12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m.
All too often we invest the physical location and forget about the most important asset of the business - employees. Understanding the needs and wants of employees as well as what motivates them will allow you to hire and keep the best individuals. A focus on screening and hiring employees that best enhance the brand of your business will be explored and will challenge preconceived expectations of what a great employee should look like versus what they should be able to accomplish.
1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Is the protein craze a passing fad or a lasting trend? With the obesity issue at our doorstep is this a way to counteract the attack or will it turn into another issue that will affect business in the future? Explore companies that have tapped into the protein rich diet by retooling their menu to meet customer demand. Look at the benefits of being flexible with your menu while maintaining distinct brand identity.
2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.
Whether intentional or not, every company has a culture. Restaurants that are not acutely aware of their culture or do not know how to change their culture may find themselves struggling to survive. This session will share insight into the type of culture your company has and what it means for the future of your restaurant. Topics will include analyzing your culture against company goals and expectations, how to change your culture to position your restaurant for peak performance and matching employees with your culture.
4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
This presentation will show employers how to properly implement, publicize, and enforce their anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies as explained by the Supreme Court.
Harassment and discrimination is a fact of life in the restaurant business. Most employers have anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies, but they are not well implemented. However, when it comes to employee EEOC discrimination charges, lawsuits relating to harassment, and discrimination in the workplace, it is not enough to simply have an anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy. These policies must be well “publicized and enforced,” otherwise they are meaningless. This presentation will show employers how to ensure compliance with the Supreme Court’s guidelines to protect employers from liability of discrimination. This is an important defense employers must understand and have implemented because it shields them from liability. Furthermore, it is a very cost-effective and easy to implement.
KEYNOTE MONDAY, JUNE 28
Moderator: John Buchanan, Senior Vice President of Lettuce Entertain You & President of Lettuce Consulting Group
Signs keep pointing to better times, join leaders in the restaurant industry as they explore where the best in the business will be investing. Many companies never stopped investing in property and expansion during the downturn due in large part to the low interest rates and cheap money. Has the time come to refocus on current locations and invest the returns into maximizing profitability and if so, where are the leaders of the industry focusing their investment? Or, is it not too late to still buy and expand with additional locations? This Keynote Panel will discuss where they are focusing and the expectations they have for their own companies as the economy heats up.
12:15p.m. to 1:15 p.m. KEYNOTE ADDRESS -
In 2003 the U. S.D.A. transferred the $1.8 billion Child Nutrition Program to the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) and has taken the lead in promoting health and nutrition in Texas schools under the direction of Susan Combs, Texas Agriculture Commissioner.
Obesity has become a serious topic that is influencing every aspect of the food industry and an issue that must be confronted. Susan Combs, Texas Agriculture Commissioner, believes the answer to the obesity epidemic lies in education. Commissioner Combs’ unprecedented program to enhance nutritional health of schoolchildren has set the standard for obesity prevention and education measures in Texas . She is optimistic that with a collective effort, obesity rates will decline. The restaurant industry need not fear the obesity epidemic and join the fight to educate consumers.
1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
Panelists:Teresa Byrne-Dodge, Publisher, MyTable Magazine; Joseph Jackson, Vice President, Outback Steakhouse ; Xavier Teixido, former chairman of the National Restaurant Association , owner/operator of Harry's Savoy Grill
How much is too much when we are investing in our regular clientele? While the tourism business is a key staple to many restaurateurs, it is the regulars that helped many restaurants stay afloat. Understanding and catering to the needs of regular clientele is challenging, but many of successful independent and corporate restaurants that are focusing on their base have kept a consistent clientele no matter what the economy looks like. This panel will identify strategies that have been successful in keeping regulars loyal as well as identify the return on their investments.
2:45 p.m.–3:45 p.m.
Dot-com days have long been over, but online training has continued to expand. Corporations realize the cost effectiveness to providing consistent training to employees through the internet and have begun to invest substantial dollars in developing programs that meet specific needs. A benefit to their investment is the emergence of non-proprietary content that can be accessed through many channels to even the smallest of restaurants. Explore the opportunities for chains and independents to cost effectively integrate online training as a tool for increasing the effectiveness of employee performance and look at the benefits of your investment and learn about resources that are already available to anyone, anywhere with a computer and an internet connection.
Liquor sales can mean the difference between success and failure for many restaurants. Join liquor lawyers Jack Martin and Don Walden as they discuss current issues affecting your ability to obtain, and maintain, alcoholic beverage permits in Texas . Tom Kenney, Joint Venture Partner with Outback Steakhouse, will be there to provide their perspective on dealing with this challenging area.
12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m.
Whether you are starting a new business or have been doing well on your own for years, there are times you consider bringing in help from an outside source. The question to ask - “Is a consultant worth the investment?” Explore questions such as “Who do I need?” “How do I know what I need?” “When is it useful to invest and when is it not?” “How do I measure the success of my investment and how much time should I give it?” There are many different types of consultants and many different fee structures, determining the best strategy for your own company will be the difference between finding a partner with your best interest in mind and throwing your money down the toilet.
1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
Are you using your space wisely? While there are 24 hours in a day, when is it most effective for you to be operating? This panel will explore opportunities for you to identify your current clientele and determine if you can expand your reach by better utilizing your physical location. Many restaurants have success in differentiating their restaurant from their bar and creating two separate, but complimentary identities and increasing sales in both areas. Others incorporate events and entertainment. Understanding the demographics of your clientele and knowing how to maximize your brand determines if you need to increase your space or just better utilize it.
2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.