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Restaurants Rise is hosted by Nation’s Restaurant News and Restaurant Hospitality.

Restaurants Rise Live starts June 2, providing leadership inspiration and business solutions for restaurant executives

Join thousands of foodservice professionals already registered for discussions across operations, workforce, marketing, supply chain, tech, off-premise and more

Restaurants Rise, a new digital community initiative for the restaurant and foodservice industry, will officially kick off its four-day live content series June 2. The event, hosted by Nation’s Restaurant News and Restaurant Hospitality, will feature leading CEOs, executives and operators in 18 webinars covering a host of topics from reopening restaurants, menu development in an off-premise world and leadership strategies.

The foodservice industry has seen billions lost in sales and millions lost in jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic and the varying regulations surrounding business closures and shelter-in-place orders. But no industry has stepped up more to serve communities and each other as it prepares to reopen and rebuild.  

Restaurants Rise keynote speakers include Charlie Morrison, CEO of Wingstop, Jack Li, founder of Datassential and Kelli Valade, CEO of Black Box Intelligence. On Friday, a keynote panel will include Rick Badgley, EVP & chief people officer at Brinker International, Danyelle Bruno, CEO of Tender Greens and Michael Lastoria, CEO and co-founder of &pizza.

Leaders from Restaurant Rise title sponsors DoorDash, The National Pork Board, and True Aussie Beef & Lamb will also share best practices around off-premise strategies, new research on consumer eating habits and menu versatility.

“There is no better time than now to come together to find solutions, lead with purpose and build relationships across foodservice,” said Sarah Lockyer, Group Publisher, Nation’s Restaurant News and Restaurant Hospitality. “We are all facing unprecedented disruptions to our businesses and our lives, and Restaurants Rise was developed to serve the great foodservice industry. Within just weeks this initiative has built a community of thousands of participants, more than 40 speakers and a curated collection of dozens of informational assets to aid operators.

“And we are committed to supporting the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Restaurant Employee Relief Fund with a donation and fundraising efforts,” Lockyer added. “It’s amazing what the restaurant industry can accomplish together. Restaurants Rise will continue through the summer to provide information, live content series, one-to-one conversations, networking opportunities, and more, as we all look forward to a renewed tomorrow.”

Register now for Restaurants Rise. Participants must register for each session to gain confirmation. In addition to live programming from June 2-5, Restaurants Rise hosts an on-demand Resource & Education Center filled with downloadable content to aid in reopening restaurants across the country.

Here are some highlights from the live event:

Meet all the Restaurants Rise speakers here.

Register now for each session. Full schedule:

June 2

1:00 p.m. EST — Winning the new normal: Using your core values to navigate an ever-changing landscape with Charlie Morrison, CEO of Wingstop

1:45 p.m. EST — Evolving your off-premise strategy ­— what you need to know with Smokey Bones and Buddy’s Pizza leaders

In this panel discussion, leaders from Smokey Bones in South Florida and Buddy’s Pizza in Detroit will share how they’ve partnered with DoorDash to adapt and embrace off-premise strategies during COVID-19. DoorDash VP of Business Development Toby Espinosa will host the discussion, which will cover best practices for successful off-premise operations; how restaurants can navigate the pandemic’s challenges; how they’re planning for the new normal, and more.

2:45 p.m. EST — Menu solutions for to-go meals

Learn from leaders that have maintained the quality of what counts  food, beverage and the customer experience  when it comes to delivery, pick-up, pack-and-go and all the off-premise channels needed for today’s new normal.

3:15 p.m. EST — Comfort foods to-go: Best in class marketing from Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises and Barilla

Both now and in the coming months, comfort foods like pasta continue to have broad appeal with guests. In this session, you’ll hear from the masters of pasta at Barilla about what they learned in their own operations and piloting a dark kitchens project. They’ll be joined by Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises to share their best-in-class approaches to takeout and delivery across their extensive restaurant brand portfolio.

4:00 p.m. EST — How to enable touch-free guest experiences in restaurants

As cities and states begin to reopen for business, savvy operators are changing their operational and technology models to provide touch-free ordering for their guests. These innovative restaurant operators are preparing their organizations to succeed and thrive in this new era.

In this webinar, we will discuss how operators are enabling frictionless ways of placing and fulfilling orders. 

June 3

1:00 p.m. EST — What the data shows: The state of the forever-changed restaurant industry with Kelli Valade, CEO of Black Box Intelligence

Weaving together data and insights across financial, consumer, guest and workforce trends, Black Box Intelligence will provide a wholistic look at the restaurant industry as it emerges from the COVID-19 crisis.

2:45 p.m. EST — Resetting the table: Lessons in leadership with Alice Elliot

Navigating operational changes, workforce challenges and a changing consumer sentiment is altering the way the industry functions  and requiring new approaches in leadership.

3:15 p.m. EST — Rethinking and readjusting human capital management for COVID-19

Hear from Scott Absher, the CEO of disruptive gig engagement platform ShiftPixy. Join Scott for a conversation that will address how restaurants can keep their employees throughout the pandemic; the importance of repurposing existing staff to deploy native delivery versus using third-party platforms; and why COVID-19 should prompt restaurants to rethink their approach to human capital and adjust to the needs of the current marketplace.

June 4

1:00 p.m. EST — The future has been accelerated: A look at what will work — and why — as restaurants and consumers adapt to new rules of engagement with Jack Li, CEO of Datassential

1:45 p.m. EST — With caution and care: Meeting consumers’ new needs

In this session, the National Pork Board and Datassential will discuss key consumer trends as restaurants look to enable growth in a post-pandemic world. COVID-19 research conducted by Datassential and new custom research commissioned by the Pork Board will shed light on topics such as a peek into consumer eating patterns — both in and out of home — during the pandemic; what consumers want from the takeout/delivery experience; and how will the pandemic shape their behaviors as dining rooms open.

2:45 p.m. EST — Setting strategies for future growth

Learn successful strategies to adapt your menu and marketing practices to facilitate growth. This session will explore pricing models, including demand-based pricing, off-premise only menus, targeted marketing approaches, and more.

3:15 p.m. EST — Back to normal: Using coffee to get back in the black

High on the list for consumers emerging from their shelters is away-from-home breakfast and coffee, as the comforts of “normal” work-life routine and the upgrade from at-home options are powerful lures. Even in times of economic stress, the convenience and affordable indulgence of these foodservice activities have value for guests, and priceless profit for operators. Foodservice research guru Maeve Webster of Menu Matters and the coffee experts at Segafredo Zanetti® will walk you through what to expect from morning dayparts and all-day coffee programs, and how to maximize yours to bring both guests and your business “back to normal.”

4:00 p.m. EST — Restaurant strategies to create consumer confidence for restaurant reopens

The cleanliness of restaurants will matter even more to consumer and restaurant employees after COVID-19. In order to get back up and running to their full potential, restaurants will need to go above and beyond to show they are clean and sanitized to create confidence for the consumers. In the webinar our panel will cover the best strategies for ensuring consumer confidence in stores cleanliness by showing digital proof of sanitization and how to stop cleaning from being pencil whipped and faked.

June 5

1:00 p.m. EST — Power & purpose: A leadership panel with Rick Badgley, EVP & chief people officer at Brinker International, Danyelle Bruno, CEO of Tender Greens and Michael Lastoria, CEO and co-founder of &pizza. Moderated by Ron Ruggless, Nation’s Restaurant News

1:45 p.m. EST —The meat of the matter: Revealing value beyond price

Identifying value in the supply chain will be critical for all operators on the Rise. Every ingredient  and especially the center of the plate  has to contribute to the menu in versatility and flavor, and appeal to guests. Hear insights to help operators from the front of the house to the back: what levers matter to consumers, how to find value options with your meat suppliers, and how to use flavor to differentiate your brand, delight the guest, and bring it all together on the plate.

2:45 p.m. EST — Marketing matters: How to reach guests the right way in a changed world

Find the right marketing strategies to tell your brand story, reward your customer for their loyalty and get them back in the door when restaurants reopen. Join a panel of brand leaders that have focused on the power of marketing messages and developed new ways to reach customers.

3:15 p.m. EST — Three ways to meet new customer demands in food service

Learn creative strategies to drive business in a changing foodservice landscape. Our speakers will talk about the pivots operators have made to meet new customer needs, like adding plant-based options to their menus, offering meal kits, and expanding takeout and delivery menus. 

4:00 p.m. EST — The power of partnerships

How manufacturers and restaurants can provide consumers with the brands they know, love and trust in new ways during and after the pandemic.

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