Following in the footsteps of his father, Dan T. Cathy, and his late grandfather, S. Truett Cathy, Andrew became just the third CEO in Chick-fil-A’s storied history when he assumed the role in November 2021. With extensive experience working in Chick-fil-A restaurants and serving in multiple Support Center roles, he’s committed to ensuring the future of Chick-fil-A as a healthy, purpose-driven, global organization devoted to making a lasting, positive impact on the people and communities it serves.
The Condado Tacos CEO and former Morton's executive introduces an exciting, new segment within full service: NextGen Casual. Bringing lessons from traditional casual dining as well as new-wave fast casual, NextGen is redefining what it means to be a multiunit brand.
Some restaurants are known for their expansive menus, but a growing legion are opting for more streamlined options, which not only helps solidify brand identity, it also facilitates a more cost-effective back of house.
Over the past decade, fast casual has been on the cutting edge of menu innovation in terms of both cuisine and execution. Now, NextGen Casual is following suit.
The Next F&B Wave
2:30 PM - 2:45 PM
2:45 PM - 3:45 PM
Restaurant Groups: The Best of Both Worlds
By Geo Concepcion CEO | The Greene Turtle (ITA Group Holdings), Dan Mesches President & CEO | Sprinkles Bakeries and Picnik Restaurants, Jérôme Sérot Co-Founder/Strategic Business Development | Southerleigh Hospitality Group, Randy Sharpe CEO | Xperience Restaurant Group (XRG)
Sponsored by: Restaurant365
By combining the creativity and flexibility of independent restaurants with the system and streamlined operations of a chain, restaurant groups continue to make their mark in the restaurant landscape.
Consumers continue to show an appetite for elevated, specialty libations when dining out. Here are the top beverage trends within the NextGen space.
The Next F&B Wave
3:45 PM - 4:15 PM
4:15 PM - 5:00 PM
Hitting Refresh: How Subway Got its Swagger Back
After following the same blueprint for 50 years, Subway hit Refresh—embarking on the most significant turnaround in company history. Through strategic, data-driven investments in restaurants, menu enhancements and a laser-focus on improving the guest and franchisee experience, Subway is turning its business around and reclaiming its reputation in the quick-service restaurant space. Learn more about the brand’s transformational journey to win back the hearts and minds of sandwich lovers around the world.
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Women in Leadership Networking Event
By Tammy Calhoun Vice President of Learning and New Restaurant Openings | Firebirds Wood Fired Grill
Join female industry peers for an hour of networking, engagement, and mentorship (and food and drink, of course). We’ve designated ambassadors from around the restaurant world to facilitate and create a space where conversation is encouraged and free-flowing. Find a mentor, reach out to a new contact, reconnect, and help foster a movement that needs more female leadership at all levels of the career ladder.
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Offsite Event: Sweetwater Brewing Company
Attendees receive exclusive access to Sweetwater Brewing Company, located just 10 minutes away from our event venue. Network with your industry peers and help us celebrate our inaugural event.
When it comes to development, Christian Charnaux has one of the most interesting jobs in foodservice. Inspire’s rise to the nation’s second-largest restaurant conglomerate might just be the fastest in history. Now, he’s overseeing a portfolio that spans more than 31,700 restaurants and $30 billion in system sales. From Dunkin’ to Arby’s to Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic Drive-In, Jimmy John’s, and Baskin-Robbin’s, Charnaux has big plans to evolve and innovate across the entire fleet. What’s next for Inspire? Learn more as Charnaux takes us behind the scenes of the company’s rising restaurant empire.
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
What Your Guests Want: Understanding the Modern Consumer
A lot has changed since Tupelo Honey first opened more than 20 years ago. COO Caroline Skinner breaks down the biggest shifts in consumer wants and behavior and how the NextGen Casual brand is adapting to keep loyal customers and attract new ones.
Guest-facing technology can be a divisive topic, but unlike the ubiquitous QR code menus and handheld POS systems, robots are finding unique applications in one of the country's most talked-about upstart chains.
One of the most vital pillars of NextGen Casual is unique, localized design that invites guests to linger but also offers fast throughput when needed. Here's how restaurants can take their store layouts and decor to the next level.
Considered by many to be the next iteration of "dinner and a movie," eatertainment is a rapidly growing segment that brings interactive games and expansive venues to the dining experience—but never at the expense of high-quality F&B offerings.
Technology isn't a one-size-fits-all for restaurants, especially in full service, where a human touch is paramount. To seamlessly integrate new tech solutions, operators must first consider their specific brand experience.
Technology and Innovation
3:45 PM - 4:15 PM
4:15 PM - 5:00 PM
Closing Keynote: 40 Years of Fresh: How First Watch is Raising the Bar
Forty years after pioneering the Daytime Dining concept, Florida-based First Watch is turning up the heat on its growth plans. The restaurant is leaning into its unique strengths – from a one-shift staffing model and fierce commitment to guest service, to an ever-evolving menu featuring seasonal innovation, to a sourcing strategy prioritizing fresh ingredients and thoughtful investment in digital enhancements – and First Watch is betting that differentiation is the key to scaling its brand. Learn more about how First Watch is creating an exceptional Daytime Dining experience in more neighborhoods across the country.
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Brunch for Dinner After Party at Another Broken Egg
Limited Space Available, pre registration required
A look behind the scenes at one of the industry's hottest NextGen Casual brands. You’ll have the opportunity to taste the Southern-inspired menu and sample the signature cocktails that have made Another Broken Egg a standout in the breakfast and brunch category. Plus, you’ll get a chance to tour the kitchen, review the new technology that has been recently implemented, and interact with the brand’s Executive Team at your leisure.