RestaurantSpaces '20

Join Us!

Sunday, March 1

12:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Registration & Orientation

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2:00 pm – 5:15 pm
DTLA Food Tour

Join industry friends for a guided tour showcasing the best of the growing, diverse Downtown LA food scene. Expert foodies have done extensive and delicious research to offer you the best-of food tour of DTLA. Participants will feel as if you’re exploring the city with a close friend who’s showing you their favorite local hideaways.

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Hollywood Sign Hike + Picnic

Enjoy a guided group hike to the Hollywood Sign, then cap it off with a gourmet picnic lunch in the park. Take in 360° views from high atop the hills of this sprawling urban paradise with an unforgettable panorama of the downtown skyscrapers, the glitter of Hollywood and more before finishing off with an insider’s tour of the Griffith Observatory.

6:30 pm – 7:15 pm
Welcome Reception

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7:15 pm – 9:30 pm
Dinner & Keynote // Rewriting the Playbook: You Create the Future

The secret to the future isn’t doing what you’ve done in the past better. The secret is creating new and different things the world has never seen before. If you want to continue to play by the rules of the marketplace or play by the rules of the industry nothing much is going to change. You can get incrementally better. You can get tighter focus. You can execute better. 

But if you want to do something extraordinary, you have to rewrite the playbook. Growth is not predicated by market conditions, competitors or customers. You are responsible for your own growth and changing the trajectory of your company and industry. 

Mark tells his story of transforming the Adidas culture in America to create a new kind of energy and enthusiasm for a 60+-year-old brand. Recognizing people as thinkers and not just doers allowed a complete transformation of a well-established corporate culture. Now as CEO of Taco Bell, Mark will also talk about competing in today’s world where consumers look forward, not backward and how – to constantly reinvent yourself – you must engage your people.


Mark King

Taco Bell

Monday, March 2

7:15 am – 8:00 am

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8:00 am – 8:30 am
Creating Restaurants for the Impatient, Distracted Customer of Tomorrow

Today’s customers live a connected lifestyle with all of the conveniences and perks that come with the on-demand economy. They’re not only connected and always-on, they’re impatient, self-interested, distracted, and seeking experiences that mirror their favorite services and apps across every industry. Leading digital analyst, futurist and best-selling author Brian Solis will explore evolving and disruptive trends in the restaurant and also direct-to-consumer industries to learn what customers expect from dining experiences.

Brian Solis

Author. Digital Analyst. Futurist.

8:35 am – 9:35 am
Business Strategy Meetings


9:40 am – 10:00 am
Restaurant of the Future // Reshaping the Industry

With a background of having designed over 13.000 restaurants in over 40 countries, Benjamin Calleja, CEO of Livit, will share insights from their Lab-Restaurants in Europe and the U.S. and how they are using technology, design and turning operational efficiency on it’s head to rethink guest experience.

Benjamin Calleja


10:05 am – 10:25 am
&mobile: Driving a New Vision for Pizza Restaurants

What if today was day 1? What if you could start over? Could you preserve what you have today, but also thrive in a continuously evolving future that contemplates physical spaces, dark kitchens and the proliferation of last-mile delivery providers? How would your brand and its partners look if you were going to engineer that future by design?

Join us as &pizza President, Andy Hooper and Zume Chairman + CEO, Alex Garden, share their journey as brand partners to reimagine the future of restaurants, one which predicts demand, deploys food closer to where people want it, and enables brands to lead all while increasing profitability per order.

Alex Garden

Chairman & CEO

Andy Hooper

President & COO

10:30 am – 10:45 am
Pioneering Fast Fine: The Next Frontier in Restaurants

Charles Bililies, Founder and CEO of Souvla, has been dubbed the “Mark Zuckerberg of fast fine dining.” His restaurant model has allowed Souvla to open five wildly popular restaurants in San Francisco’s hottest neighborhoods and has become a blueprint for other establishments around the country. He also serves as an advisor to partners in the food and tech space, including Apple, Square and Caviar, and has been featured and quoted in media outlets such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bon Appetit, Forbes and Bloomberg.


