Early bird pricing ends today for the annual Restaurant Franchising and Innovation Summit taking place this year Aug. 10-12, in Atlanta.

Early bird pricing ends today for the annual Restaurant Franchising and Innovation Summit taking place this year Aug. 10-12, in Atlanta, according to Cherryh Cansler, the company’s vice president of editorial and FastCasual editor.

The original plan was to host the event in May, but a slower-than-expected vaccination distribution rate delayed the event for safety reasons.

“Now that most people who want the vaccine have access to it, we think it’s the perfect time to resume our in-person events, but we will still take every precaution to keep attendees safe,” said Cansler, who emcees the event and also announced that this year’s keynote is Beto Guajardo, the president of Focus Brands International. Based in Atlanta, Focus owns Auntie Anne’s, Carvel, Cinnabon, Jamba, McAlister’s Deli, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Schlotzsky’s.

“The past year has offered us an opportunity to pause and rethink how we will win in our markets,” said Guajardo, who will talk about how the company has been focused on elevating the customer experience in and outside the store during the pandemic. “Technology can differentiate personalization, customization and convenience, but can it replace the human element of connection, How we lead our teams, both near and far, and how we establish a distinct experience culture for our employees and customers will be a key combatant in overcoming homogeneous ubiquity.”

Guajardo is one of nearly 60 confirmed speakers for the in-person event. Others include execs from:

  • Noodles & Co.
  • Chipotle.
  • Smashburger.
  • Slim Chickens.
  • Buffalo Wild Wings.
  • Chicken Salad Chick.
  • McAlister’s Deli.
  • Nathan’s Famous.
  • Starbird.
  • Tropical Smoothie Cafe.
  • Wingzone.
  • Your Pie.

Guajardo said he was excited to share his experience with attendees and is also looking forward to learning from his peers.

“Restaurant industry conferences fill an important role in helping like-minded professionals and owners to network, meet new people, and share ideas and experiences that can help shape the future of their business or career,” he said.

The Summit will follow all CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19 safety.

Registration is open and early bird pricing is in effect until May 28.

About Networld Media Group

Founded in 2000, Networld Media Group is a leading business-to-business (B2B) media communications company specializing in digital media, associations and events in the tech, banking, retail and food service industries. Online properties include ATMmarketplace.com, DigitalSignageToday.com, FastCasual.com, KioskMarketplace.com, FoodTruckOperator.com, QSRweb.com, PizzaMarketplace.com, RetailCustomerExperience.com, VendingTimes.com and BiblicalLeadership.com. Annual events include the Fast Casual Executive Summit, the Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit, the Bank Customer Experience Summit (BCX), the Interactive Customer Experience Summit (ICX) and the Self-Service Innovation Summit.

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