Breakout Sessions

Take a deeper dive into the challenges facing restaurants

Monday, 30 October


Innovation Forums

At the Global Restaurant Leadership Conference, we’re examining the people, innovations and forces that will change your business for the foreseeable future. We’ll look at the factors revolutionizing restaurant development and expansion and how operators go to market for a decade, a generation or a lifetime. Led by the brightest and most innovative entrepreneurs in foodservice, GRLC’s Innovation Forums feature global “hot topics” and powerful messages designed to spark new ideas.

More Option 1, Operations: Top 3 Innovative Ideas to Achieve Sustainable Results for Years to Come in F&B

Presented by: Stanton Chase

Location: Al Safa 3 & 4 (4th floor)

Join three accomplished hospitality executives who are focused on involving and engaging a modern workforce in their respective F&B “ecosystems.” Forward-thinking leaders who appreciate innovation, creativity and team-driven solutions will usher in a new era in the food market! And those who don’t? Doomed to be locked in a Red Ocean Strategy bloodbath of diminishing profits… In order to have sustainable future outcomes in the F&B sector we need a new breed of leaders who understand and nurture a new way of thinking.

Ravi Chandran

Liwa Minor

Mitesh Gala


Stelios Pigadiotis

Partner Hospitality Practice Leader MEA & Russia/CIS
Stanton Chase

Dejan Popadic

Regional Director of F&B South West Asia

More Option 2, Future of Food: Strategies to Address Food Safety and Food Fraud in the Global Marketplace

Presented by: ServSafe International

Location: Al Safa 2 (4th floor)

In the last few years, both the quantity and variety of perishable goods moving around the world has increased tremendously elevating the inherent risks to maintaining food safety, food consistency, and quality. Food must be safe for all consumers, no matter where it is sourced, produced and served. And consumers expect that the brand name product they might eat in one region of the world will deliver the same satisfaction as one they would consume at home. To deliver that consistent and safe experience for consumers, companies around the world and across the supply chain must have global standards and requirements in place that are implemented consistently in all their facilities. This session will explore thought-provoking ideas and strategies that can minimize food safety-related issues and food fraud within your operations.

Alisha Gulden

Vice President Sales
National Restaurant Association and ServSafe

Brock Furlong

President & CEO
Stampede Meat, Inc.

Jorge Hernandez

Chief Food Safety Officer
Wholesome International

Moderator: Alisha Gulden, Vice President Sales, National Restaurant Association and ServSafe
More Option 3, Franchising: Expanding Globally

Presented by: Herman/Stewart Construction Development

Location: Majilis 1 (6th floor)

Our panelist have a range of experience related to expanding and assisting brands expand Globally. The expectation is that this elite group of people can answer the hard questions that operators have regarding where and how to start expanding or continue into other new markets.

Keith Anderson

Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Harrison Architecture & Design

Trevor Mackenzie

Managing Director
Mango Tree Restaurants Worldwide

Terry Varner

Vice President
Herman/Stewart Construction Development

Alison Vickers

Business Development Director
YO! Sushi

More Option 4, Technology: Connecting Restaurants with loT

Presented by: Marmon Food, Beverage & Water Technologies Company

Location: Salon 8A (6th floor)

IoT is a fancy name for connectivity with machines, connectivity that can provide many benefits in the restaurant. These benefits can include improved product quality and consistency, reduced labor costs with improved training, as well as reduced inventory costs. By leveraging IoT capabilities to reach consumers it is also possible to deliver coordinated digital marketing as well as create consumer driven customization. Marmon and AWS are leaders in IoT who will demonstrate the benefits or restaurant IoT coming to life.

Jeff Garascia

Chief Innovation Officer
Marmon Holdings, LLC

Claudiu Pasa

Head of EMEA IOT Competence Center
Amazon Web Services

More Option 5, Technomic: Minimizing Setbacks in International Growth Expansion

Presented by: Technomic

Location: Majilis 2 (6th floor)

Technomic’s recent research on the global foodservice marketplace reveals consistent trends and strategies for successful unit expansion across borders. But translating your concept from one market to the next, moving across borders and establishing a supply chain is no easy task. During this insightful panel discussion, learn from some of the most successful operators about the obstacles they have faced in entering new markets and how they navigate unexpected challenges and setbacks.

Sam Chamberlain

Chief Operating Officer

Donna Jones

Director, International Development, Asia
Bloomin' Brands International

Darren Miles

Vice President of International
Caribou Coffee

Pat Noone


Moderator: Pat Noone, EVP, Technomic
More Option 6, New Markets/Expansion: Restaurant IPO, M&A and Valuation Landscape

Presented by: Wells Fargo Securities

Location: Al Safa 1 (4th floor)

Wells Fargo has served as a bookrunner on 4 of the past 5 IPOs and advised on 4 of the past 7 $1B+ M&A transactions in US restaurant sector.

Jeffrey Llamas

Wells Fargo Securities

Mike Phalen

Head of Retail Investment Banking
Wells Fargo Securities

Option 7: Reducing Costs while Maximizing Quality and Profits through Kitchen Technology

Presented by: The Middleby Corporation

Location: Majilis 3 (6th floor)

Christopher Brady

President & CEO

David Brewer

COO, Commercial Foodservice
The Middleby Corporation

Yvonne Heyne


More Option 8: Unleash a Transformation, Kill POS

Presented by: Heartland Commerce – Xenial

Location: Salon 8B (6th floor)

Large, slow and legacy is not the way to win markets in the 21st century. Heartland Commerce is completely throwing out its POS business model to create something entirely better. Learn how a cloud restaurant and retail management platform can crush your total cost of ownership, lead innovation in your organizations and be transformative to your bottom line.

Christopher Sebes

Heartland Commerce