October 1-3, 2017

Hyatt Regency Reunion • Dallas, TX
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Agenda

Sunday, October 01
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Sponsored by:  
  • Sunday, October 01, 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
In this keynote, industry culinary expert Nancy Kruse serves up business boosting menu news and the trends driving culinary developments. Researcher, consultant and NRN contributor Kruse will tackle insights on breakout foods and flavors, innovative use of ingredients, what’s new with ethnic influences and daypart strategies guaranteed to shape your...
Speaker
Nancy Kruse

President
The Kruse Company
Speaker

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Sponsored by:  
  • Sunday, October 01, 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
In the restaurant industry, annual employee churn exceeds 100 percent, technology is disrupting ordering, marketing and training processes daily, and the customer has redefined the concept of “service.” How are some restaurant brands staying ahead of the curve? In this keynote, training consultant and author Jim Sullivan looks at tools...
Speaker
Jim Sullivan

CEO
Sullivision.com
Speaker

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Sunday, October 01
3:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Sponsored by:   Royal Cup Coffee & Tea and Ventura Foods
  • Sunday, October 01, 3:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Refresh yourself between our break-out sessions with food and beverages in the Reunion Foyer outside the conference rooms. While you're there, say hello to our Sponsor Showcase Exhibitors: Fishbowl, Moore's Food Resources, and Steritech. Also, be sure to enjoy a cup of Royal Cup coffee or tea!      

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Sunday, October 01
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

  • Sunday, October 01, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Customers demand more than ever from their supply chain. Antibiotic-free meat is just the beginning. Savvy restaurant chains are making a sustainable supply chain and quality ingredients a selling point. This panel looks at the marketing, logistics, partnerships, pricing and other considerations needed to use sustainable sourcing as a competitive...
Speakers
Andrew Gruel

CEO & Founder
Slapfish Restaurant Group
Panelist

Kimberly Olson

Chef, Licensed Restaurants
Frontera Hospitality Group
Panelist

Lisa Roberson

National Director Wellness & Sustainability
Morrison Healthcare
Panelist

Tara Fitzpatrick

Sr Food Editor
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

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Sponsored by:  
  • Sunday, October 01, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
It’s a wild world of food out there. Consumers are embracing new trends at a breakneck pace. This session will look at food trends that could be popular in the not-so-distant future. Tune in for cutting-edge trends such as meatless meat, hyper-local ingredients, insect proteins, cannabis-infused dishes, cover crop focused...
Speakers
Bret Thorn

Senior Food Editor
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

Euripides Pelekanos

CEO
Bareburger
Panelist

Frank Klein

Founder & CEO
Asian Box Holdings
Panelist

Steve Heeley

Chief Executive Officer
Veggie Grill
Panelist

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Sunday, October 01
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Sponsored by:  
  • Sunday, October 01, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Join us to celebrate the Nation's Restaurant News Hot Concepts winners of 2017: Bibibop Asian Grill, Bubba’s 33, Flower Child, New Bohemia Wurst + BierHause and Public School on Tap! This high-energy cocktail reception is a must attend event to try these amazing, award-winning dishes, with special guest awards emcee, Gene Simmons! Find...

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Sunday, October 01
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Sponsored by:  
  • Sunday, October 01, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Join the party! And taste the latest trends in cocktails at the Shake, Sparkle & Stir competition, sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company!  Our finalists will compete live on the MUFSO stage. Taste for yourself and cheer on the winner at this exciting event! We are taking nominations until July 7 - apply today!

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Monday, October 02
7:00 AM - 8:00 AM

Sponsored by:   Moore's Food Resources & Community Coffee
  • Monday, October 02, 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
Join us for breakfast and network with your peers outside the Landmark Ballroom. Enjoy the Community Coffee!          

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Monday, October 02
8:00 AM - 8:15 AM

  • Monday, October 02, 8:00 AM - 8:15 AM
Welcome to the show! We will have fun announcements and can't miss information about all things NRN & MUFSO - don't miss it!! 

