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

WBR is delighted to present the Future Restaurants digital event. This online free-to-attend digital event incorporates the quality of our Future Restaurants conference content and networking with the convenience of an on-demand digital meeting. The COVID-19 outbreak has tremendously disrupted all of our lives and businesses, but we hope that our digital events will still allow you to feel like an integral part of the Future Restaurants community.

This free virtual summit is designed to offer invaluable insights on industry critical challenges, trends and strategies that are revolutionizing the restaurant industry. Join senior-level executives as they explore how restaurants can use technology and innovation to meet their customers where they are through delivery, curbside and outdoor dining experiences. Discuss the changes that have been made to survive during these challenges times and thrive in the future

Serving You A Recipe For Success

A Virtual Event mirrors our in-person conferences. We’re bringing you exclusive knowledge from the industry leaders at the touch of a button.

Here's what you get when you sign up & attend:

Hear From Industry Leaders, Debating Together

Listen to leading experts for an honest, unbiased view of what's working right now and the future ahead. (They might even disagree on some points - but you'll get the full picture.)

We Didn't Record This In The Car Last Night.

Executives across the industry have relied on us for years - so you can trust the quality of information, the presentations, and the format itself.

Finally, a Virtual Event Where You Can INTERACT

Use live chat and virtual Q&As to benchmark and connect with peers to beat challenges together!

Our All-Star Speaker Lineup

Carin Stutz

Carin Stutz


Native Foods

Dan Simpson

Dan Simpson


Taziki’s Mediteranean Café

Tom Fricke

Tom Fricke


Bar Louie

Jeff Chandler

Jeff Chandler


Hopdoddy Burger Bar

Steve Felson

Steve Felson

VP, Operations


Amy Hom

Amy Hom

VP, Operations


Jeff Fenster

Jeff Fenster

Founder & CEO


Aaron Lyons

Aaron Lyons

Founder & CEO

Dish Society

Jason Westhoff

Jason Westhoff


Cousins Subs

Alonso Castañeda

Alonso Castañeda

VP, Brand Development & Strategy

Savory Management

Desi Saran

Desi Saran

Founder & CEO

Sweetberry Bowls

Dennie Laney

Dennie Laney

VP, Training and People Development

MOOYAH Burgers Fries & Shakes

John Iannucci

John Iannucci


Shari’s Management Corporation

Jeff Applebaum

Jeff Applebaum



Jordan Ekers

Jordan Ekers

Co-Founder & Chief Customer Officer

Nudge Rewards

Brian Whitney

Brian Whitney

VP, Restaurants


The Future Restaurants Agenda

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

  • 12:00 pm - 12:05 pm

    12:00 pm - 12:05 pm

  • 12:05 pm - 12:15 pm

    12:05 pm - 12:15 pm

    Jordan Ekers, Co-Founder & Chief Customer Officer, Nudge Rewards

  • 12:15 pm - 12:40 pm

    12:15 pm - 12:40 pm

    Tom Fricke, CEO, Bar Louie
    Jeff Chandler, CEO, Hopdoddy Burger Bar
    Jason Westhoff, President, Cousins Subs
    Aaron Lyons, Founder & CEO, Dish Society
    Jordan Ekers, Co-Founder & Chief Customer Officer, Nudge Rewards

    Although uncertainty still abounds with COVID-19, how can you ensure that your restaurants are 100% prepared for the new dining norms? What are the changes that need to be made to accommodate new regulations and ensure the best possible customer experience? Panelists will discuss:

    • Changes to hiring, education and benefits to provide more sustainable environments for workers

    • Design, layout and environment changes to meet new safety and distancing requirements 

    • Getting customer feedback on the dining experience and what they are looking for moving forward

    • Providing outdoor options when possible and what that might look like

    Learn more
  • 12:40 pm - 1:00 pm

    12:40 pm - 1:00 pm

    Brian Whitney, VP, Restaurants, Appetize

    Covid-19 accelerated three to five years of technology adoption into just six months. Technologies like contactless payment, mobile web, and QR codes — all that were experiencing slow and steady growth pre Covid-19— are now commonplace and unarguably the ordering standard moving forward.

    This session will discuss how the acceleration blurred the lines between both on-premise and off-premise ordering and physical commerce systems (ie: POS terminals) and digital ordering systems (ie: mobile web ordering). Mobile ordering has become the new battleground for brands, and we’ll show you how to implement it correctly to gain a technological edge.

    Learn more
  • 1:00 pm - 1:25 pm

    1:00 pm - 1:25 pm

    Steve Felson, VP, Operations, Bonchon
    Alonso Castañeda, VP, Brand Development & Strategy, Savory Management
    Desi Saran, Founder & CEO, Sweetberry Bowls
    Amy Hom, VP, Operations, sweetgreen
    Jordan Ekers, Co-Founder & Chief Customer Officer, Nudge Rewards

    As off-premise dining becomes a must, how are you redesigning your store layouts to accommodate a massively expanding delivery and pick up business? This transition is easier for some brands than others. Some are just preparing for more volume, while others are adding these elements for the first time and a more comprehensive overhaul is needed. In the session panelists will focus on:

    • The concessions they are making to accommodate delivery and pick up for the first time or to handle increasing pick-up and delivery rates

    • Achieving contactless carryout/curbside delivery and how to educate customers and staff on this feature

    • The changes that have been made on the employee side from staffing plans to education to technology

    • Ideas for best accommodating off-premise guests without sacrificing the in-dining guest experience

    • Omni channel tech implementations to better meet customers where they are

    • Creative alternatives to on-premise dining like cocktail and meal kits

    Learn more
  • 1:30 pm - 1:50 pm

    1:30 pm - 1:50 pm

    Dan Simpson, CEO, Taziki’s Mediteranean Café

    Creating a seamless omnichannel experience for your customers is not just a nice to have, it’s imperative in today’s environment. How can you be omni-present, engaging with customers across multiple platforms and catering to their unique dining preferences?

