2021 Dates Announced

Dear RLC Friends,

Over the past couple of decades, the Restaurant Leadership Conference (RLC) has evolved into a rite of Spring.

Every April – and occasionally March, the leaders of our industry come to Arizona to share insights, connect with old friends and make new ones, find innovative solutions, and maybe even shake the hand of a former President or Hall of Fame athlete.

But alas, it didn’t happen in Spring 2020, and it won’t happen in Spring 2021.

In order to give RLC the best chance of happening in 2021 (and in order to produce the safest possible RLC), we are temporarily moving it to December. A few words about that:

  1. The main driver of this decision is the hope that an additional eight months will give the pandemic time to runs its course, especially given the recent promising developments on the vaccine front.
  2. That said, hope is not a strategy. While we hope for the best, we are planning a conference that will be the safest we can possibly produce, fully aware that we don’t know quite yet what 2021 will bring. We are especially grateful to our partners at Marriott who have shown extraordinary leadership in creating a safe environment.
  3. It is too early for us to share the details of our safe event strategy. This will evolve over time as we learn more.  
  4. However – and this is important – it is very likely that we will limit the number of operator attendees, sponsors, and sponsor attendees.  
    • Sponsors: If you have already rolled your 2020 commitment into 2021, that commitment will be honored. If you have not, new sponsors will be served on a first-come, first-serve basis.
    •  Operators: We will open registration in 2021. Preference will be given to operators who want to attend based on various conditions. Stay tuned for details. 
  5. The new event dates are December 6-9, 2021. December is a stunningly beautiful time in Scottsdale, especially if, like me, you are coming from up north.
  6. We are aware that December is also a busy time of year. So, we have shifted our schedule from the usual Sunday through Wednesday sequence to Monday through Thursday. This will enable you to avoid weekend travel (unless of course you want to come early and enjoy the fabulous JW Marriott Desert Ridge resort for the weekend).

We are hopeful that the 2021 Restaurant Leadership Conference will be one for the ages. It will have been 32 months since we all gathered, and it will be a pivotal time in the history of our industry. While we are on the one hand planning for a safe RLC, we are also planning for an extraordinary one, one where the leadership of our industry comes together and plans for the greatest comeback in the history of business.

We hope to see you there.

Chris Keating
EVP - Conferences