Charles Bililies

Founder & CEO

10:50 am – 11:50 am
Business Strategy Meetings


11:55 am – 12:55 pm
Getting to the Restaurant of 2030

The Roaring Twenties are here and with them comes an unprecedented amount of disruption set to rattle the restaurant industry to its foundations. The momentum of digital, driven by an evolving customer, means the way that chains thought about growth and brick-and-mortar even two to three years ago no longer applies. In this candid discussion, we’ll get an inside look at how four leading brands are meeting the challenges (and opportunities) that lie ahead.


Ron Ruggless

Senior Editor
Nation’s Restaurant News

Mandy Shaw

President & CEO
Blaze Pizza

Tabassum Zalotrawala

Chief Development Officer

Darla Morse

Chief Information Officer

James Walker

SVP, Restaurants
Nathan’s Famous

12:55 pm – 1:55 pm
Networking Lunch

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1:55 pm – 2:45 pm
Deep Dive Sessions


Designing Unique Guest Experiences with an Eye on the Bottom Line

The constant rise of delivery, ultra-convenience, and a growing hunger for novel experiences are the hallmarks of today’s restaurant industry. In an app-driven world of instant gratification, customers are increasingly less loyal to chains than they used to be. In this discussion, design and development leaders will explore the ways they’re being forced to reimagine the guest experience and how this is changing the nature of their role.


Gabrielle Rosi

Senior Director of Store Design
Whole Foods

Paul Wainwright

Design Director

Juliana Strieff

VP of Design & Construction
Blaze Pizza

1:55 pm – 2:45 pm
Defining a Restaurant Tech Strategy with the Executive Team

In this session we will discuss how best to involve the executive team in defining a restaurant technology strategy. There are so many considerations today, what is the best way to determine what is right for your organization.

Kathleen Chugh

Chief Information Technology Officer
Nando’s USA

2:50 pm – 3:50 pm
Business Strategy Meetings
3:55 pm – 4:45 pm
Deep Dive Sessions
Using Smart Kitchens and IoT to Save Bags of Money

Come hear Peter Cryan and Alex Wolfe of Inspire Brands share how they are saving Millions of dollars in operating costs each year for Arby’s restaurants and plan to expand their platform into the rest of Inspire Brands restaurants. Learn how IoT Smart Kitchen can save you money, while making food and equipment safer all while making the restaurant managers job easier.


Peter Cryan

Sr. Director of
Innovation & R+D

Inspire Brands

Alex Wolfe

Manager, Equipment
& New Technology

3:55 pm – 4:45 pm
Tailoring the Right Tech Stack For Next-Gen Guest Experiences

In an age of relentless innovation and startup proliferation, understanding what back-end solutions will help engineer new, brand-aligned customer experiences can be treacherous. In this Deep Dive, 16 Handles Founder and CEO, Solomon Choi, and Roti Modern Mediterranean VP, Technology, Jeff Miller, will outline vital considerations every brand needs to take into account when building their ideal tech stack for the future:

  • Abandoning a narrow-minded, solutions-based focus in favor of a holistic systemization approach
  • How a truly brand-optimized platform will allow for personalization in “micromoments” — the future battleground for customer loyalty
  • Understanding how key investments can eliminate hurdles for restaurant staff and drastically improve operations



Solomon Choi

Founder & CEO
16 Handles

Jeff Miller

VP, Technology

4:45 pm – 5:30 pm
>>>Wine Down<<<
How Innovation Will Change Everything

With restaurant tech incubator, Cali Group, Founder, President, and CEO, John Miller, has the aim of rippling a new wave of innovation across the industry. Holding major equity positions in companies Miso Robotics, Kitchen United, and PopID, Cali Group is making significant inroads into BOH automation, virtual restaurants, and facial recognition technology respectively. These growing fields have the potential to drastically reshape the modern chain restaurant. In this presentation, followed by an intimate fireside chat, Miller will guide us through his vision for the future of foodservice technology.


