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Nation's Restaurant News and Restaurant Hospitality's virtual event and digital community, Restaurants Rise, announces week 2 speakers and sessions.

New sessions and speakers added for week two of Restaurants Rise

James Pogue, Charlie Morrison, Alice Elliot, Claudia San Pedro and more speak during this week of leadership sessions aimed at helping the restaurant community come together

Restaurants Rise week two begins on Aug. 18 and packs a full agenda of conversations with restaurant leaders on how to navigate the industry during the coronavirus pandemic.

Join us for everything from a keynote discussion with James Pogue about the restaurant’s role in inclusion and diversity to a leadership discussion with Alice Elliot to a Q+A with leaders from two growing restaurant chains that had to pivot during the pandemic.

There are two new exciting sessions that were recently announced.

First, group director and publisher for Nation’s Restaurant News, Sarah Lockyer, will lead a discussion between Rob Gifford, CEO of the NRAEF; Charlie Morrison, CEO of Wingstop; and a young scholarship recipient about leading with a purpose to better the community.

That session takes place Aug. 19 at 4 p.m. EDT. Register here.

Then, we join forces with Impossible Foods for a panel on how to drive business with plant-based menu items and increased consumer demand.

That session takes place Aug. 20 at 2:15 p.m. EDT. Register here.

Week one, which took place Aug. 11-13, is now available on-demand here and featured discussions on how technology fueled Chipotle’s success, the rise in virtual brands and how Elizabeth Blau stayed creative during the pandemic.

Get the full agenda for week two:

August 18

1:00 p.m. EST – A restaurant’s role in diversity, inclusion & social justice with Dr. James Pogue

Dr. James H. Pogue II will lead a no nonsense discussion on how the restaurant industry can achieve greater success through understanding and embracing its role in cultivating a diverse and inclusive workforce and supporting social justice within the communities served.

2:15 p.m. EST – Re-establishing your business’ vitality: Rethinking your business model

As the coronavirus has prompted restaurants to rethink aspects of their business model, ShiftPixy is there to facilitate a seamless digital transformation, while helping businesses to revamp their online ordering and marketing capabilities and adjust their human capital. During this session, Scott Absher, the co-founder and CEO of ShiftPixy, will discuss:

  • How COVID-19 has underscored the importance of owning off-premise operations
  • The value of technology to directly reach and engage with customers
  • Why using direct employees versus independent contractors can protect your brand

4:00 p.m. EST – The turnkey solution to restaurant operations of the future

As the landscape of restaurant service changes, owners and operators need to adapt quickly to constantly changing safety protocols, compliance requirements, and government guidelines. In this webinar presented by Jolt Software, journey with us as we take a look at the restaurant of the future. We’ll explore:

  • Implementing new operational models with reduced staff
  • Driving revenue through off-premise, carry-out, and delivery
  • Leveraging digital channels to ensure sanitization, food safety, and team accountability
  • Maintaining food safety and quality standards

August 19

2:15 p.m. EST – Never have I ever: A Q&A on transforming guest experience post COVID-19

The brand leaders from bartaco and First Watch walk into a bar (read: webinar). What follows is a rapid-fire Q&A, led by Mike Vichich, CEO and Cofounder of Wisely. Expect the unexpected as these industry giants reveal the tough calls they’ve had to make in recent months and how they’re returning growth through means they never thought possible.

Topics to be covered:

  • How bartaco pivoted it’s lifestyle brand to primarily off-premise
  • Learnings from First Watch after rolling out multiple major tech platforms in a matter of weeks
  • What the future guest experience looks like for both brands—and the tools they use to deliver personalized hospitality
  • How each juggles swift decision making with a mix of data/insights and gut

3:15 p.m. EST – How to make curbside appealing

This style of service has become the go-to method of service during the lockdown, and it will remain a revenue steam to draw customers who still aren’t ready to dine in at your restaurants just yet. But drawing buzz and keeping customers happy with your curbside program isn’t as simple as putting food in to-go containers. In this session, hear from those who have mastered their curbside programs to make them as appetizing and service oriented as dine in…while being as convenient as safe as consumers demand today.

*New session*

4:00 p.m. EST – Leading with purpose: An inspiring discussion with Charlie Morrison CEO of Wingstop, Rob Gifford, CEO of the NRAEF, Sarah Lockyer, Group Director & Publicher of Nation’s Restaurant News

When the restaurant industry unites in support of each other and our communities, we are unstoppable! Join us for a leadership discussion with Rob Gifford, President of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, Charlie Morrison, CEO of Wingstop, and featuring the NRAEF 2020 Charlie Morrison Scholarship recipient, Laken Wagner, a college student who is on the path for a successful career in foodservice. NRN publisher Sarah Lockyer will lead this inspiring discussion on how the industry can lead with purpose to better our communities and the lives within them.

August 20

1 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.

Alice Elliot, founder and CEO of The Elliot Group, leads a panel of restaurant leaders discussing lessons learned and insights into strategic planning for the months ahead.

*New session*

2:15 p.m. EST – Menuing for success: Driving business with plant-based items

Join Impossible Foods, makers of delicious plant-based meat (like Impossible™ Burger and Impossible™ Sausage Made from Plants!), and one of their top restaurant partners, to hear about consumer demand for plant-based offerings, strategies for adding them to your menu, and the value of offering consumers new options as they return to restaurants for to-go, delivery, and dine-in service.

3:15 p.m. EST – How to win in the new restaurant workforce

From sanitation captains to food and employee security, restaurants are hiring for new positions to fulfill new needs brought about by coronavirus. At the same time, companies are building up their workforces as they reopen, so how does a restaurant operator hire, train and re-engage a staff after the starts and stops of COVID closures? This session will explore winning formulas for workforce creation, retention and engagement from leading operators

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