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Monday, October 02
8:15 AM - 9:15 AM

  • Monday, October 02, 8:15 AM - 9:15 AM
Carla Hall is a chef, restaurateur, author of two cookbooks, and co-host of ABC lifestyle series “The Chew.” She is also known for her stand-out performance on Bravo’s “Top Chef,” where she won audiences over. Her fast casual restaurant in Brooklyn, Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen, merges the Southern traditions of...
Speaker
Carla Hall

Co-Host
The Chew
Keynote

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Monday, October 02
9:15 AM - 9:30 AM

Sponsored by:  
  • Monday, October 02, 9:15 AM - 9:30 AM
We announce the winner of the Texas Pete Kitchen Hero Cook-Off competition! Check-in on Sunday if you're in the building before noon; we take over Parrino's Oven in the Hyatt with our live cooking competition between four chefs from multi-unit chains. They are given surprise ingredients, Texas Pete sauces & rubs, and have to...
Speakers
Adam Baird

VP of Food & Beverage
The Habit Restaurants
Participant

Quinn Adkins

Director of Menu Development
Culver Franchising Systems, Inc.
Participant

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Monday, October 02
9:30 AM - 9:45 AM

Sponsored by:   Royal Cup Coffee & Tea and Ventura Foods
  • Monday, October 02, 9:30 AM - 9:45 AM
Refresh yourself between our break-out sessions with food and beverages in the Reunion Foyer outside the conference rooms. While you're there, say hello to our Sponsor Showcase Exhibitors: Fishbowl, Moore's Food Resources, and Steritech. Also, be sure to enjoy a cup of Royal Cup coffee or tea!      

...read more


Monday, October 02
9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

  • Monday, October 02, 9:45 AM - 10:45 AM
The 2017 Golden Chain winners and the 2017 Norman Award honoree will join forces to participate on a powerful and lively moderated discussion. Find out what motivates these leaders, what keeps them awake at night and tap into their insight for shaping the future of foodservice. Then, be sure to...
Speakers
David Overton

Founder, Chairman & CEO
The Cheesecake Factory
Panelist

Jack Butorac

CEO
Marco's Franchising
Panelist

Jenna Telesca

Editor-in-Chief
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

John Miller

President and CEO
Denny's
Panelist

Lisa Ingram

President & CEO
White Castle System
Panelist

Randy Garutti

CEO
Shake Shack
Panelist

Steve King

CEO & Chairman
Dave & Buster's Inc
Panelist

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Monday, October 02
10:45 AM - 11:00 AM

Sponsored by:   Royal Cup Coffee & Tea and Ventura Foods
  • Monday, October 02, 10:45 AM - 11:00 AM
Refresh yourself between our break-out sessions with food and beverages in the Reunion Foyer outside the conference rooms. While you're there, say hello to our Sponsor Showcase Exhibitors: Fishbowl, Moore's Food Resources, and Steritech. Also, be sure to enjoy a cup of Royal Cup coffee or tea!           

...read more


Monday, October 02
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Sponsored by:  
  • Monday, October 02, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
How are well-established foodservice companies growing in saturated markets and coping with the mature industry environment, overall? A panel of industry experts share their innovative growth strategies that include adding small, focused concepts; investing in emerging chains; and sometimes partnering with food retailers for on-site restaurant locations and consumer packaged...
Speaker
Jonathan Maze

Senior Financial Editor
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

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Sponsored by:  
  • Monday, October 02, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Hear from the creative minds behind the Nation’s Restaurant News 2017 Hot Concept Award winners.  Learn how these innovative entrepreneurs are growing brands that connect with consumers. These forward-thinking brands are at the leading edge of foodservice, covering everything from a healthful and highly customizable fast casual with a counter-culture...
Speakers
Brian Ingram

COO
New Bohemia Wurst + Bierhaus
Panelist

Charley Shin

CEO
BIBIBOP Asian Grill
Panelist

Jenna Telesca

Editor-in-Chief
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

John Sola

CEO
Public School
Panelist

Lisa Jennings

West Coast Bureau Chief, Nation's Restaurant News
Penton
Moderator

Sam Fox

Founder
Flower Child/Fox Restaurant Concepts
Panelist

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  • Monday, October 02, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
With sky-high turnover rates at restaurants right now, this panel of restaurant executives share the benefits of hiring employees that might have been traditionally overlooked, including people with developmental disabilities, the formerly incarcerated, senior workers and homeless individuals. Find out from this session how to tap into these motivated groups...
Speakers
Arlin Crane

Director of Social Enterprise-Culinary Division
Homeboy Industries
Panelist

Chad Houser

Founder/CEO/Chef
Cafe Momentum
Panelist

Ron Ruggless

Southwest Bureau Chief
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

Tom Landis

Founder
Howdy Homemade
Panelist

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Sponsored by:  
  • Monday, October 02, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Breakfast is now a big business with the largest chains competing for the morning and sometimes all-day breakfast dollar. The panel reviews data on how breakfast meals and positioning is resonating with today’s consumer. This panel also looks at success stories with breakfast and brunch programs, including menu rollout logistics,...
Speakers
Bret Thorn

Senior Food Editor
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

David Birzon

CEO
Snooze Eatery
Panelist

Johan Engman

Founder& Owner
Rise & Shine Restaurant Group
Panelist

Sharon Lykins

Sr Director Product Innovation
Denny's
Panelist

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Monday, October 02
12:00 PM - 3:00 PM

  • Monday, October 02, 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Check out the latest trends in the industry with our must visit show floor! We have some surprises this year, too! See you there!

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Monday, October 02
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Sponsored by:  
  • Monday, October 02, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
You serve great food, but is that enough?  Customers are looking for unique dining experiences that go beyond the plate. From restaurant design, music, technology, entertainment and customer engagement, this session will examine how your brand can create dining experiences that impress your customers and foster repeat business. 
Speakers
Lauren Chipman

Principal | CEO
Chipman Design Architecture
Panelist

Michael Zislis

Co-Founder
Rock & Brews Corporate World HQ
Panelist

Robert Thompson

CEO/Founder
PBS Brand
Panelist

Ron Ruggless

Southwest Bureau Chief
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

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Sponsored by:  
  • Monday, October 02, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
What has the large-scale movement to on-table ordering and payment devices wrought casual-dining chains? (Higher sales? Lower labor costs? Greater guest satisfaction?) Those who have made the move hold a candid discussion, and those who are resisting explain why.
Speakers
Charlie Jones

Executive Director, Digital & Guest Facing Technology
dineEquity
Panelist

Christi Ravneberg

Director Content Production
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

Paul Montenko

Co-CEO
Stacked Restraunts, LLC
Panelist

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Sponsored by:  
  • Monday, October 02, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
NRN’s benchmark Top 200 chain report is anchored by the brands developing innovative strategies to reach consumers and build sales, but some brands have had to overcome years of store-count or store-performance erosion to get back onto the growth track. This session will feature those brands that have managed to...
Speakers
Alan Liddle

Data and Event Content Director
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

Carl Howard

President & CEO
Fazoli's Fast. Fresh. Italian!
Panelist

Kevin Bazner

President & CEO
A&W Restaurants
Panelist

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  • Monday, October 02, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
If “Location, location, location!” are the three most important real estate rules to remember when opening a restaurant, how does one best inner-industry and outsider rivals for the prime sites in a tough real estate market? Attendees to this panel session will hear the latest thinking on how to determine...
Speakers
Jonathan Maze

Senior Financial Editor
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

Patrick Sugrue

President & CEO
Saladworks, LLC
Panelist

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Sponsored by:  
  • Monday, October 02, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
How are diners making their choices?  Get into the minds of your guests by understanding their dining habits, motivations, and attitudes on dining out.  See how Coca-Cola applied its best-in-class formula for understanding the beverage landscape to better understand the foodservice landscape.  Join us to see the first glimpse of...
Speaker
Gwen Brannon

Director Knowledge & Insights - Foundational Platforms
The Coca-Cola Company
Speaker

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Monday, October 02
4:00 PM - 4:15 PM

Sponsored by:   Royal Cup Coffee & Tea and Ventura Foods
  • Monday, October 02, 4:00 PM - 4:15 PM
Refresh yourself between our break-out sessions with food and beverages in the Reunion Foyer outside the conference rooms. While you're there, say hello to our Sponsor Showcase Exhibitors: Fishbowl, Moore's Food Resources, and Steritech. Also, be sure to enjoy a cup of Royal Cup coffee or Boylan's hand-crafted sodas!        ...

...read more


Monday, October 02
4:15 PM - 5:15 PM

  • Monday, October 02, 4:15 PM - 5:15 PM
There are more places than ever where customers can buy quick, affordable and delicious prepared food. The C-Store category alone rose over 6 percent in sales growth on NRN’s Top 100 ranking in the latest year. Learn ways that your restaurant operation can counter the growing threat of C-stores, grocery...
Speakers
Bonnie Riggs

Director, Industry Analyst-Foodservice
The NPD Group
Panelist

Hudson Riehle

Sr VP Research & Knowledge Group
National Restaurant Association
Panelist

Ron Ruggless

Southwest Bureau Chief
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

Tressie Lieberman

CMO
Snap Kitchen
Panelist

...read more

Sponsored by:  
  • Monday, October 02, 4:15 PM - 5:15 PM
Kiosks, robots, driverless drive-thru cars are among the emerging technologies that are here or coming soon, researchers and futurists insist, but how are these developments manifesting themselves in restaurants and other foodservice settings — and what’s next? This session will tackle those questions and others to help attendees better sort...
Speaker
Jenna Telesca

Editor-in-Chief
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

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  • Monday, October 02, 4:15 PM - 5:15 PM
While some full-service chains are seeing stagnant sales, delivery and takeout are a ray of light for the segment. How can family and casual-dining restaurants ensure the quality of their food when putting it in the hands of customers and third-party delivery vendors for off-premise consumption? From defining take-out appropriate...
Speaker
Alan Liddle

Data and Event Content Director
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

...read more

  • Monday, October 02, 4:15 PM - 5:15 PM
Merger and acquisition activities are up in recent months, but why? Through this session hear about the latest M&A developments, the impact these deals have on the restaurant space, and what factors are increasing M&A activity right now. 
Speakers
Jason Morgan

Managing Partner
Hargett Hunter
Panelist

Jim Balis

Managing Director
CapitalSpring
Panelist

Jonathan Maze

Senior Financial Editor
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

Susan Beth

COO
NRD Capital Management
Panelist

...read more


Monday, October 02
6:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Sponsored by:   Tyson Foods and Daiya Foods
  • Monday, October 02, 6:00 PM - 9:30 PM
The biggest night of the Foodservice Industry, Nation's Restaurant News' Annual Awards Gala honors the leaders of the multi-unit foodservice industry. Mix and mingle at our cocktail reception, sponsored by Daiya Foods. Then, we welcome you to the grand ballroom for the main course, sponsored by Tyson Foods. The Awards...

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Tuesday, October 03
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM

Sponsored by:   Community Coffee
  • Tuesday, October 03, 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
Join us for breakfast and network with your peers outside the Landmark Ballroom.  Don't forget your business cards! Be sure to connect with everyone before MUFSO is over! Enjoy some Community Coffee while you're there!

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Tuesday, October 03
8:30 AM - 8:45 AM

  • Tuesday, October 03, 8:30 AM - 8:45 AM
The Nation's Restaurant News team has some announcements before you go! Be sure to stay for the big reveal of NRN's Consumer Picks! Be the first to know!

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Tuesday, October 03
8:45 AM - 10:00 AM

  • Tuesday, October 03, 8:45 AM - 10:00 AM
Get a sneak preview on the top performers in the Nation’s Restaurant News “Consumer Picks” report, which is slated to be officially released in late October. This special report, developed in partnership with research firm Datassential, looks at how consumers rank chains in multiple segments, based on factors including craveability,...
Speakers
Jenna Telesca

Editor-in-Chief
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

Kelley Bailie Fechner

Director Customer Solutions
Datassential
Panelist

...read more