Marriott Marquis Chicago

Digital Transformation In Fast Casual and QSR Summit

June 8th-9th, 2022
Chicago, IL

June 8, 2022

Join us June 7th for the pre-event cocktail showdown from 6:00 to 7:00pm

7:50 am - 8:00 AM

Opening remarks

Erin Levzow
VP Marketing Technology
Del Taco Restaurants

8:00 AM - 8:35 AM

Opening Keynote

Andy Hooper

The New Dining Experience: The Rise of Drive Throughs, Curbside Pickup, and Third Party Delivery
  • Adapting your company away from in-restaurant dining through floating kitchens, increased drive through lanes, curbside pickup, and delivery
  • Leveraging employee and customer feedback to ensure you select the right strategy for a given location
  • The investment and attraction of the out-dining experience
8:35 am - 9:10 Am


Erin Levzow
VP Marketing Technology
Del Taco Restaurants

Implementing and Deploying Digital Transformation in the Fast Casual and QSR industry

As we navigate through one of the most significant disruptions society has faced in generations we look at technological change and how to adapt to a new world of transactions, consumer behaviors, and safety protocols

  • Digitizing the customer experience and harmonizing the digital experience across the company
  • Utilizing omnichannel strategies to engage with existing guests and develop new customers
  • What does technology mean for the future and how can we utilize this now
9:20 am -10:30 am

Open Networking

10:35 am - 11:10 am


Customer Experience

Digital Transformation

Andrew Chau
Co-Founder & CEO
Boba Guys

Jodie Conrad

A Glimpse into the Fast Casual and QSR Experience of the Future
  • Shifting from a reactive to a proactive approach to better position ourselves for the industry rebound
  • Reimagining Covid as an accelerator for innovation through the impressive growth of dark and virtual kitchens
  • Examining some of the QSR and fast casual prototypes that have emerged as a direct result of the pandemic. What’s worked and what hasn’t?
  • What does future fast-casual growth look like and what technologies and solutions will help you get there?
Developing the Right Loyalty Program in the “New Normal”
  • Building an agile and innovative loyalty program that stands out from the rest 
  • Navigating the ecommerce world to create unique perks that coincide with the changing customer buying behavior
  • Understanding how to incorporate mobile ordering solutions, delivery and onsite pickups into your loyalty program
11:15 am - 11:50 am


Customer Experience

Digital Transformation

John Poulos
Talent Development Executive

Alon Golan
VP of Product
Lunch Box

Restaurant Operations Unlocked: Using Learning & Development Insights to Drive Results
  • As the labor shortage continues and turnover rates seem to increase every month, you need to uncover every operational efficiency available to you while investing in team development and retention

  • We’ll discuss the most demanding challenges you face today and share our plans for helping you to overcome them by combining operational data with learning and development insights

  • From optimizing labor schedules, to correlating team knowledge with financial results, to proactively prescribing training when deficiencies are identified, we’ll explore a host of opportunities that will positively impact performance and retention

  • Join us to learn how to unlock the secrets of optimized operations through advanced analytics that correlate financial performance, inventory management, labor scheduling, and training outcomes

Investing in the Right Digital Ordering Platforms for your Business Model
  • How third party marketplaces have cornered the market on online ordering
  • Understanding ordering technology to ensure you are able to attract and maintain first party guests
  • Identifying a complete solution that is intuitive and creates a positive user experience for both guests and employees
  • Keeping streamlined operations in mind when choosing and deploying your digital ordering platform to protect profits
11:55 am - 12:30 pm

Panel Discussion

David “Rev” Ciancio
Co-Founder CMO
Handcraft Burgers and Brews

Julie Wade
Senior Director of Marketing
Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe

Jayson Tipp
SVP Marketing
Adam Golomb
President & CMO
Primanti Bros. Restaurant and Bar

Avi Goren
CEO & Co-Founder

Using an Omnichannel Approach to Effectively Reach Guests and Improve the Customer Experience
  • How are we effectively reaching guests now that the customer’s buying habits have changed?
  • Best practices for maximizing ROI from your text messaging subscriber base
  • Improving satisfaction and driving growth through the use of digital advertising, loyalty programs, online ordering, apps, cashless payment, and social media
  • Leveraging digital capabilities to drive engagement and customer experience
  • Balancing the omnichannel experience between in-person and online/in-app touchpoints
12:40 pm -1:40 pm

Open Networking and Lunch Round Tables

Seth Hall
AVP, Enterprise Restaurants

Daniel Estrada
86 Repairs

Jeff Shapiro
Director of Development & Facilitie
BBQ Holdings

More Customers, More Problems? Balancing Acquisition and Retention in a labor-Scarce, High-Cost Market
How to Take Repairs from Pain in the A** to Problem Solved
Aubrey Baron
Director of Sales

Abhinav Kapur

Building and Retaining a Strong Team
Actionable Ways to Understand and Optimize the Customer Journey for your Brand

Kelly Grogan
VP, Sales
Virtual Dining Concepts

Derek Domino
GTM Lead

Leveraging your Existing Kitchens to Increase Revenue and Attract New Customers
Leveraging Automation to Create Superior Customer Experience
1:45 pm - 2:20 PM


Customer Experience

Digital Transformation

Ryan Harrison

Shawn Lalehzarian
President & Founder
The Red Chickz

Using Technology to Innovate Guest Experience & Increase Customer Engagement
  • Looking at Zunzi’s dual concept set up as a blueprint for the evolving restaurant model
  • Understanding how to integrate kiosks and QR codes to align with the shifts in a post-pandemic world
  • Identifying the link between the use of technological innovation and improved customer experience
  • Building a sense of community by rewarding loyalty program members while giving back to the community through Zunzi Fest
How to Effectively Leverage Social Media as a Marketing Platform
  • Understanding the different platforms, their audiences, and how best to use them
  • Best practices in developing content that attracts meaningful engagement
  • Using social media to heighten brand awareness and improve customer relations
  • Leveraging the immediacy of social media as a source of power for your brand
2:25 pm - 3:00 PM


Customer Experience

Digital Transformation

Aaron Delgadillo
Head of Customer Success

Jim Hardeman

Matthew Smith
Learning And Development Specialist
Sizzling Platter

Improving the Drive Through Experience in 2022 and beyond
  • Understanding the current hiring landscape and adapting your strategy to attract new talent quickly
  • Leveraging the right tools and technologies to screen candidates and cut down hiring and onboarding times
  • Empowering both new and existing employees by giving them easy access to handbooks, training videos, and workplace tours
  • Implementing the right change management strategies to build employee engagement and improve retention
Sizzling Platter’s Digital Transformation Journey | Learnings and ROI with CMX
  • Sizzling Platter – our brands, and strategy
  • Our journey toward digitizing our operations
  • How we prioritize initiatives, the tools we use, and what we measure
  • The ROI and impact on the business to date
  • Our plans for the future
3:10 pm - 4:10 pm

Open Networking and Round Tables

Carissa De Santis
Friendly’s/BRIX Holdings

Julie Wade
Senior Director of Marketing
Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe

Geo-location, 3PV Aggregators and Build Versus Buy Strategies for Mobile App & Online Ordering


Products and Service Innovation – Using omnichannel strategies to drive growth in a post-pandemic world

Nick Bucciero
Director of Marketing

Leveraging The Metaverse to Bring the In-person Dining Experience Directly to your Customer’s Homes

4:15 pm - 4:50 PM

Panel Discussion

Marc Hinson
VP People

Michael Rao
Chief Strategy Officer
Romeo’s Pizza

Nate Weir
VP Culinary
Modern Restaurant Concepts

Fuelling Future Growth with the Right Talent, Retention, and Inspiration in a Post-Pandemic World
  • Managing employee motivation and retention to increase customer experience
  • Setting new levels of comfort with enforced health, hygiene, sanitization, and safety standards
  • Redefining the role and expectations of an employee with a raised minimum wage
  • Defining team member performance, encouraging mentorship, and letting go of toxic employees
4:50 pm - 5:00 pm

