights into where resources should be placed, and what areas of the business can be tightened, to position your enterprise for growth on the horizon. You'll also learn about data mining and business intelligence strategies that can bring insight into the financial health of your organization.

Attendee ROI
  • Top areas to place your financial resources in a credit crunch
  • Factors necessary for preserving capital
  • Leveraging technology to better understand your financial health
9:30 - 10:00 pm

General Session #5 (Solo)


  1. Bryon Stephens, Chief Development Officer, Marco's Pizza
  2. Cameron Cummins, Vice President / Franchise Recruitment, Marco's Pizza  

During times of economic uncertainty, compelling examples of success and growth are both inspiring and insightful. This unique case study session will showcase the winning strategy behind Marco's Pizza, a gourmet pizza chain that is quickly realizing category-leading success. At 150+ units, the brand reports very strong same store sales growth and shows no signs of slowing down. Its aggressive growth plans call for 500 new stores scheduled for opening by 2012, with 40 to 45 openings in 2008 alone. Get an inside view of the strategies behind Marco's success in this deep-dive case study; an excellent primer for the closing panel which will feature a cross-section of executives, including Marco's Chief Development Officer.

Attendee ROI
  • Three key things you need for growth today
  • Cost-effective customer retention communication
  • Winning strategies for franchise development and recruitment
  • Technology investments for success, including POS systems and the launch of online ordering
10:00 - 10:20 am

Networking Break

10:20 - 11:10 am
General Session #6 / Panel
THE WINNING FORMULA: Achieving Sustainable Growth


  1. Fred Exum, Chief Executive Officer, The Krystal Company
  2. Bryon Stephens, Chief Development Office & VP/ Franchise Development, Marco's Pizza
  3. Wayne Lipschitz, Chief Financial Officer, Grill Concepts, Inc.  
Moderator: Richard Hastings, CCE, Consumer Strategist, Global Hunter Securities LLC
This compelling session offers a real-world case study of a restaurant operator who has found the key for achieving sustainable growth. A panel of leading operators will share how their company pulls together a multitude of variables - workforce, IT, branding, operations and more - for a compelling success story. This session will also feature key insights needed for staying focused, and the core elements that energize its business.

Attendee ROI

  • Three key things you need for growth today
  • Balancing high-growth goals with economic realities
  • Case-study examples of how to plan, execute and measure during a dynamic business climate
11:10 am


11:15 am 2008 Restaurant Executive Summit Concludes