    Hear how one chain is amping up their omni-channel offerings and walk away with ideas for how to:

    • Leverage social platforms to drive awareness and increase customer loyalty

    • Create mobile friendly engagements and apps that are super convenient for the customer

    • Ensure IT systems are upgraded for more seamless integration across all digital channels

    • Find an omni-channel loyalty platform that help you to better track and communicate to your customer base

    Learn more
  • 1:50 pm - 2:10 pm

    1:50 pm - 2:10 pm

    Carin Stutz, CEO, Native Foods
    Amy Hom, VP, Operations, sweetgreen

  • 2:10 pm - 2:30 pm

    2:10 pm - 2:30 pm

    Jeff Fenster, Founder & CEO, Everbowl

    Jeff Fenster, CEO, Everbowl, will talk through the changes they made during the Pandemic from a new app to new delivery provider partnerships. Learn about the employee experience and what they have done to provide retraining, reassurance and a clear career path for their employees during this difficult time. Jeff will discuss the opportunities that they are seeing and their plans for the future of Everbowl.

    Learn more
  • 2:30 pm - 2:50 pm

    2:30 pm - 2:50 pm

    John Iannucci, COO, Shari’s Management Corporation

    With the increasing demand for delivery, many restaurants are experimenting with virtual restaurants or ghost kitchens to decrease overhead and provide more food options for delivery. Hear how the 42 year old restaurant Franchise, Shari’s is testing a new brand and menu items through a ghost kitchen concept. John Iannucci, COO, Shari’s will share his insight into:

    • Key reasons to explore a ghost or virtual kitchen concept for your restaurant
    • The research that must be done prior to launching to determine menu, branding, location etc.
    • Should you use an existing kitchen from one of your restaurants or a ghost kitchen
    • Lessons learned from the first year of business
    Learn more
  • 2:50 pm - 3:10 pm

    2:50 pm - 3:10 pm

    Dennie Laney, VP, Training and People Development, MOOYAH Burgers Fries & Shakes

    Today, the employee experience is trickier than ever. While we still live in an environment of uncertainty, and in some cases fear, our employees need to feel like leaders care about them personally.

    Hear how one Brand is making employee engagement a priority, and implementing a program to give their leaders the tools to succeed under unprecedented circumstances:

    • Leverage partnerships with employee engagement solution providers
    • Present a case for engagement and the ROI
    • Structure learning to be easily accessible and bite-size
    • Place practical application at the forefront
    Learn more
  • 3:10 pm - 3:30 pm

    3:10 pm - 3:30 pm

    Jeff Applebaum, CEO, Salted

    One of the greatest challenges of a delivery-first world is replicating that feeling of trust and hospitality that customers associate with dining at their favorite local restaurants. What does a customer-centric experience look like without the smiling staff and beautiful interior to reinforce your brand values? Find out how the largest deliver-first restaurant group in the US, Salted, is bringing trust into a digital-native world. 

    • Why we should all reject the terms "dark" and "ghost" kitchens
    • What lessons can we learn from D2C e-commerce companies in other categories
    • How do we achieve profitable unit economics without a dine-in business 
    • The single most important metric you should be looking at when determining the sustainability of your delivery business
    Learn more
  • 3:30 pm - 3:35 pm

    3:30 pm - 3:35 pm

Word on the Street


"The content being covered at the Future Restaurants conference is innovative, relevant and forward thinking"

Gavin Felder
Global CFO


"The Future Restaurants program will thoughtfully ask the essential questions all restaurant leaders need to answer"

Robert Guarino
5 Napkin Burger

All of the Major Players in One Place:

Leading Content. Zero Cost. Zero Travel.

Hear Firsthand From Seasoned Innovators, at Zero Cost

Listen to leading experts for an honest, unbiased view of what works now and where the future is headed. Every single session is totally free. This is major value at zero cost.

Get Solutions To Your Most Pressing Problems, Always

Hear from your industry peers about their recent successes, as well as solution providers about the leading tools driving the industry forward. If you can't make all of the sessions, no biggie. Everyone registered gets a copy of the on-demand sessions

Watch From Your Own Home, No OOO Needed

Since the event has multiple sessions, you select the material that makes the most sense for you.  Listen in during the live broadcast, or access the session on demand later—once you register, it’s up to you! Enjoy all the perks of a live event while saving travel budget and PTO days.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will I access the sessions?
You will attend the sessions, meet our partners, and gain access to valuable resources in our online conference center.

Do I need to download or install any software to be able to attend this event?
No. You do not need to download or install any software to participate in our conference. You only need to have access to the Internet.

Will the sessions be recorded?
Yes. The sessions will be recorded and available for free for a limited time but you must sign up in advance.

In Partnership With: