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2009 Restaurant Executive Summit

Wednesday, September 16, 2009 / Arrival Day
10:00 am - 8:00 pm Registration Open
12:00 am - 5:00 pm Golf
6:30 - 8:00 pm Opening Cocktail Reception
Thursday, September 17, 2009 / First Day of Sessions
7:45 am - 4:00 pm Registration Open
7:45 - 8:30 am Networking Breakfast
8:30 - 8:40 am
Opening Remarks: Lenore O'Meara, Publisher, Hospitality Technology
Honorary Chairperson Remarks: Chairperson: Bryon Stephens, Vice President of New Business Development, Marco's Franchising, LLC
8:40 - 9:30 am
Restaurant Outlook 2010: The Next Sources of Revenue Growth

Speaker: Gary A. Williams, CEO and Founder, wRatings Corp

A leading Wall Street analyst and Harvard Business Review author will present a competitive outlook for the year ahead, looking at consumer demand and how to tap into the next sources of revenue growth. The session will offer critical insights regarding diner expectations during this unique recovery period, and how to allocate your capital across technology, marketing and operations to out-think and out-execute your competition.

Attendee ROI:
  • Competitive Outlook 2010: How the Past is different from the Future
  • Recover your margins: A framework for building competitive strength
  • Structuring your investments to tap into the next sources of revenue growth 
  • The next generation QSR: What consumers expect
9:35 - 10:35 am
IT SuperSession: Redefining the POS
Moderator: Daniel J. Connolly, PhD, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver

This powerhouse panel discussion boasts a line-up of senior-level executives from leading restaurant brands. Together, they will discuss innovations in POS technology that range from self-service and mobile phone POS applications, to next-gen POS integration. Also included: panel insights go beyond the POS to cover the IT issues that are top-of-mind for this technology leadership group.

Attendee ROI:
  • Dusty Williams, CIO, OSI Restaurant Partners LLC
  • Christopher Demery, VP of Information Services, Domino's Pizza Inc.
  • Partha Mukherjee, CIO, Church's Chicken
  • Dan Sheehan, Sr. Vice President & CIO, Dunkin' Brands Inc. 
  • New applications for POS self-service: mobile phones, online apps and more
  • The latest insights into tableside and kiosk-based POS
  • Next-generation of POS integration
  • IT insights beyond the POS: burning issues from across the panel
10:35 - 11:25 am

Networking Coffee Break

11:25 - 11:30 am GOLF AWARDS
11:30 am - 12:20 pm
Roadmap for Concept Development 

Speaker: Jeffery R. Smith, Former CFO, Salad Creations; Former CFO/COO, Rotelli Pizza & Pasta
New concepts can be a path to significant growth in the restaurant industry — or financial heartache. Jeffery Smith has worked with new concepts including Salad Creations and Rotelli Pizza & Pasta for more than 20 years and provides a "roadmap to concept development" bringing his perspective as a CFO and COO to the task. In this session Smith examines the key parts of the development process, from the acceptability, expandability and salability of the concept premise, up to and including the exit strategy should it be needed. He’ll also cover critical decisions regarding a franchise-based business model, and offer criteria for helping restaurant operators decide if and when franchise expansion is the right choice.

Attendee ROI:
  • The core elements of the concept development process
  • What is required in terms of your organizational readiness to support a new concept
  • Will the concept attract not only customers, but investors
  • Options and challenges for concept expansion beyond the initial stage
12:20 - 12:35 pm

2009 Breakthrough Awards
Presented by Abigail Lorden, Editor-in-Chief, Hospitality Technology

12:35 - 1:50 pm NETWORKING LUNCHEON with Topic Tables
1:50 - 2:40 pm
CFO Perspective: Where Capital Preservation Meets Strategic Growth

Speaker: Ron DiNella, Sr. Vice President & CFO, Morton's Restaurant Group

Financial executives are charged with maintaining budgets and monitoring the bottom line, but they can and should play a significant role in shaping the initiatives that will help their organizations navigate a path towards growth. From the growth-minded desk of Morton's Restaurant Group's Chief Financial Officer comes a strategic approach for navigating the current economic climate; an approach that identifies opportunities for capital preservation, but also encourages investments in customer engagement initiatives. This interactive session will offer a CFO's perspective on four key business goals: Profit enhancement; capital preservation; customer engagement; and how to build buy-in, that is, strategies that help IT, ops, marketing and other executives win project support from their financial gatekeepers.

Attendee ROI:
  • Uncovering profit enhancement and cost-cutting opportunities across the organization
  • Strategies for maintaining and growing market share with limited capital
  • Why you can't just cut your way to profitability — the critical importance of customer engagement
  • Building buy-in: tips for making a business case that wins support, and precious capital, for your initiative
2:45 - 4:00 pm
These hands-on workshops give restaurant executives a platform to discuss pressing business topics 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:

Service Innovation
What is service innovation and where is there room for increased service excellence in your organization? A frank discussion with your peers will help restaurant operators put their best service forward through new ideas, technologies, and creative campaigns.
Next-Gen Restaurant IT

  • Joe Tenczar, Sr. Director of Technology, Hard Rock International
  • Matthew Baizer, President/CEO, Zao Noodle Bar Inc. 

In this interactive roundtable, executives will have an opportunity to share ideas for tapping into the next generation of restaurant technology. Executives, bring your thinking caps and be prepared to discuss consumer trends, pressing challenges, and the technology advancements that will take hold.

  • Abigail Lorden, Editor-in-Chief, Hospitality Technology
  • Brent Bushnell, CTO, uWink Inc.
5:00 - 6:00 pm Networking Cocktail Reception
Friday, September 18, 2009 / Closing Day
8:00 am - 12:00 pm Registration Open
8:00 - 9:00 am Networking Breakfast
9:00 - 9:10 am

CLOSING DAY OPENING COMMENTS: Forum Honorary Chairperson & HT Editor-in-Chief

9:10 - 10:00 am
Putting Power (Back) into Your Brand

Speaker: Mike Biagiotti, President & Founder, Madison & Envoy

With the entire pubic looking ahead towards economic recovery, it's critical that restaurants are prepared to position their brands for growth when consumer confidence rises. For many restaurants, this means re-establishing, and possibly even repairing, their brand's equity and position in the market. This compelling session will offer insights into how restaurants can recover their brands from the survival-mode tactics of the past 12 months. It will also examine changing social values and consumer trends, and present ideas for connecting your brand to new opportunities that will arise from these trends.

Attendee ROI:
  • Creating ongoing value without reducing prices
  • Recovering from survival mode: how value menus earn their way off the menu board
  • The power of partnerships in building brand equity
  • New social values that will emerge during economic recovery
10:00 - 10:30 am

Networking Break

10:30 - 11:20 am

Technology Optimization: Innovation, Asset Management & TCO


  • Keith Kinsey, CFO/COO, Noodles & Company
  • Dave Boennighausen, VP/Finance, Noodles & Company

Critical to any restaurant operation is the ability to maintain budgets and ROI, while allowing for innovation. In this session, the top finance officers from Noodles & Company offer insights for creating and maintaining a technology investment strategy that maximizes resources, while minimizing risk.

Attendee ROI:

  • The role of IT innovation in a streamlined business
  • Asset management strategies: when and where to invest
  • Setting expectations for total cost of ownership (TCO)
11:25 - 12:15 am
Winning Strategies for Business Growth
A cross-section of industry executives – from marketing, IT and franchising – share insights into the distinctly different growth strategies being executed at their organizations, discussing what’s working, and why. Moderated by the Summit’s Honorary Chairperson, this session will go inside the winning growth strategies of these companies that range from increased guest count to a complete re-vamping of what the brand stands for. Other topics to be discussed include: customer engagement, branding and marketing, business efficiency, technology, asset management, and the ubiquitous “x” factor that has set these brands apart.

Attendee ROI:
  • Lessons from the front lines: what's working and why
  • Next steps for sustainable growth
  • How these brands are leveraging new mediums for customer engagement
Moderator: Bryon Stephens, Vice President of New Business Development, Marco's Franchising, LLC
  • Angie M. Heig, Director of Marketing, Ruby Tuesday Inc. 
  • Tanya Mareno, Vice President of Franchise Sales & Development, Petrus Brands 
  • Drew Stafford, Sr. Director of IT, Romano's Macaroni Grill Inc.
12:20 pm 2009 Restaurant Executive Summit Concludes