Future Restaurants Virtual Event

Where Restaurant Industry Innovators Come Together To Succeed In The New Dining Reality

January 14, 2021 | 12PM ET – 4:30PM ET

Restaurants. Reimagined.

Covid-19 has tremendously disrupted the way your customers dine and the way you operate your restaurant. Delivery and socially distanced dining has become the new normal in 2020 and, as a result, businesses need to modify their technology, layout, and aesthetic in order to succeed. But what does this all mean for our “next” normal?

At the Future Restaurants Virtual Event, attendees will hear from other senior-level executives on how to utilize technology and innovation to meet their customers where they are through delivery, curbside, or outdoor dining experiences. Through easily accessible presentations, group panels, interviews and Q&A’s, you’ll gain valuable insights on your most critical challenges, and the strategies necessary to thrive in these challenging times and beyond.

New Insights, Instant Takeaways

A Head Start Against Your Competition

Insider secrets, first-hand examples and intel await as our speakers talk about what the new dining reality looks like in the age of Covid-19.

Trusted Content For The Industry, By The Industry

We've brought the customer experience community together for 7 years with our Future Stores and NGCX brands. Restaurant experience executives trust us to deliver well-researched programs.

Interact Live – Just Like At A Future Restaurants Event

Live chat, virtual Q&A, and more encourage involvement (almost like our conferences). Ask questions, jot down notes, and get ready to implement takeaways.

Our Speakers:

James Walker

James Walker

SVP, Restaurants

Nathan's Famous Inc.

John Boline

John Boline

VP, Design


Julio Ramirez

Julio Ramirez



Steve Schulze

Steve Schulze


Nekter Juice Bar

Desi Saran

Desi Saran

Founder & CEO

Sweetberry Bowls

Amanda Busby

Amanda Busby

VP, Operations

Red Robin

Phil Russo

Phil Russo

VP, Real Estate

Captain D's

Dennie Laney

Dennie Laney

VP, Training and People Development

MOOYAH Burgers Fries & Shakes

Alonso Castaneda

Alonso Castaneda

VP, Brand Development & Strategy

Savory Restaurant Group

Kim Juda

Kim Juda

Director, Supply Chain

Clean Juice

Jaron Waldman

Jaron Waldman

Co-Founder and CEO

Rakuten Ready

Matt Thompson

Matt Thompson

VP, Global Sales

Rakuten Ready

Future Restaurants Virtual Event Agenda

All Session times displayed in Eastern Time

January 14, 2021

  • 11:00 am - 11:45 am

    11:00 am - 11:45 am

    Matt Thompson, VP, Global Sales, Rakuten Ready

    During this interactive roundtables led by Rakuten Ready, join other restaurant and food peers to talk about the future of take out and walk away with new tools and strategies to apply at your organization:

    Topic: Take Out And How To Digitize More Of It

    Takeout and how we, as an industry, can turn it into a primary channel. How to survive and thrive against those with deep pockets

    Matt Thompson, VP, Global Sales, Rakuten Ready

    Learn more
  • 12:00 pm - 12:05 pm

    12:00 pm - 12:05 pm

    Kristin Schoenstein, Portfolio Director, Future Restaurants

    Learn more
  • 12:05 pm - 12:35 pm

    12:05 pm - 12:35 pm

    James Walker, SVP, Restaurants, Nathan's Famous Inc.
    Steve Schulze, CEO, Nekter Juice Bar
    Julio Ramirez, CEO, BurgerFi

    In the restaurant industry today, it’s all about reopening and reinventing. Unfortunately, it has come down to and adapt or die scenario with 1 out of 6 restaurants closing their doors. So, how can your business succeed in this unpredictable environment. In this panel, a diverse group of restaurant executives will discuss:

    • How to adapt to new formats like virtual kitchens, off-premise dining and delivery
    • Looking at new cost models and how to be profitable in this new environment
    • The tools and technology needed to succeed
    • The cultural changes that should take place to adjust to these new models
    Learn more
  • 12:35 pm - 12:55 pm

