Innovation Forums
8:15am – 9:00am

Innovation Forums

Led by the brightest professionals in foodservice, RLC's innovation forums are packed with hot topics and powerful messages designed to spark new ideas. Connect with the industry's game changers and gain valuable takeaways from the latest and greatest in foodservice innovation. There's something for everyone!

Option 1: Secret Sauce: Lessons from Pizza’s Rise to Grow Your Business

In its latest revival, the pizza segment has managed to outpace foodservice industry growth by 3X (!) and shows no signs of slowing down. What is this $46 billion market’s secret sauce? In this session, we will explore the competitive advantages that pizzerias and pizza-adjacent operators have leveraged for growth and how you can apply these strategies to your business today.


Brand Manager – Pizza Toppings and Dry Sausage
Hormel Foodservice

Presented By:
Hormel Foods Corporation
Option 2: Drive Traffic: The Art and Science of Improving Guest Experience

Which is more important today to drive guest traffic: Creative thinking or Analytics? Each of us lean towards one direction but solving today’s traffic challenges requires the best of both the creative right brain and the data-driven left brain. Come and hear two industry pros: Brad Rukstales CEO, Cogensia and Robin Blanchette CEO, Norton-Creative share real examples of how both analytics and creative strategies are working to improve the guest experience. This will be a spirited, lively interaction and you will leave with specific steps your brand can take to improve your guest traffic.


Co-Founder & CEO
Norton Creative

Presented By:
Option 3: Winning the War for Talent!

Rising labor costs and a complex legislative and regulatory landscape on federal, state and local levels add pressure on business performance and bottom lines. Restaurant Operators continue to acknowledge recruiting and retaining employees as the top challenge facing their business. In this session gain insights from the latest workforce data and learn from industry leaders who are changing the paradigm with solutions that drive engagement and retention.

Learning Objectives:

1) Learn the top reasons most employees leave restaurants

2) Understand what motivates employees to come to work for you and stay longer

3) Identify key strategies in training and development to drive retention


All Attendees will receive a copies of the report, “Restaurant Industry 2030” and the “State of the Industry Report”


Director, Workforce Development
National Restaurant Association

President and Chief Operating Officer
Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt

Vice President of Operations
Creative Dining Services & Premiere Food Service

Delaware North Culinary and Hospitality Council

Presented By:
ServSafe International
Option 4: Loyalty: It’s Not Just a Program!

Guest Loyalty is one of today’s “silver bullet” buzzwords. But whom are you targeting? What data could be used to measure progress and stay in touch with frequent Customers? As it turns out, building loyalty is not easy. In fact, …it’s complicated. With few exceptions, adding a loyalty program and making it successful long term can be two entirely different things. The good news is that there are many ways to frame and build loyalty today. Come hear about best practices from leading Brands, who are building an integrated Loyalty Strategy to stay connected with their guests. 


Chief Marketing Officer
Shipley Do-Nuts

President & COO
Farmer Boys

Mid-Atlantic Regional VP of Sales

Founder & President
Growth Partners, LLC

Channel Manager/GM Sales of Convenience & Foodservice

Presented By:
Option 5: Unlock The Secrets to Employee Pay and Benefits

Labor cost is a critical driver of business success. How can you tell if you are paying too much or too little? How can you learn about the latest offerings in employee benefits? This session will share restaurant compensation and benefits trends and reveal sources that you can use to know how your labor costs stack up!



Survey Manager

Vice President, Human Resources
cicis Pizza

Director of Human Resources
MAD Greens - Eat Better

Compensation Manager
Denny's, Inc.

Presented By:
Option 6: Investing in your Customer Experience

How do you measure Customer Experience? How does your brand benchmark compared to the industry? What can you do today to improve your customer experience? Join us as we arm you with best practices and technology for maximizing your customer experience ROI.


CEO & Founder

Presented By:
Option 7: Modernize to Monetize: Powering Business Impact with Optimized Guest Experiences

Every guest experience program is different, but there’s one thing they’re all trying to prove: ROI. Practitioners in the industry are asking, “how can I prove that creating memorable experiences for guests today means improving our bottom line tomorrow?

Join InMoment’s Nate Morley along with clients Savannah Harper (Director of Operations Services for Auntie Anne’s) and Ryan Nowicki (Sr. Director of Operations Excellence & Strategic Initiatives for Dave & Buster’s) as they discuss the “Experience Success Methodology” that helps brands to modernize their approach to feedback, optimize guest experiences, and prove program value at every turn.


Director, Operation Services
Auntie Anne’s

Customer Success Manager

Sr. Director, Operations Excellence & Strategic Initiatives
Dave & Buster’s

Presented By: