Featured Presentations

Actionable insights from the brightest minds in the business.

Signature Session Overview

Thought Leadership That Guides Business Growth

Whether notable for their visionary approach to business, steady hand at diplomacy, or entrepreneurial spirit, our recent Signature speakers have shared personal experiences and meaningful lessons that transcend industries. Since 2016, National Restaurant Association President & CEO Dawn Sweeney has sat down for engaging conversations with our featured speakers, drawing connections that advance your learning and the industry.

Recent Signature speakers include:
Condoleezza Rice (66th Secretary of State)
Jason Dorsey (Gen Z & millennial expert)
Denny Marie Post (President & CEO, Red Robin)
Arianna Huffington (Founder, The Huffington Post; Founder & CEO, Thrive Global)
Howard Schultz (former CEO, Starbucks)

2019 Signature speaker coming soon.

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SuperSession: Hands Off - The Future of Restaurants


From voice commands to robotics and automation, restaurants are becoming more high-tech – thus more frictionless, allowing technologies to do some of the heavy lifting once managed by a human. Both consumer-facing and back-of-house innovations are allowing restaurant to be more immersed in technology to ease operations and improve efficiencies, while also modernizing to win over guests. This year’s SuperSession brings four experts in restaurant tech together to walk the audience through technologies not widely used but already in place for these forward-thinking companies. Come to see their innovation in action and hear a discussion on how tech will continue to change and shape the restaurant industry.

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Winning at the Restaurant Business: Insights from the Top 500


In this session, senior restaurant leaders will learn where the restaurant industry is headed, which restaurant concepts are winning big (and why), and the latest in acquisitions and financial trends. Additionally, attendees will get a taste of how best-in-class operators are using predictive technology to anticipate industry, menu, and pricing trends for their businesses.



Joe Pawlak

Since joining Technomic in 1991, Joe Pawlak, Managing Principal, has conducted a wide variety of industry studies involving market planning, customer satisfaction benchmarking, brand equity investigation, new product development, food trends, opportunity analyses, M&A due diligence, concept testing and distribution system evaluations. He has special expertise in the areas of industry market trend analysis, market metric and forecasting modeling and implications development. Pawlak has 30 years of extensive food industry experience in both consulting and packaged goods manufacturing.

Pat Noone

As Executive Vice President of Business Development for Technomic, Patrick Noone is responsible for the development and marketing of online resources, reports, and custom studies providing manufacturers, distributors, operators and financial institutions with key, actionable industry data. Noone has more than 15 years of experience working in the research/consulting industry and has worked in a variety of sales and marketing roles.

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