    12:35 pm - 12:55 pm

    Jaron Waldman, Co-Founder and CEO, Rakuten Ready

    In this thought leadership piece, you will learn:

    • The growing and evolving demand for Takeout as a primary channel
    • What customers expect in takeout experiences today
    • What restaurants need today to grow Takeout and thrive tomorrow
    Learn more
  • 12:55 pm - 1:25 pm

    12:55 pm - 1:25 pm

    Amanda Busby, VP, Operations, Red Robin
    Dennie Laney, VP, Training and People Development, MOOYAH Burgers Fries & Shakes
    Kim Juda, Director, Supply Chain, Clean Juice
    Alonso Castaneda, VP, Brand Development & Strategy, Savory Restaurant Group

    Now more than ever, food service operators have to keep a lid on employee turnover. In this discussion, a group of restaurant executives will look at the ways they are fostering retention and taking care of their teams in these uncertain times and also look at where technology might help ease the cost burden.


    • Employee engagement initiatives to drive retention
    • Rolling out safety measures and keeping the staff up to speed in a rapidly changing work environment
    • Serving your workforce that now works from home, what is the impact on catering and delivery?
    • Thinking about how automation could take away boring and repetitive jobs that lead to turnover
    • Eliciting employee insights and creating an effective feedback loop
    Learn more
  • 1:25 pm - 1:45 pm

    1:25 pm - 1:45 pm

    John Boline, VP, Design, Starbucks

    In the past, it was all about squeezing as many diners into a restaurant as possible. Now, it’s all about social distancing in the dining room and making dedicated spaces for take out. In this candid discussion, hear how one restaurateur has modified his locations to accommodate the new normal—from technology to layout to aesthetics.

    Learn more
  • 1:45 pm - 2:10 pm

    1:45 pm - 2:10 pm

    Phil Russo, VP, Real Estate, Captain D's

  • 2:10 pm - 2:30 pm

    2:10 pm - 2:30 pm

    Desi Saran, Founder & CEO, Sweetberry Bowls

    It’s no secret that delivery is here to stay and could be your key revenue source for the foreseeable future due to on-premise dining restrictions. That said, what does the future of delivery look like? Discuss:

    Handling delivery fees. Will these fees be offset or will there be continued regulation around caps?

    The POS systems and apps needed to make the process as seamless and convenient as possible

    The benefits and drawbacks of partnering with 3rd party delivery

    Learning how to market with the 3rd party delivery firms

    Learn more
  • 2:30 pm - 2:50 pm

    2:30 pm - 2:50 pm

    James Walker, SVP, Restaurants, Nathan's Famous Inc.

    The pandemic has shown us that full service spend is shifting to a younger guest with breakfast and late night being down double digits. What does the future consumer look like? Examine the trends that are emerging and how to continue to delight your customer and provide memorable experiences in today’s more restricted environments.

    Learn more
  • 2:50 pm - 2:55 pm

    2:50 pm - 2:55 pm

  • 2:55 pm - 2:55 pm

    2:55 pm - 2:55 pm

Attended By The Best In Restaurant Experience

Let’s Connect & Create A Custom Experience


Hi, I'm Michael, the Sponsorship Director for Future Restaurants Virtual Event. Reach out by clicking the button below and I’ll be in touch within 24 hours. Looking forward to connecting!

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How Our Virtual Events Work

Participating in a virtual event is easy. Once you and your team register, each of you will receive a link to access the presentations. You can also add the event to your Outlook or other calendar as a reminder. You do not need to download or install any software to participate. All you need is Internet access. The sessions will be recorded, and will be available for a limited time afterwards. It’s going to be a great event!

This event is exclusively for practicing restaurant executives. Solution providers to these organizations and others will not be allowed to attend. Please register with your full company name and your corporate email address or you risk not gaining admittance. WBR reserves the right to not admit registrants based on company type.