Innovation Forum
8:45am – 9:30am

Innovation Forums (choose 1 of 3):

Keep your finger on the pulse of the latest developments in foodservice technology. Learn from industry experts and visionaries who are leading the way in implementing unique solutions and offering high-level insights to your operation's biggest challenges.

Option 1: Serving Up a Best-in-Class Guest Experience at Focus Brands
Location: Desoto B

"Owner of well-known and highly loved “fan favorite” brands like Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Schlotzsky’s®, Jamba Juice®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, Auntie Anne’s®, McAlister’s Deli®, and Seattle’s Best Coffee®, Focus Brands manages more than 6,000 restaurants, cafes, ice cream shops and bakeries in over 50 countries around the world.

Join this session with Focus Brands’ CIO, Michael Verdesca, to learn how Focus Brands is putting the power of data to work in its restaurants by capturing, structuring, interpreting and applying insights to delight guests, drive satisfaction and loyalty, and optimize restaurant operations. "


Vice President, Restaurants

Chief Information Officer
FOCUS Brands Inc.

Presented By:
Option 2: Driving Customer Experience Through Technology
Location: De La Salle

How do you create a better customer experience using technology? Where are you going to get the most bang for your buck? Listen to a panel of expert restaurant operators share real insights on how they effectively engage customers and make their technology decisions. Hosted by Ivan Matkovic, CEO of Spendgo, this session will give you knowledge and best practices to radically increase customer acquisition, avoid costly technology mistakes, boost sales, and create more repeat visits.


CEO & Founder

Loyalty Marketing
Blimpie, Built, Pinkberry, SweetFrog, The Counter

Social & Digital Marketing
Baja Fresh, Cold Stone Creamery, & TacoTime

President & COO
Zoup! Eatery

Presented By:
Option 3: Network Security Essentials for Restaurant Business Executives
Location: Desoto A

Hughes Interview with Courtney Radke, SONIC Drive-In Manager of Retail Network & Infrastructure

Network security plays a critical role in profitable restaurant operations.  When done well, it builds trust, encourages customers to engage, and provides a safe environment for employees to serve.  When done poorly, it can ruin the brand experience, threaten customers, and drive away business. This session will provide restaurant executives with a functional understanding of network security.


Director of Enterprise Solutions

Presented By: