MUFSO Agenda

The On-Demand economy is here to stay, and the competition for customers is fierce. Nation’s Restaurant News has its finger on the pulse of the restaurant industry and at the core of every successful restaurant company it comes down to these three key influences that NRN used to develop the MUFSO program: C-Level Leadership, Tech Innovation, and Customer Experience.

C-Level Leadership

Technology

Consumer Experience

Sponsors

                      

       

                        

Sponsors

                    

    

               

Select Criteria: Tracks = C-Level Leadership, Conference Event, Consumer Experience, Culinary, Delivery, Marketing, Off-site Event, Operations, Technology, Workforce
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Monday, October 01
Registration Hours
  • Room:   Trinity A
  • Monday, October 01, 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Tracks: 
11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Monday, October 01
Legacy Food Hall (Off-site Tour)
Sponsored by:   Corrigo
  • Room:   Legacy Hall, 7800 Windrose Ave, Plano, TX 75024
  • Monday, October 01, 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
  • Tracks: 
Join us for a Culinary and Concept Immersion Tour at the new Legacy Food Hall. Opened in 2018, the brainchild of chain restaurant operators, Jack Gibbons and Randy DeWitt of Front Burner Brands, Legacy Hall breaks the mold for Food Halls in the U.S. in terms of size, scope, culture, philosophy and sense of community.   Don’t miss this unique opportunity to taste your way around the Food Hall and the opportunity to interact with emerging growth restaurant entrepreneurs and chefs who are on the cutting edge of food trends.   Space is limited, and registration for this event is open to restaurant operators only.  (Registration for this tour requires full MUFSO conference pass purchase.)  
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Monday, October 01
Supplier Showcase
Meet the industry’s top suppliers of the latest products, services and solutions you need to remain competitive.  
12:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Monday, October 01
Welcome Lunch
Let’s do lunch!  Taste your way through the MUFSO Supplier Showcase, featuring the industry’s top food purveyors and solution providers in the restaurant industry.   This showcase is a feast for body and mind…you don’t want to miss it! 
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Monday, October 01
Theme: Crisis Management & Unconscious Bias
3:00 p.m.-3:05 p.m. NRN Market News Digest  3:05 p.m.-3:20 p.m.  The Conversation Starter: The Role of Unconscious Biases  Gerry Fernandez, Founder of the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA), will kick off this discussion with his “straight talk” approach to delivering authentic, multicultural insights that will help restaurant industry leaders increase what he terms Cultural Intelligence and address Unconscious Biases, starting at the top, with C-Suite Executives.  3:20 p.m.-4:00 p.m.  Crisis Management at the C-Level: How to Respond A discussion with industry experts sharing best practices and lessons learned in responding to a crisis, such as unconscious bias, that gets national attention in all forms of media.  
Speakers
Brett Carrey


Blink OnDemand Crisis PR
Speaker

Christi Ravneberg

Senior Managing Editor
Nation's Restaurant News
Presenter

Gerry Fernandez

President & Founder
Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance
Moderator

James Fripp

Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
YUM! Brands
Speaker

Theme: Customer 20/20
Sponsored by:   Ventura Foods
3:00 p.m.-3:05 p.m. NRN Market News Digest  3:05 p.m.-4:00 p.m.  Converting Trends into Reality:  A Look at Return Visits and Successful Menus How hard is it to read the customer’s minds?  This panel discussion will focus on best practices in engaging with the next generation of consumer, specifically what drives their dining preferences and customer experience factors that influence return visits. 
Speakers
Andrew Gruel

CEO & Founder
Slapfish Restaurant Group
Panelist

Bret Thorn

Senior Food Editor
Nation's Restaurant News
Presenter

Brian Ingram

Chief Development Officer
Williston Holding Company
Panelist

Marci Needham

Vice President, Insights & Category Management
Ventura Foods
Panelist

Nancy Kruse

President
The Kruse Company
Moderator

Quinn Adkins

Director of Menu Development
Culver Franchising Systems, Inc.
Panelist

Theme: Tech Delivery
Sponsored by:   Bringg
3:00 p.m.-3:05 p.m. NRN Market News Digest 3:05-4:00 The Key to Restaurant Delivery Excellence: Tech that streamlines delivery The restaurant industry is currently going through unprecedented change with delivery as one of the fastest-moving trends in its history. With delivery traffic increasing, established chains and independent restaurants, as well as delivery services, are all trying to get a bite out of consumer wallets in order to grow their business. This presentation will discuss: What can restaurants do to make their delivery operations a success? How can chains quickly scale up and make the economics work? What key challenges will they face once they start delivering? How can technology help streamline the entire process?    
Speakers
Ben Flammang

VP Business Development
Bringg
Presenter

Nancy Luna

Senior Editor
Nation's Restaurant News
Presenter

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Monday, October 01
Welcome Cocktail Reception
  • Room:   Supplier Showcase (Reunion Foyer & Ballroom)
  • Monday, October 01, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • Tracks: 
Connect with your industry colleagues for cocktails and conversation and get inspiration from the innovative companies who are showcasing new products and services.
5:15 PM - 6:15 PM
Monday, October 01
Hot Concepts Celebration Reception
Sponsored by:   Anchor Food Professionals, Impossible Foods, Thomas Foods and V&V Supremo
  • Room:   Landmark Ballroom
  • Monday, October 01, 5:15 PM - 6:15 PM
  • Tracks: 
Get a taste of what’s hot at the Nation’s Restaurant News Hot Concepts Celebration.  You will get to taste the signature dishes, served by the industry’s most innovative emerging growth concepts, and meet these passionate entrepreneurs who are shaping the future of the restaurant industry. Be there to congratulate our 2018 Hot Concepts Winners at our cocktail reception and exciting Awards Ceremony.
6:15 PM - 7:15 PM
Monday, October 01
Shake, Sparkle & Stir Cocktail Competition, sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company
Sponsored by:   The Coca-Cola Company
  • Room:   Landmark Ballroom
  • Monday, October 01, 6:15 PM - 7:15 PM
  • Tracks: 
Get ready to Shake, Sparkle & Stir as The Coca-Cola Company presents a fun and flavorful cocktail competition featuring mixologists from across America who are mixing-it-up and creating new cocktails right there at the event…and you get to taste them too!  A winner will  earn the title of Grand Champion of the 2018 Coca-Cola Shake Sparkle & Stir competition.
7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
Tuesday, October 02
Breakfast
Sponsored by:   Brill
  • Room:   Landmark Circle
  • Tuesday, October 02, 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
  • Tracks: 
7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday, October 02
Registration Hours
8:00 AM - 8:15 AM
Tuesday, October 02
Opening Ceremonies
Join us as we kick-off the 59th Annual MUFSO Conference.
8:15 AM - 9:15 AM
Tuesday, October 02
Keynote Address - Chef José Andrés - Creativity & Innovation for a Better Tomorrow
Join us as Ron Ruggless leads us through this high-energy keynote session with Chef José Andrés this high-energy keynote session with Chef Jose Andres, a creative visionary whose passion has fueled the growth of some of the country’s most successful restaurants. Chef Andrés is an internationally-recognized culinary innovator, author, educator, television personality, humanitarian, and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup & minibar by José Andrés. José is a passionate advocate for combating hunger and supporting sustainable solutions around the globe, and is working to change the world through the power of food. His recent work in Puerto Rico and other regions affected by natural disasters provide smart solutions to hunger and poverty and changing the world through the power of food. 
Speakers
Chef José Andrés

Culinary innovator, humanitarian, and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup & minibar by José Andrés
ThinkFoodGroup
Keynote

Ron Ruggless

Senior Editor
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

9:15 AM - 9:30 AM
Tuesday, October 02
Kitchen Hero Cook-Off Winner Presentation, sponsored by Texas Pete
Sponsored by:   Texas Pete
Four industry chefs cooking for a cause at the Texas Pete Kitchen Hero Cook-off benefitting Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry and the Jose Andres non-profit organization, World Central Kitchen.  See highlights from the competition and find out who is named the 2018 Kitchen Hero!
Speakers
Bill Kintzler

Director of Product Development
Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores
Judge

Chris Bushelman

Executive Chef
Kitchen 1883/Kroger
Contestant

David Stadtmiller

Sr Director of Culinary Innovation
Chili's Grill & Bar
Contestant

Debra Olson

Sr. Manager, Recipe Development
Golden Corral
Judge

Quinn Adkins

Director of Menu Development
Culver Franchising Systems, Inc.
Judge

Scott Uehlein

Vice President of Product Innovation
Sonic Drive-Ins
Contestant

Thomas Yun

Vice President of Culinary Research & Innovation
Perkins Restaurant & Bakery/Marie Callender's
Judge

Todd Huppert

Manager of Product Innovation
Captain D's
Contestant

9:30 AM - 9:45 AM
Tuesday, October 02
Networking Break
Sponsored by:   Royal Cup Coffee & Tea
  • Room:   Landmark Circle
  • Tuesday, October 02, 9:30 AM - 9:45 AM
  • Tracks: 
9:45 AM - 10:45 AM
Tuesday, October 02
Award Winning CEO Panel - NRN's Golden Chain and Norman Award Winners
The 2018 Nation’s Restaurant News Golden Chain and Norman Award winners will join forces to participate in a powerful and lively moderated panel discussion.  Find out what motivates these leaders, what keeps them awake at night and tap into their innovative industry insights.  Read more about the winners here. 
Speakers
Denny Post

President & CEO
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers
Panelist

Jenna Telesca

Editor-in-Chief
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

John Cappasola

President & CEO
Del Taco
Panelist

Paul Brown

CEO, Inspire Brands
Norman Award Winner
Panelist

Todd Burrowes

President
LongHorn SteakHouse
Panelist

Wan Kim

CEO
Smoothie King
Panelist

10:45 AM - 11:15 AM
Tuesday, October 02
Networking Break
Sponsored by:   Royal Cup Coffee & Tea & Smoothie King
10:45 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday, October 02
Supplier Showcase Open
Don't miss your chance to meet the best suppliers in the industry. 
11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Tuesday, October 02
Theme: Brand Loyalty & Gen Z in the Workforce
11:15 a.m.-11:20 a.m.  NRN Market News Digest 11:20 a.m.-:11-45 a.m.   Out of the Box Insight: How Important is a Brand to the Customer? This session will uncover the key findings from the Nation’s Restaurant News “Consumer Picks” research study.  Presented by Datassential, find out what the behavioral patterns are of a consumer toward a brand, what makes a brand successful among different generations and how do you secure a timeless affinity for your brand.    11:45 p.m.-12:15 p.m. Putting Gen Z to Work in Restaurants & Foodservice Gain valuable insights from a 2018 national survey on what Gen Z and Millennials are looking for in restaurants and foodservice jobs and careers.This original research, conducted by the NRAEF and the Center for Generational Kinetics uncovers the prevailing attitudes, perceptions and trends that Gen Z and Millennials have toward working in the industry.  The study details how the wants and desires of this important demographic overlap with what the industry has to offer, and spotlights where the workplace may need to change.  
Speakers
Alan Liddle

Senior Editor, Data and Event Content Director
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

Jack Li

Managing Director
Datassential
Speaker

Rob Gifford

Executive Vice President
National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF)
Speaker

Theme: Next Phase of Delivery & Competition
Sponsored by:   ShiftPixy
11:15 a.m.-11:20: NRN Market News Digest 11:20 a.m.-11:35 a.m. Off-Premise Consumer Trends: Delivery & Takeout  What are the most successful methods of delivery to date?  What are the statistics on delivery beyond QSR.  Does timing affect delivery trends? What do restaurants gain and lose by delivery? Is 100% digital ordering in our future?  Then, who's your competition today, tomorrow? 11:40 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Competition for the Consumer Competition for the Consumer has disrupted all traditional competitive models for the restaurant industry.  From grocery to gas station convenience stores, discount retailers and even shipping companies such as Amazon—competition is fierce. Are you prepared to compete for share of market now and in the future?  This panel will discuss delivery trends as well as the new sources of competition restaurants face.
Speakers
Aaron Noveshen

Founder & President
Starbird & The Culinary Edge Ventures
Speaker

Carrie Walters

Culinary Director
Dorothy Lane Market
Speaker

Ed Keller

Director of Off-Premise Business Development
Corner Bakery
Speaker

Gloria Dawson

Senior Editor
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

Scott Absher

CEO
ShiftPixy
Speaker

Theme: Technology Automation
Sponsored by:   Zivelo
11:15 a.m. - 11:20 a.m. NRN Market News Digest 11:20 a.m. - 11:35 a.m. Man vs. Machine:  The Top Labor-Saving Technologies From SMART kitchen equipment to the latest inventory tech and payroll systems that streamline your process.  Get an overview on the latest technologies that can improve efficiencies and how to measure the ROI on your tech investments.      11:40 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.  Guest Facing Automation & Customer Impact Hear about some of the most recent guest-facing tech and what happens to customer interaction when you make that move. Included in discussion will be app order ahead, freestanding kiosks, at-table order/entertainment devices, as well as wait-list management, robotics and more. Speakers will address uses and how it affects customer interaction, as well as the ups and downs of implementation and use.     
Speakers
Brian Berger

Chief Executive Officer
Sous Vide Kitchen
Speaker

Christi Ravneberg

Senior Managing Editor
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

Geoff Alexander

President
Wow Bao
Speaker

Keith Faigin

Vice President of Digital
Little Caesar Enterprises
Speaker

Kris Bartel

Chief Business Development Officer
ZIVELO
Speaker

12:15 PM - 3:00 PM
Tuesday, October 02
Lunch in the Supplier Showcase
Let’s do lunch!  Taste your way through the MUFSO Supplier Showcase, featuring the industry’s top food purveyors and solution providers in the restaurant industry.   This showcase is a feast for body and mind…you don’t want to miss it! 
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday, October 02
Theme: Data Analytics
Sponsored by:   Epsilon - Conversant
3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Panel Session:  Consumer Data Trends: What are the Best Practices?  This panel discussion will address:  What are the benefits of capturing data? How do you utilize it collectively and responsibly?  What platforms are available to enable this? What is the role of predictive analytics in the future of the Restaurant Industry?   3:20 p.m.-4:00 p.m.  Converting Consumer Data in to Dollars  This panel discussion will address: Hyper-personalization, great for the customer, what does it mean for you? How should IT work with Marketing to execute Hyper-personalization effectively? Is there a way of unifying all marketing channels via one software platform?  Does the cost outweigh the benefit? How do you make business decisions based on consumer data?  What about predictive analytics?    
Speakers
Ben Eason

SVP, CRM Solutions Group
Epsilon - Conversant
Panelist

Brian Pearson

Chief Information Officer
STACKED Restaurants
Panelist

David Roberts

Vice President of Information Technology
RAVE Restaurant Group
Panelist

Nancy Luna

Senior Editor
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

Sherif Mityas

Chief Experience Officer
TGI Friday's
Panelist

Theme: Retaining a Highly Productive Workforce
3:00 p.m.-3:20: Empowering Your Team The single point of competitive difference are the people on your team.  Get the latest research insights on how can you empower, engage and cultivate a workplace where your people come first and your profits are strong.   Presented by: TDn2K 3:20 p.m.-4:00 p.m.   Attracting and Retaining Talent This panel of industry leaders will discuss how to prepare for the future workforce, identify the best in people, and the role the CEO plays in developing a winning culture that will drive the best of the future workforce to your brand.  Moderated by: TDn2K
Speakers
James Park

Chief Executive Officer
Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh
Panelist

Melissa Doolin-Koehne

Vice President of Business Development
TDn2K
Speaker

Scott Taylor

President and COO
Walk-on's Enterprises
Panelist

TJ Schier

President
SMART Restaurant Group
Panelist

Theme: The Changing Service Model
Sponsored by:   APSM
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Growth of Limited Service: Is This the Answer? This panel will discuss the emergence of “Fine Fast.”  Is this where the convenience of fast, self-service and a high-quality customer experience intersect?  Let’s discuss!
Speakers
Carl Howard

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

Denyelle Bruno

President & CEO
Tender Greens
Panelist

Gloria Dawson

Senior Editor
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

Kelly Roddy

President
Schlotzsky's
Panelist

Shu de Jong

Chief Brand Officer
Retail Worx
Panelist

Tracy McGinnis

Director of Marketing
Fox Restaurant Concepts
Panelist

William Jungermann

Director of Sales & Marketing
APSM Systems
Panelist

4:00 PM - 4:15 PM
Tuesday, October 02
Networking Break
Sponsored by:   Royal Cup Coffee & Tea
4:15 PM - 5:15 PM
Tuesday, October 02
Hot Concepts panel: Theme: Emerging Brands
Sponsored by:   MGH
4:15 p.m.-4:40 p.m. Brands on the Rise:  Hot Concepts  This panel of the Nation’s Restaurant News 2018 Hot Concept winners will share how they get their inspiration to build a successful emerging brand and how they plan to keep the sizzle moving forward.   4:40 p.m.-5:15 p.m. Emerging Brands Talk Social  Emerging brands build social into the fabric of their restaurants from the start. Tips from the Hot Concept winners on topics such as: A quality message: how to position your brand on social media? How best to market your food on social media?  Is your menu Instagram worthy? Does it need to be?              
Speakers
Bret Thorn

