#QSRNext starring Taco Bell, Focus Brands, Popeyes, CKE execs
Sep 13, 2022
Supply chain shortages, third-party delivery battles, labor headaches and evaluating technology are just a few of the conundrums facing QSR operators, and are the topics up for debate during Networld Media Group's second annual talk show #QSRNext . Co-hosted by yours truly and Leasecake's Taj Adhav, the show will air from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 9 via Zoom and is free to any restaurant executive or worker. Featuring several short segments, it kicks off with an interview with SG Ellison, the president of Diversified Restaurant Group, which owns over 300 Taco Bell and Arby's restaurants. As one of the few franchisees testing Taco Bell Cantina, Taco Bell's fast casual brand , Ellison will share what he's learned from the experience and when and if the time is right for other QSR brands to follow his lead. Wait, there's more? You bet! During, "Behind a QSR Deal," we'll dive into what inspired FAT Brands to buy Round Table Pizza as Jenn Johnston, president of FAT Brands' Quick-Service Division, and Lisa Merrell, VP of operations for Round Table, chat about their acquisition journeys. They'll discuss what they learned on the M&A ride in addition to what lies ahead for the division at FAT Brands. Labor optimization will be on the menu during a Tech Talk session featuring Rachael Nemeth, CEO and founder of Opus Training, and Jason Rotter, director of operational services and global franchising of Just Salad, as well as a session called, "We've All Got (Labor) Issues," starring Jordan Doepke, CEO of Green District, which is based in Louisville. We'll tackle all-things digital when Phil Crawford, chief technology officer of CKE, shares how and why Carl's Jr., Hardee's, Green Burrito and Red Burrito are moving toward a digital-centric focus when it comes to the customer experience as well as operations. Of course, we can't host a restaurant-related show without discussing food, which is why Katie Cavuto, the VP of culinary at Saladworks, Frutta Bowls and Zoup Eatery ; and Cole Thompson, the VP of culinary of Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, The Simple Greek and Barberitos Southwestern Grille and Cantina, will discuss menu trends. Next, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen President Sami Siddiqui will chat about how he's incorporated delivery into operations, weighing in on everything from the costs of changing operations to working with third parties and what technologies have helped him expand offerings. Lastly, we'll end with a behind-the-scenes look at operations at Focus Brands International as President Beto Guajardo and Johnny Tellez, VP of operations, describe why the company created an international franchise operations support center where executives receive coaching and analytical support.