Wingstop, Smokey Bones lead Restaurants Rise powered by MUFSO

Home / Wingstop, Smokey Bones lead Restaurants Rise powered by MUFSO

The first week of Restaurants Rise powered by MUFSO has wrapped up and, as we enter the second week, here is a peek at what you can expect during the rest of the virtual event.

Last week, Erica Dhawan, CEO of Cotential, spoke about how to communicate with employees and peers effectively; Kelli Valade, CEO of Black Box Intelligence, spoke about the recent restaurant data as the industry tries to recover; three Black restaurant operators spoke about their experiences during the recent social unrest as business owners; and Dr. James Pogue spoke with Chip Wade and Patti Simpson of Union Square Hospitality Group about diversity and inclusion.

These sessions are all available on demand here.

Register for future sessions here.

Some highlights to look forward to this week include:

  • Soledad O’Brien on how to communicate in times of change — Oct. 13 at 12 p.m. EDT;
  • A look at gender equity in the industry and tips to help women thrive and promote female employees with Women’s Foodservice Forum CEO Therese Gearhart — Oct. 13 at 3:30 p.m. EDT;
  • A presentation on research conducted by The Coca-Cola Company with insights into how the pandemic has impacted restaurants, how operators have adapted and what will bring diners back through their doors — Oct. 15 at 12 p.m. EDT;
  • Scott and Ally Svenson, founders of MOD Pizza, on maintaining values and company culture through growth — Oct. 15 at 3 p.m. EDT.

The second half of Restaurants Rise powered by MUFSO will pack a punch with a host of new additions to the lineup. Here are some key talks not to miss:

  • The restaurant worker of tomorrow in an increasingly tech-focused world and what that will look like during and after the pandemic with Carl Howard, CEO of Fazoli’s; and Chris Ford, executive vice president of operations at Frisch’s Big Boy;
  • How The Melt grew sales 50% in 2020 featuring CEO of The Melt, Ralph Bower;
  • Delve into the long-lasting shifts in consumer behavior and the approaches brands are finding effective with Michael Lindsey, partner and executive chef/culinary director of Eat Restaurant Partners;
  • Fast-tracking human-capital management with Liz Stone Brewster, senior vice president of The Elliot Group consulting firm; Donnie Upshaw, SVP of people at Wingstop; and Brianna Borin-Lygizos, SVP of people at Snooze, an AM Eatery, who will share their shift in approach to leadership in a rapidly changing environment;
  • How to enter the ghost-kitchen space with James O’Reilly, CEO of Smokey Bones, and Eric Greenspan, chef at Virtual Dining Concepts;
  • How chains can leverage social media and their apps to drive brand loyalty on their digital channels, according to Stacey Pool, chief marketing officer of Noodles & Company, and Drayton Martin, vice president of brand strategies at Dunkin’;
  • Learn the latest strategies in preparation and packaging that will help your food get to your customers intact, as well as approaches to reworking the menu to eliminate items that no longer resonate with guests, from Jamie Carawan, VP of brand menu and culinary at Buffalo Wild Wings, and William Eudy, corporate executive chef at Focus Brands.

Oct. 20

2 p.m. EDT

Building Trust Through Transparency

As consumers across the country continue to navigate the significant consequences of COVID-19, multi-unit operators must confront a new normal: rebuilding trust with wary diners. With a dramatic shift in consumers’ expectations of foodservice, honesty, authenticity, and transparency are more important now than ever before. Vital Farms, an ethical food company and leading brand of pasture-raised foods from small family farms, believes the key to building a trusted brand is to prioritize its values, rooted in conscious capitalism, ahead of short-term gains. From successfully scaling a business that puts its stakeholders first (including the welfare of animals and its network of approximately 200 family farms) to driving affinity and loyalty through its values-driven approach, Russell Diez-Canseco, president and CEO of Vital Farms, discusses building an ethical food brand and why it matters at a time when trust and transparency are paramount.  

Tomorrow’s Restaurant Workers, Today

Pre-pandemic, evolving consumer preferences were already dictating restaurant personnel changes. COVID-19 restrictions and accelerated diner adoption of off-premise and new dine-in options further spurred the rise of “server”-free service teams, sanitation “captains,” curbside concierges and other new roles. Learn about revolutionary and evolutionary foodservice jobs, what’s behind them and their training requirements.

2:45 p.m. EDT

Gen Z Loves Plant-Based Protein…And So Will Your Bottom Line!

The exploding demand for plant-based options is here to stay. Join Wendy Davidson, president of Kellogg’s Away From Home, for an exciting session on the burgeoning importance of meeting Gen Z’s cravings on your menu and how plant-based options will deliver for this key population.

R&D at a Distance

With restrictions in place in test kitchens and for focus groups, chain restaurant chefs are developing new approaches to developing and testing new menu items and learning how to meet the needs of their guests more quickly than ever before.

The Turnkey Solution to Restaurant Operations of the Future

As the landscape of restaurant service changes, owners and operators need to adapt quickly to constantly changing safety protocols, compliance requirements, and government guidelines. In this webinar, presented by Jolt Software, journey with us as we take a look at the restaurant of the future. We’ll explore:

  • Implementing new operational models with reduced staff;
  • Driving revenue through off-premise, carry-out, and delivery;
  • Leveraging digital channels to ensure sanitization, food safety, and team accountability;
  • Maintaining food safety and quality standards.