John Miller

Founder & CEO
Cali Group

Jason Schwab

influence group

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Free Time
7:00 pm – 10:30 pm
RestaurantSpaces Rocks! Dinner Party

Eats + Drinks + Jams – 7:00 pm
Special Musical Guest  – 8:30 pm

Tuesday, March 3

7:45 am – 8:30 am
8:30 am – 9:00 am
The Restaurant of the Future Isn’t a Restaurant

In an effort to keep up with current consumer purchase trends and new pure-play competitors, restaurant chains have scrambled to adjust/adapt their old, 20th Century unit systems and designs into more relevant 21st Century models but are wasting tremendous amounts of money and profit in the process.  WD will present their version of the future state of the physical food fulfillment center with research and some cool renderings to back up their theories and recommendations.


Lee Peterson

EVP, Thought

WD Partners

Joanne Heyob

SVP of Operations
Strategy & Design

WD Partners

9:05 am – 9:20 am
Using AI To Improve Operations and Grow Profits

The world’s largest barbecue concept, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, has turned to AI to simplify store operations and improve guest experience to grow profits for franchisees. In this session, Dickey’s VP of Information Technology, Carissa De Santis, will share with you how the company’s AI innovations and implementations keep things running efficiently and profitably in the Smoke Pit, in the service line and at the POS.

Carissa De Santis

VP, Information Technology
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

9:25 am – 9:40 am
The Opportunity of Delivery-Centric Kitchens

The presentation will take a look at how we navigate the wave of urbanization and the on-demand economy that is rapidly transforming the restaurant industry.

Food delivery is a key part of this new landscape, with the industry growing 300% faster than dining-in at traditional brick-and-mortar restaurants. Consumer demand for meal delivery services continue to climb, as 60% of Americans order delivery at least once a week, and 59% of all restaurant orders by Millennials are deliveries. Uber Eats alone is delivering about a billion meals a year.

REEF Kitchens is addressing this challenge by reimagining and redesigning the use of 5,000 static parking lots and parking garages across North America which are being transformed into dynamic logistic and mobility hubs that are uniquely equipped to house delivery-only kitchens.

Bruce Schroder

REEF Kitchens

9:45 am – 10:45 am
Business Strategy Meetings


10:50 am – 11:40 am
Deep Dive Sessions
Turning Digital Purchases into Insights… and Insights into Revenue 
Mobile App Ordering, Website Online Ordering, Third Party Delivery, Catering Marketplace, and other digital programs represent a growing numbers of transactions. Consumer behaviors have changed and the path ahead for restaurants is adapt or die. In this session, we’ll tackle:
  • How to optimally integrate these solutions?
  • What is data vs insight? How to spot and capture insights?
  • How to introduce changes and measure results?
Our goal is to walk away understanding how to streamline onboarding of new channels, how to sift through signal vs noise in our data, and how to find the best thing to change first.
Keith Fitzgerald

VP, Technology

10:50 am – 11:40 am
Restaurants and Climate Action. Are You Prepared?

Sustainability used to be voluntary for restaurant operators but, that approach didn’t produce results fast enough. Now, many local and state governments are enacting laws that will mandate carbon reduction, tax disposables and require reusables, and limit the heat allowed in the kitchen. These new laws will impact the design and operations of restaurants in new ways that have not been seen before. It is crucial that restaurant operators understand that they are now the focus of lawmaking that could reshape commercial kitchens forever.

This session, presented by The Food Service Technology Center’s Director of Education, Richard Young, will explain the latest laws that have already passed, what is in the legal pipeline, and what the implications will be. In addition, Richard will share some of the strategies that restaurant operators need to embrace in order to remain ahead of the game.


Richard Young

Executive Director
Food Service Technology Center

11:40 am – 11:50 am
Brunch Bar Break – grab a Mimosa or Bloody Mary!


11:50 am – 1:00 pm
The Solution Room

The Solution Room is a lighting-fast, collaborative way to look at frustrating challenge in your business. You will gain actionable insights from your peers on an issue that is near and dear to your heart.


Jason Schwab

influence group

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Closing Remarks + Lunch