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Jersey Mike’s Subs CEO Peter Cancro to join MFHA President Gerry Fernandez to talk about the path to Black restaurant franchise ownership

Plus, NRA CEO Tom Bené to speak on the state of the industry in his first address since becoming CEO in May

Peter Cancro, CEO of Jersey Mike’s Subs will be a keynote speaker at Restaurants Rise powered by MUFSO on its final day, Thursday, Oct. 29, at 3 p.m. EDT, in discussion on the path to Black franchise ownership, brought to you by PepsiCo Foodservice.

Cancro will be joined by Karim Webb, CEO of 4thMVMT and co-founder of PCF Restaurant Management — a franchisee of Buffalo Wild Wings — and Hugh Roth, senior vice president and chief customer and business development officer for PepsiCo’s Global Foodservice Division. The panel will be moderated by Gerry Fernandez, president and founder of the Multicultural Foodservice Hospitality Alliance (MFHA).

Because this topic is so valuable to the industry, the last day of Restaurants Rise powered by MUFSO has been opened to everyone. Register here. The day also includes a 12 p.m. EDT session with Tom Bené, CEO of the National Restaurant Association, in his first big industry address since assuming the role in May.

On Oct. 16, the MFHA announced a partnership with 4thMVMT, a Los Angeles-based firm that vets, trains, facilitates funding, and partners with individuals from underserved communities to own and operate competitive retail businesses, and PepsiCo. to increase Black franchise ownership. ( The goal is to create 100 new successful Black business owners by the end of 2022

“While the restaurant and foodservice industry is one of the most diverse industries in the economy, we know Black people are underrepresented in the ownership category,” Fernandez said. “Training and access to capital remain significant barriers for Black women and men who want to own their own restaurant.”

“Through this collaboration, we’ll help hundreds of people become business owners who otherwise, in all likelihood, wouldn't have had the resources to do so,” Webb said. “These folks will experience improved outcomes for themselves and their families, enabling them to become civically engaged leaders in communities across America. This growth will benefit us all.”

Cancro will speak about franchisee development in the Jersey Mike’s system. The brand began a $150 million remodel program for franchisees during the pandemic and currently has almost 1,200 stores nationwide, with a 2019 revenue of $1.34 billion.

See Thursday’s full agenda here:

12 p.m. EDT

The State of the Industry

New CEO of the National Restaurant Association Tom Bené speaks about the state of the industry six months into the COVID-19 pandemic in his first industry address since becoming CEO in May 2020.

View session here.

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.

Hear from Jamie Carawan, vice president of brand, menu and culinary for Buffalo Wild Wings, and William Eudy, corporate executive chef for Focus Brands, in conversation with Nation’s Restaurant News Senior Food Editor Bret Thorn.

View session here.

2 p.m. EDT

Consumer Roundtable Discussion: Understanding Consumers’ Evolving Needs in the Age of COVID-19

Do you want to better understand the consumer in this ever-changing foodservice environment?  If so, attend this 60-minute roundtable discussion with consumers across the country who will answer your questions about what concerns them and motivates them when dining out-of-home in the age of COVID-19. This interactive consumer panel will be moderated by Marci Needham, vice president of insights, and Paul Fiorentino, vice president of culinary services at Ventura Foods.

View session here.

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?

Hear from Sarah Stegner, co-executive chef/partner at Prairie Grass Café, and Justin McCoy, vice president of marketing at Cousins Subs, on how their operations have survived during the pandemic.

View session here.

3 p.m. EDT

Pathways to Black Franchise Ownership

Restaurant franchising has produced more successful Black business owners than any other industry. Having successful, competitive businesses in their communities is the best way to improve outcomes for Black people.

With support from PepsiCo, MFHA is launching “Pathways to Black Ownership,” a social-equity approach to increase Black restaurant ownership through franchising. The goal is to create 100 new successful Black business owners by the end of 2022 and continue to grow that number.

MFHA President Gerry Fernandez will moderate a panel that will include Karim Webb, CEO of 4thMVMT; Peter Cancro, CEO of Jersey Mike’s Subs; and Hugh Roth, chief customer and business development officer of PepsiCo Global Foodservice, where they will discuss this innovative new program.

View session here.

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