No doubt, owners and operators are looking for an all-in-one solution capable of adapting on the fly. Jolt streamlines daily operational needs for staffing, food safety, and sanitization protocols in one app available on phones and tablets. It’s the easy-to-use answer for today’s restaurateurs who need all of their managerial knowledge in one place.

Oct. 22

1 p.m. EDT

How The Melt Grew Their Sales 50% in 2020

Grubhub and Impossible Foods are teaming up to share an incredible story of growth amidst an ever-changing foodservice landscape from their mutual customer, The Melt. You will hear from The Melt CEO Ralph Bower on how they have leveraged Grubhub and Impossible™ Burger to grow their business. This session will cover everything from attracting new customers and creating brand loyalty to improving employee satisfaction. Tune in to get inspired!

Multi-Unit Leadership in the Next Normal: The 3 Best Practices

Each year multi-unit leaders help generate millions of dollars in revenue, affect the experience of tens of thousands of customers, juggle hundreds of weekly priorities, and develop dozens of future leaders. And when the coronavirus pandemic struck our industry, they had to suddenly improvise, innovate, direct, lead, rally and inspire unit managers, hourly teams, and a customer base that was both shaken and stirred. What new lessons in leadership have multi-unit franchisees, district managers, area supervisors, zone managers and area leaders learned, developed and deployed since the global pandemic hit our industry in March?  What new strategies and tactics are on the horizon for multi-unit leaders in 2021? This MUFSO breakout session will answer those questions and share the Top 3 transformative changes in the role of above-restaurant leaders across foodservice segments. We’ll detail fresh new strategies related to managing multiple priorities, delivering high-impact unit visits, and developing and sustaining stronger store managers through the Next Normal. This is no time to waste a crisis. Learn the best practices of the best practitioners of multi-unit leadership.

1:45 p.m. EDT

How the Pandemic Refashioned the Consumer

The pandemic overnight changed purchasing patterns across retail, and restaurant operators swiftly altered marketing messages, programs and schedules to accommodate the new model. Nine months into the pandemic, the consumer has settled into a new routine and restaurant restrictions are dealing with limited — and shifting — capacity. Delve into the long-lasting shifts in consumer behavior and the approaches brands are finding effective with Michael Lindsey, partner and executive chef/culinary director of Eat Restaurant Partners.

Restructuring Doesn’t Have to be a Dirty Word: How to Set Your Business up for Future Success

Restructuring a restaurant business doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Hear from an expert strategic partner on the best options and go-forward planning for your business — whether distressed or not. With a focus on running the business, CohnReznick helps businesses concentrate on restructuring operations, preserving asset value and building stakeholder confidence.  Learn what you need to do to set your business up for future success in today’s ever-changing restaurant reality. 

2:30 p.m. EDT

Fast Tracking Human Capital Strategies in an Everchanging Landscape

Your people are your competitive advantage. This panel of experts, including Liz Stone Brewster, SVP of The Elliot Group consulting firm; Donnie Upshaw, SVP of people at Wingstop; and Brianna Borin-Lygizos, SVP of people at Snooze, an AM Eatery, will share their shift in approach to human capital and leadership in a rapidly changing environment. 

Oct. 27

2 p.m. EDT

Physical Fitness — How Restaurant Spaces are Changing for Healthier Business

In-restaurant “shelves” holding BOPIS orders. Outside pick-up “lanes” for drivers who ordered ahead. “Super expediter stations” supporting order assembly and management for multiple distribution channels. Curbside service “carve-outs” for customers who will make the drive, but not the walk into your establishment. Restaurant physical plant vocabularies are expanding. Find out how and why.

2:45 p.m. EDT

Growth Hacking Your Business

How restaurants are using a myriad of ghost-kitchen models to earn more revenue without building brick and mortar restaurants.

Oct. 29

1 p.m. EDT

Gamification Marketing

How chains can leverage social media, and their apps to drive brand loyalty on their digital channels, according to Stacey Pool, CMO of Noodles & Company, and Drayton Martin, VP of brand strategies at Dunkin’.

1:45 p.m. EDT

Menu Development To-Go: Some Food Travels Well

Some food travels well. Some doesn’t. Learn the latest strategies in preparation and packaging that will help your food get to your customers intact, as well as approaches to reworking the menu to eliminate items that no longer resonate with guests. Featuring Jamie Carawan, VP of brand menu and culinary at Buffalo Wild Wings, and William Eudy, corporate executive chef at Focus Brands.

2:30 p.m. EDT

Polish Your Message to Outshine & Outlast the Pandemic

With stay-at-home orders and other restrictions on the restaurant consumer, brands were quick to shift marketing messages to the digital platforms where consumers were spending most of their time. As operators head into winter and a possible second year of the pandemic, where do they see the most effective use of their marketing dollars? And what messages will they be sending? Panelists Sarah Stegner, co-executive chef/partner at Prairie Grass Café, and Justin McCoy, VP of marketing at Cousins Subs, will explain their views.

Title sponsors for MUFSO include the Coco-Cola Co., PepsiCo Foodservice and Johnsonville Foodservice

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