Closing Remarks

Erin Levzow
VP Marketing Technology
Del Taco Restaurants

5:30 PM


Open bar drinks reception

Interactive and immersive demo stations

June 9, 2022

7:50 am - 8:00 AM

Opening remarks

Erin Levzow
VP Marketing Technology
Del Taco Restaurants

8:00 am - 8:35 AM

Opening Keynote

Josh Halpern
Big Chicken

The Intel Inside: How to Create Food Experiences from Branding, Menu Development, Strategy to Operational Execution
      • Understanding your pain points and leveraging them as the driving force behind your digital transformation
      • Smart innovation – understanding what drives customer satisfaction and deploying the right technology to achieve your goals with the lowest operational costs
      • Taking a robust look at the emerging restaurant technologies having the most significant impact on the sector
      • Identify market segment – closely looking at the needs and motivations of the various consumers in the marketplace, primarily by considering the array of benefits that they are seeking with a fast food option
8:40 am - 9:15 am


Zack Oats
Founder & CEO

Jon Sherman

Briana Juardo
Director, Beverage Program

Case Study: How Sticky’s Built the Best Darn Customer Experience
  • Understanding the role that customer feedback plays in building relationships
  • What works and what doesn’t when it comes to collecting customer feedback
  • How to make sense of your feedback data and convert it into actionable insights to boost resolve concerns, increase satisfaction, and ultimately drive growth


Make The Most Of It: How To Increase Guest Check
  • Customers are more interested now than ever in treating themselves to innovative beverages while dining out, according to December 2021 research from The National Restaurant Association

  • Updating and/or adding to your beverage menu can increase guest check and drive revenue, but creating such intricate drinks for mass consumption could be quite the challenge given the labor shortage

  • This session will discuss how to quench the consumer’s thirst for new options and customization despite fewer workers

9:20 am - 10:35 am

Open Networking and Round Tables

Jason Profitt
Director, Technology

Ryan Bowersox
Cultivate Food and Coffee

Laura Gunnels
President, Marketing & Branding
Cultivate Food and Coffee

Leveraging Technology to Create and Seamless Customer Experience

How to Vertically integrate your Supply Chain to Minimize Disruptions



David Jones
CEO and Co-Founder
Blazing Onion Burger Company

Selecting the Right Technology Provider: What Small Businesses should look for in Potential Partners and how to Avoid Costly Mistakes 
10:40 am - 11:15 am


Customer Experience

Digital Transformation

Glen McIntosh
Global Chief Supply Chain Officer
Little Caesars

Tom Selementi
SVP Retail
Bluestone Lane

Attracting Today’s Restaurant Workers Amid Staggering Shortages
  • Why it’s critical to adapt, and explore the novel ways to support an evolving workforce
  • Embracing flexibility by adopting greater schedule and shift flexibility, such as flex times, compressed work weeks, and culturally inclusive holidays
  • Understanding the importance of upward mobility strategies as a driver for recruitment success
  • Developing mentor/mentee programs between management leaders and employees, regular management training opportunities to support their own career goals, and touchpoints to ensure managers are carrying out the vision of the brand.
  • Aligning expectations, implementing accountability, rewarding performance, and scheduling periodic appreciation events to improve worker satisfaction
    Successfully Integrating QR Code Technology into Today’s Customer Experience
    • Looking at how Bluestone Lane used QR code technology to pivot to a fully contactless dining experience during Covid followed by migration into the app experience
    • Understanding the role played by QR tech in Bluestone Lane’s concierge ordering experience and how transformational it has been in building brand loyalty through 1 to 1 digital customer relationships
    • Case Study: Looking at how the Bluestone Lane team built out the delivery experience through their app and layered technology into the entire customer journey
    11:20 am - 11:55 am


    Customer Experience

    Digital Transformation

    Hope Neiman

    Nick Hokanson
    Manager, Customer Success

    Mike Mann
    VP of Franchise Services
    Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers

    Personalize It: What Your Guests Want In The New Multi-Channel World

    • How the role of e-commerce and pandemic have accelerated existing trends towards digitization in QSR and fast casual restaurants
    • Understanding why customers expect personalized dining experiences from their preferred restaurant brands
    • How to leverage the right digital tools and operations expertise to building personalized customer experiences
    • Using a multi-channel, customer-centric approach to optimizing customer experiences and generating more profits
    The key to Growth and Gaining Competitive Advantage: Better Team Execution

    In the current environment, where operators are fighting for talent, reacting to fast-changing market dynamics, and needing to lean into (or get sidelined by) the accelerating pace of innovation, one operational lever has become both a major constraint on the business and the path to growth: team execution. Specifically, ops leaders are investing in initiatives that will give them an edge in making store, field and HQ employees more efficient and that will raise the bar on the quality of execution across every one of their stores, even as they add more locations.

