23rd Annual Restaurant Industry Conference
Things Are Great! The End Is Near!
It is the best of times, it is the worst of times.
Registration & Continental Breakfast
Welcome & Program Overview
Roger Torneden, Director, Department of Business, Management, and 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
A two-part session answering two questions every operator wants to know.
Industry Update – Is It Me Or The Market?
A brief update on the overall industry as presented in TDn2K’s scorecard incorporating recent results from the workplace and marketplace as measured by sales and traffic performance.
Wally Doolin, Chairman and Co-Founder of TDn2K
The Best and the Rest: Key Differentiators of Restaurant Performance
Best-in-class brands are able to achieve positive sales and traffic. TDn2K’s extensive research on Best-in-Class Performance connects the dots of financial performance and execution in the workplace and marketplace. This panel of TDn2K’s 2019 Global Best Practice award nominees and winners will reveal what their companies do differently to win market share in a commodity environment.
Wally Doolin, Chairman and Co-Founder of TDn2K
Mike Colonna, President, Norms Restaurants, LLC
Cheryl Thompson, Director of Learning & Development, The Habit Restaurants, LLC
9:55 – 10:15 AM
10:15 – 11:00 AM
One Concept’s Distress is Another’s Opportunity
Every year, some operators and concepts struggle, while others catch fire. For those struggling, shedding locations and equipment quickly can be a saving grace. For those on fire, cost-effective acquisition of locations and equipment can provide funds for growth. Our panelists help both kinds of companies, speeding the process and enabling them to focus more on their core operations.
Bob Woolway, Managing Director, FocalPoint
Navin Nagrani, Executive Vice President, Partner, Hilco Real Estate
Neal Sherman, CEO of TAGeX
11:00 – 11:50 AM
The Light In The Darkness Of High Wages And Turnover
High employee turnover does not have to be accepted as a given. Focusing on employee engagement — the emotional connection between employers and employees — leads to increased productivity, longer tenure and better financial performance.
This panel features a productivity expert focused on physical throughput, an operator wrestling with these issues and an innovative new company using technology to connect with the millennial workforce.
Fred LeFranc, CEO & Chaos Strategist, Results thru Strategy
Kam Desai, Co-Founder & CEO, ShiftOne
Paul Potvin, CFO, California Fish Grill
Rick Shoffstall, CEO & Founder, The Productivity Advantage LLC
11:50 AM – 12:00 NOON
Break – Walk to Carnesale Commons- Pacific Palisades Ballroom
12:00 – 12:35 PM
12:35 – 1:00 PM
Foodmanitarian Award presented to Daryl Ansel, Associate Dean of Students and Executive Director of the ASUC Student Union on the UC Berkeley campus
Mr. Ansel’s interest in finding solutions for homelessness and food insecurity started at an early age and throughout his career Mr. Ansel has engaged heavily in volunteer work, cooking and serving in shelters, volunteering in pantries, and engaging co-workers to assist. He has had a long association with Share Our Strength. In 2010, as Director of Dining Services for UCLA, Mr. Ansel helped a highly motivated group of students develop an organization called “Swipes for the Homeless” which solicited donations from students of unused meal plan credits that UCLA then converted to product inventory for the on-campus Food Pantry and into meal vouchers for students in need. The initiative won a Presidential Award. This organization is now called “Swipe out Hunger,” and has over 50 participating schools across the country.
In 2015, Mr. Ansel helped start L.A. Kitchen, a non-profit community kitchen program which provided job training and placement for formerly incarcerated or homeless individuals, and delivered prepared meals made from recovered foods to food insecure populations. L.A. Kitchen positively impacted the lives of thousands of L.A. residents from marginalized communities.
In his current position at UC Berkeley, Mr. Ansel led the implementation of an innovative social enterprise food program. Traditional contract food operators have been replaced with mission-driven non-profit operators that the Berkeley community has embraced. Mr. Ansel also helps address social justice through his food-based community service. Most recently working with the Berkeley Student Food Collective to create a student campus kitchen program which will recover prepared foods, and re-purpose these excess foods into individually packaged meals available to students in need.
Interviewer, Teresa Siriani-Sarinsky, Blissfully Giving Back
1:00 – 1:15 PM
Break – Walk back to Covel Commons – Grand Horizon Ballroom
1:15 – 2:00 PM
Breakout Brands – These Brands Are Eating Our Lunch!
The Breakout Brands panel highlights rising stars and forward thinkers in the restaurant industry. How do you differentiate, build brand, and manage rapid growth in an increasingly competitive landscape? Company leaders will share their business insights regarding menu offerings, customer experience, economic models, and company culture and, importantly, discuss what they are doing to give themselves the best chance at long-term success.
Anton Nicholas, Partner, ICR
Patrik Hellstrand, CEO, By CHLOE
Meenakshi Nagarajan, Vice President, Marketing, Sweetgreen
Atul Sood, Chief Business Officer, Kitchen United
Robert Thompson, Founder & CEO, Punch Bowl Social
2:00 – 2:15 pm
2:15 – 3:00 PM
Lifestyle and Tech Trends: Are You Ready?
“Personalized Nutrition” was recently named one of the top eight global wellness trends by 650 wellness experts from 50 nations at the Global Wellness Summit. Is your restaurant ready to adapt to lifestyle, personalization, and technology movements and fast-evolving food trends? This panel explores changes to how people are eating — from increasing focus on food quality, health benefits and sustainability — to trends like genomic testing, wearables, and food tracking. Panelists will discuss where they are now and how they are getting ready for these fast-evolving trends spanning Gen Z to boomers.
Anita Jones-Mueller, Founder and CEO, Healthy Dining
Karen Eadon, Chief Executive Officer, Farmer Boys
Chas Hermann, Chief Brand Officer, Noodles & Company
Maria Pourteymour, Co-Founder and Chief Culinary Officer, Luna Grill
Stacey Sultar, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Rubio’s Coastal Grill
Engaging your Customer Door to Door
This panel will guide you through each phase of customer engagement: before, during, and after an on-premise and off-premise meal.
Mike Church, Managing Director, Deloitte Digital
Zach Goldstein, Founder and CEO, Thanx
Sonny Mayugba, Chief Marketing Officer, Waitr Holdings, Inc.
Joel Yashinsky, SVP, Chief Marketing Officer, Applebee’s
3:45 – 4:00 PM
4:00 – 4:45 PM
“Life Is Short, Don’t Wait to Dance” – Afternoon Keynote Address
Valorie “Miss Val” Kondos Field, UCLA Women’s Gymnastic Head Coach
Observations and advice from a seven-time NCAA Championship Coach, UCLA Hall of Fame Inductee, and PAC 12 Coach of the Century.
4:45 – 5:45 PM
Innovation Award and Armchair Conversation
Our Innovation Award is presented to industry leaders who have created the most notable ideas and most significant trends in the restaurant business: the visionaries, the role models, the mentors. This year we are excited to recognize Julie Felss Masino, the President of Taco Bell, North America, a brand which is far outperforming its peers by essentially every measure.
Julie Felss Masino, President—North America, Taco Bell
Nancy Luna, Senior Editor and Tech Editor, Nation’s Restaurant News
5:45 – 7:00 PM