The Restaurant Franchising and Innovation Summit, produced by Networld Media Group, will host its eighth annual event there in Kansas City, March 24-26. The early bird deadline ends Nov. 17.

If you’ve not heard, Kansas City is the place to be these days.

Just ask the world’s most famous woman, Taylor Swift, and her Super Bowl-winning boyfriend Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce.

Before the Swifties put KC on the map, however, my hometown was already making headlines with its new airport terminal opening earlier this year, amazing live music scene, the extension of the free-to-ride streetcar line through the urban center and one-of-a-kind barbecue. Would “Ted Lasso” steer you wrong? I think not!

And as serendipity would have it, you now have a work-related excusemandate to visit the “City of Fountains.” The Restaurant Franchising and Innovation Summit, produced by Networld Media Group and hosted by yours truly, will host its eighth annual event there on March 24-26 when 300 restaurant executives meet for networking and educational opportunities.

Still not convinced to register? Here are 5 more reasons.

5. We’ll party at Arrowhead Stadium!
Your ticket to RFIS includes meals and cocktails, including entry into the restaurant industry’s highlight of the year — dinner on the field where the Kansas City Chiefs play each week. You’ll also tour the Hall of Honors, home of Chiefs memorabilia including Super Bowl trophies and rings that you can Instagram to your heart’s content. I don’t want to jinx us, but I’m predicting that the Chiefs will have also taken the 2024 title. GO KC!

4. You’ll learn from the industry’s best
Execs from Shake Shack, Zaxby’s, Shaq-owned Big Chicken, Slim Chickens and Gong Cha are just a few industry experts confirmed to give keynotes or speak on panels about their successes and failures. You’ll not only hear their advice from the stage but the intimate setting of the Summit — AKA not a giant trade show — allows you the chance to break bread with these leaders.

3. Gen Z Tells All
They love TikTok and are obsessed with gaming and their phones, but did you know that Gen Z has $360 billion in buying power, compared to $143 billion just 4 years ago? As this group of kids and teenagers age over the next two decades that spending power will only increase, which is why you must learn how to engage them at this very moment. In this unique keynote panel, we’ll not only share research measuring their preferences but we’ll host a live, on-stage focus group starring several coming-of-age consumers, who will talk about their favorite restaurants, when they are willing to give up their data and what your brand can do to transform them into loyal fans.

2. You’ll help others
Join us for a Community Give-Back Party, where for one hour we will create care packs (such as hand wipes, toothbrushes, hand sanitizers, water, snacks, tissues, and feminine products) for Relentless Pursuit Outreach and Recovery. RPOR strives to heal and restore survivors, bring justice to offenders, educate others on prevention and awareness, and be leaders in the community in order to end the exploitation of human beings

1. The world is watching
Lonely Planet, a worldwide travel guide, made KC one of its top 10 cities to visit in the world. Not the U.S., my friends, THE WORLD! Its “Best in Travel 2024” package highlights 10 travel destinations in the categories of countries, cities, sustainability and value. The publisher says: “Suddenly in the international spotlight after Taylor Swift’s appearance at the Chiefs football game, Kansas City is on our radar for lots of reasons. Thanks to the opening of a new state-of-the-art airport terminal and the extension of the free-to-ride streetcar line through Kansas City’s urban center, the ‘Heart of America’ has so much to sing about in 2024.”

The publisher mentions the barbecue classics — Joe’s, Arthur Bryant’s, Gates and Jack Stack, but also calls out nationally recognized Palestinian restaurant Baba’s Pantry and Mexican coffee shop Cafe Ollama as well as Tom’s Town Distillery and J. Rieger & Co. for reviving the Prohibition-era spirit with its spirits. (Note: Ryan Maybe, co-founder and managing director of J. Rieger & Co, will give a short talk during Executive Perspectives, about how he and his team brought relevance back to the distillery and have transformed it into one of the city’s most famous destinations.)

“The city’s building the first stadium dedicated to a women’s sports team, has an ever-evolving, top-tier culinary scene and is set to open a new entertainment district atop an old railroad bridge that stretches across the river,” Lonely Planet said on its website. “We don’t doubt this city’s crescendo will earn it a lot of new fans.”

Early-bird Registration ends Nov. 17. Click here to save money.

About Networld Media Group

Founded in 2000, Networld Media Group is a leading media communications company specializing in digital media, events and associations in the technology, restaurant, banking, and retail industries. It’s media brands include,,,,, and Events under the Networld umbrella include the Fast Casual Executive Summit, the Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit and the Self-Service Innovation Summit.

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