Senior Food Editor
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

Chris McMurry

COO
MGH
Panelist

Eric Martino

Chief Operations Officer
Beefsteak
Panelist

Johan Engman

Founder& Owner
Breakfast Republic
Panelist

Michael Wu

Chief Executive Officer
Pokéworks
Panelist

Mike Chissler

Chief Operations Officer
Holler & Dash
Panelist

Robert Thompson

CEO/Founder
Punch Bowl Social
Panelist

Theme: Managing Tech
Sponsored by:   Oracle Netsuite
4:15 p.m.-4:40 p.m.  Tech Programs: Build it or Buy it? Bespoke systems are costly.  Are they a necessity or can off-the-shelf be just as good?  Where can you focus tech development for the quickest ROI? How do you scale up tech implementations?   4:40 p.m.-5:15 p.m.  Tech Investments: Benchmarking Success and ROI How do you measure success for tech investments?  This session will cover How to set effective KPIs,   What are the key milestones for technology implementations, and building a long-term approach to your strategy from prototype to large-scale.  
Speakers
Lisa Jennings

Senior Editor
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

Madhav Surapaneni

Principal Value Consultant
Oracle Netsuite
Panelist

Patrick Sugrue

Chief Executive Officer
Saladworks
Panelist

Peter Newlin

President
birdcall & Park Burger
Panelist

Theme: The Changing Shape of Real Estate
4:15 p.m.-4:20:  Real Estate Market/Trend Update The top 3 market trends you need to know. 4:20 p.m. - 4:40 p.m. Interview Session:  Why the Mall Isn't Dead One-on-One discussion on how the mall is still a relevant dining destination. 4:40 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. Alternative Real Estate Strategies Retail is moving out, and restaurants are moving in…for a price.  This panel will discuss the innovative ways that restaurant companies are approaching real estate opportunities in today’s market.
Speakers
Craig Weichmann

Vice President
Pinnacle Commercial Capital
Speaker

Doug Flaig

Vice President Franchise Development
Wetzel's Pretzels
Speaker

Rachel Cope

Chief Executive Officer & Founder
84 Hospitality
Speaker

Ron Ruggless

Senior Editor
Nation's Restaurant News
Moderator

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday, October 02
Awards Gala Cocktail Reception
  • Room:   Supplier Showcase (Reunion Foyer & Ballroom)
  • Tuesday, October 02, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
  • Tracks: 
Mix and mingle with industry peers and get a chance to taste the Texas Pete Kitchen Hero Cook Off Winner’s creative winning dish!
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Tuesday, October 02
Industry Awards Gala Dinner
  • Room:   Landmark Ballroom
  • Tuesday, October 02, 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
  • Tracks: 
You don’t want to miss this elegant dinner, celebrating the 2018 Nation’s Restaurant News Golden Chain honorees and the Norman Brinker Award winner, Paul Brown, CEO, Inspire Brands.  Read more about the Awards Gala here.
7:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Wednesday, October 03
Registration Hours
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
Wednesday, October 03
Breakfast
  • Room:   Landmark Circle
  • Wednesday, October 03, 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
  • Tracks: 
8:30 AM - 9:45 AM
Wednesday, October 03
Keynote Session: State of the Plate: The Most Crave-worthy Menu Trends
Menu Trends Maven Nancy Kruse will reveal what’s new and what’s next in menu trends. Get an insider look at food trends in the restaurant industry that you can parlay into your own prepared foods strategy.    
Speaker
Nancy Kruse

President
The Kruse Company
Keynote

9:45 AM - 10:00 AM
Wednesday, October 03
Networking Break
Sponsored by:   Royal Cup Coffee & Tea
  • Room:   Landmark Circle
  • Wednesday, October 03, 9:45 AM - 10:00 AM
  • Tracks: 
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Wednesday, October 03
Keynote Address - Kimbal Musk - How Do You Scale the ‘Real Food’ Movement?
Don’t miss this thought-provoking keynote address focused on reinventing the role of restaurants as a source of “real food” that is available to all.  By “real food,” Musk means made-from-scratch menus offering--food you trust to nourish your body, nourish the farmer and nourish the planet.  Kimbal Musk is not only talking about it, he’s implementing these concepts right now in his own restaurants, with plans to expand in a big way.
Speaker
Kimbal Musk

Venture Capitalist∙ Entrepreneur∙ Environmentalist ∙Restaurateur
Square Roots Grow, The Kitchen & Next Door Restaurants
Keynote

11:00 AM - 11:10 AM
Wednesday, October 03
MUFSO Adjourns
See you next year!