Restaurant Innovation Summit

Restaurant Innovation Summit Focuses on Turning Ideas into Action

National Restaurant Association

The National Restaurant Association is hosting the 2019 Restaurant Innovation Summit in Cleveland on November 5-6, 2019. This year, the agenda is centered on developing the innovation skills restaurant leaders can utilize to put their ideas into action and solve tomorrow’s challenges today.

“The restaurant industry is incredibly competitive and growing more so by the day. In order to survive and succeed, restaurants must constantly innovate to stay ahead,” said Laura Chadwick, program director for the National Restaurant Association. “This year’s Restaurant Innovation Summit is designed to provide restaurants large and small, and their employees no matter their role, with proven skills and techniques routinely used by innovative leaders in Silicon Valley. The National Restaurant Association is proud to bring such new, impactful programming to our industry.” 

The conference opens with the keynote address, “The Power of Little Ideas: Embracing the Third Way of Innovation,” by David Robinson, presented by American Express. Robinson, the head of MIT Sloan Executive Education program, will provide actionable insights on a low-risk, high-reward strategy that calls for complementary innovations around a core product or service. He will draw upon reinvention stories from Gatorade, Wegman’s, and Lego, which all faced tough competition and market forces – the same pressures that restaurants of all sizes face today.

 Other speakers include:

  • Terry Grim, partner & founder of the Foresight Alliance presenting on "How To Think Like A Futurist"
  • Rachel Antalek, chief innovation strategist at Antalek Strategic Innovation Partners and former Darden Restaurants and Starbucks executive on "Putting Your Front Line Employees at the Heart of Your Innovation Efforts" 
  • Leo Chan, senior innovation lead at Chick-Fil-A talking about "Building A Strong Culture of Innovation" 
  • Laura FitzRandolph, executive vice president and chief human resources officer for HMSHost on the "Engines of Innovation: Diversity & Inclusion" panel

The agenda also includes an interactive design thinking workshop conducted by ExperiencePoint, in collaboration with IDEO, an innovation consultancy and pioneer of human-centered design. Kimberly Douglas, a nationally recognized innovation expert and restaurant industry alumna, will lead this workshop.

Additionally, the Summit will draw upon the hospitality and creative culture of Cleveland.

“We are pleased the Association chose Cleveland, which has a long history of being at the forefront of industry and innovation, as the host city this year’s Restaurant Innovation Summit,” said John Barker, president and CEO of the Ohio Restaurant Association. “If you’re an operator, marketer or tech leader, this event will inspire and energize you to attack the toughest problems in your business and grow.”



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