    12:00 pm - 12:35 pm

    Panel Discussion

    Solomon Choi
    16 Handles

    Ryan Bowersox
    Cultivate Food and Coffee

    Hannah Lopez
    Marketing Director

    David “Rev” Ciancio
    Co-Founder CMO
    Handcraft Burgers and Brews

    Understanding Guest Acquisition, Activation and Engagement Best Practices for a Post Pandemic Landscape
    • Learn how to use and uncover data to identify, attract and retain new and existing customers
    • Outlining omni-channel media strategies – including email, social media, direct mail, and loyalty programs – to drive activation and engagement within your customer base
    • Identify patterns in guest behavior to optimize marketing spend, drive operational efficiency and increase ROI
    12:40 pm -1:40 pm

    Open Networking and Lunch Round Tables

    Andrew Dougherty
    VP of Sales

    Scott Gierach
    Director, Ecosystem Development
    Apex Order Pickup Solutions

    Using Software Automation to Alleviate the Labor Crunch
    Enhancing Off-Premise Operations to Build Customer Trust

    Ryan Huffman
    Vice President of Strategic Partnerships

    Ted Babcock
    Vice President of Menu & Pricing Analytics
    How to Seamlessly Rollout New Technology and Upgrades Across a Broad Portfolio of Sites Without Going Over Budget or Over Schedule
    Menu Price Optimization — Best Practices to Combat Inflation
    1:45 pm - 2:20 PM


    Customer Experience

    Digital Transformation

    Jason Edone
    Project Manager

    Kerry Trudeau
    Systems Manager
    Buddy’s Pizza

    JJ Mills
    Global Director, Customer Success

    How the Right Workforce Scheduling Software can Help you get a Handle on Your Labor Costs
    • Using artificial intelligence capabilities, to simplify labor budgeting, forecasting, and scheduling processes
    • How modern workforce scheduling software can help you save money by accurately monitoring time entry, labor tracking, and payroll integration
    • Leveraging mobile-enabled self-service applications to allow employees to quickly view their schedules, submit time-off requests, adjust availability, and issue sick-leave notifications
    Events Impact QSRs and Fast-Casual Restaurants: Unlock Profits with the Right Smart Data
    • Understanding how events impact demand
    • Understanding why tracking real-world events at the local level is crucial to understanding individual store’s demand patterns
    • How to drive revenue and decrease costs with intelligent event data
    • Practical use case on how fast-casual restaurants are actually using the data
    2:25 pm - 3:00 PM


    Customer Experience

    Digital Transformation

    Darien Bates

    John Isbell
    VP Learning and Development

    Enhancing the Customer Experience and Engaging with Guests Through Digitization
    • Working with customers and other stakeholders to understand what their needs are
    • Redesigning your website and apps to create a more intuitive, streamlined ordering experience
    • Standing out among the crowd: how to create apps that drive value for both guests and your brand
    How Mobile Ordering Has Redefined the Customer Journey
    • Undertanding how the pandemic has changed mobile ordering from a source of steady growth into an essential component of your digital strategy
    • Adapting your marketing, point of sale and customer loyalty operations accordingly to keep pace with increasing on-demand customer expectations.
    • Examining the impact that consumer’s online needs and expectations are having on the offline experience
    • Leveraging your apps to take an all-in-one approach to draw in and maintain new customers 
    3:05 pm - 3:40 pm

    Panel Discussion

    Carissa De Santis
    Friendly’s/BRIX Holdings

    Jodie Conrad

    Justin Bartek
    Director of Marketing
    Jinya Holdings

    Natalie Wild
    Chief Commercial Officer

    Ghost Kitchens: Redefining the Delivery Scene, One Virtual Kitchen at a Time
    • Understanding what is a ghost or virtual kitchen and how their importance has changed since the onset of the pandemic
    • Using ghost kitchens as a vehicle for both launching a new QSR brand or as a means of expanding into new markets
    • How to make the model work and best practices to ensure sucess
    3:40 pm - 3:50 PM

    Closing Remarks

    Erin Levzow
    VP Marketing Technology
    Del Taco Restaurants