2018 Program Agenda

7:30 – 8:30 AM
Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 8:50 AM
Welcome & Program Overview

Roger Torneden, Director, Department of Business, Management & Legal Programs, UCLA Extension

Anna M. Graves, Partner and Co-Leader of the Restaurant, Food & Beverage Industry Group, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, Conference Chair

8:50 – 9:35 AM
Keynote Address


Lenny Comma, Chairman and CEO, Jack in the Box Inc.

9:35 – 10:30 AM
State of the IndustryRestaurantSpectives
The restaurant industry remains investable. Despite the current contraction cycle that is influenced by a lack of scarcity from an equity capital markets (ie stock) point of view, and a development supply/demand imbalance the industry remains relatively resilient. Furthermore, a fundamental review of the industry reveals critical inflection points in history. Despite decades of disruption the restaurant industry continues to flourish in not only sales, but also in terms of human capital investments that fuel jobs that evolve into careers and impact lifestyles. Our “The Year of the Restaurant” branding for the industry is meant to imply the restaurant sector is always investable. Where we are within each cycle determines the framework for each stage of investing. Companies with a balanced focus on human capital and structural brand investments are best positioned to experience enhanced financial performance that leads to strong cash flow to allow for prudent, self-funded growth and/or capital deployment to shareholders.

Featured Speaker:
Nicole Miller Regan, Managing Director and Sr. Research Analyst, Piper Jaffray

 10:30 – 11:00 AM
Networking Break

11:00 – 11:55 AM
Robotics and Automation
Contrary to popular belief, Robotics, not immigration is what is causing American jobs to disappear. Manufacturing was the initial proving ground. With wage rates rising, the tipping point for food service jobs being affected by robotics has arrived. In the front of the house, we have seen the ascent of Kiosks. Now kitchens have been affected with the arrival of robots.

This panel will discuss how the labor model is being affected with the addition of robotics that replace repetitive tasks with a new type of worker.

Fred LeFranc,  Chaos Strategist, Results Thru Strategy

John Ha, CEO, Bear Robotics
Slaton Smith,  Vice President of Marketing, Chowbotics

 12:00 Noon – 12:45 PM

12:45 – 1:45 PM
Innovation Award Presentation

Innovation Award Recipient:

Robert Brozin, Co-Founder, Nando’s

Sepanta Bagherpour, VP of Marketing, Nando’s

1:45 – 2:00 PM

2:00 – 3:00 PM
Emerging Concepts

Nicholas Upton, Restaurants Editor, Franchise Times, Restaurant Finance Monitor, Foodservice News, Food On Demand

Lauren Bailey, CEO and Co-Founder, Upward Projects
Seth Cohen,  Co-founder/Co-CEO, Sweetfin
Jon Rollo, Commander-in-Leaf, Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop
Adam Saper, CFO, Managing Partner, Eataly

3:00 – 3:15 PM
Foodmantarian Award, presented to Chef José Andrés
José Andrés is the Founder of World Central Kitchen and a visionary in the anti-hunger movement. He helps developing countries in crisis and promotes environmentally sustainable cooking technologies. Chef Andrés is a committed advocate of food and hunger issues and demonstrates firsthand how chefs can use their formidable skills to improve peoples’ lives. His World Central Kitchen served over 3 million meals in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, and delivered much-needed disaster relief after Houston’s Hurricane Harvey and the California wildfires. World Food Kitchen is already planning for the next disaster – and how it can be even more effective.

3:15 – 3:30 PM
Networking Break

3:30 – 4:30 PM
Restaurant Automation – Adopting and adapting to new technology advancements
Current and new advanced technology solutions addressing sales generation, customer engagement, labor and operational cost efficiencies are transforming the restaurant industry. What is new, what’s next, what’s needed now and what can wait. Our expert restaurant technology panelists will discuss automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) voice applications and conversational commerce, the nature of delivery, new threats and opportunities that are critical in a digital world powering our industry.

Michael L. Atkinson, President and CEO, Orderscape, Inc.

Dave Arthurs, CTO, Opencity.co
Allan Hickok, Senior Advisor, Boston Consulting Group
Michael Koch, CEO, HubKonnect

4:30 – 5:30 PM
New York Comes To LA
Will Guidara and Christina Tosi have become two of the most admired superstars in the food world. Will’s New York flagship restaurant, Eleven Madison Park, was named top restaurant in the World in 2015. His NoMad Restaurant has also become a critically acclaimed NY favorite. Christina’s Milk Bar is a renowned bakery and dessert brand with 13 current locations and plans for significant growth in the years to come. This year, both NoMad and Milk Bar are expanding to Los Angeles. In this fireside chat, we’ll explore Will and Christina’s careers, some of the secrets to their success, and why they have now decided to expand to California.

Josh Goldin, Managing Partner, Alliance Consumer Growth

Will Guidara, Make It Nice
Christina Tosi, Milk Bar

 5:30 – 7:00 PM
Wine Reception

*Please note: Topics and Speakers are subject to change.



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