As the foodservice and hospitality industry continues to change, so does our educational programming. We are committed to providing education that addresses the issues that are the most important to you and your business, so we are offering expert-led workshops that will provide high-value education on two of today’s biggest topics: ghost kitchens & virtual brands, and restaurant technology. These hands-on workshops will dive deep into strategies, solutions and resources, allow you to work directly with experts and peers to solve your biggest challenges and answer your toughest questions, and provide powerful ideas that you can immediately implement in your own operation.
Workshop sessions will be held at McCormick Place during the Show dates from 8:00 – 9:40 am CT, Saturday 5/21, Sunday 5/22, and Monday 5/23. Registrants can sign up for one, two, or all three sessions within each workshop, or mix and match sessions from both workshops.
Workshop #1: Ghost Kitchens & Virtual Brands: Risks, Opportunities and Execution
Ghost kitchens & virtual brands are here for the long-term, and they are making a major impact in the market. Whether they are operating out of existing brick and mortar restaurants or separate spaces, ghost kitchens & virtual brands are rising to the top. The question looming over everyone’s heads is: would this work for my brand, and how do I take advantage of the opportunity? Examine the risks and benefits of ghost kitchens & virtual brands, what it takes to establish a successful operation, and how to attract customers and build loyalty. Whether you think this may be a right opportunity for you or not, operators must understand the virtual foodservice landscape in order to stay competitive in this rapidly evolving environment.
- Day 1: Assessment of Opportunity and Viability
What does it really take to operate a ghost kitchen or virtual brand, and is it the right choice for you? From deciding what products to put on your digital menu to knowing your peak order threshold, to identifying cost of operations, to understanding the competition landscape, and everything in between, work directly with experts to assess if establishing a ghost kitchen or virtual brand is a viable opportunity for your business, and the resources needed to successfully execute.
- Day 2: Attracting Customers & Building Brand Loyalty
In the crowded marketplace of virtual foodservice, how will you rise above your competition to attract a loyal customer base? Whether you have an established brand and are expanding into ghost kitchens, or you are developing a new virtual brand, defining your place in the market and building consumer awareness is a critical step in launching your operation. Consumers have endless dining options, right at their fingertips. They have high expectations and demand an excellent service experience. Learn how you can take up (virtual) real estate in the marketplace, draw in new customers, and keep them coming back by delivering service excellence every step of the way.
- Day 3: Execution Strategies
Approximately 60% of restaurants fail in the first year, and there’s no sign that ghost kitchens and virtual brands will be an exception to that statistic. Now that you have defined your operation and how to promote it, what does it take to get it off the ground? It is crucial your business model best fits your brand and operational goals. Will you set up a new ghost kitchen, use an existing commercial space, or retrofit your own kitchen? Which vendors should you select? How can you optimize your menu? How will you manage your web presence, online ordering programs, and oversee delivery operations? Determine how to efficiently structure your business, learn operational pitfalls to avoid, and explore tactics to maximize your resources and profits.
Workshop #2: Navigating the Foodservice Technology Landscape
Technology is more critical than ever to sustaining business. Whether you are a small or multi-unit independent, or a large chain, technology can be daunting. You cannot afford to spend your time and money guessing what technology may be of most importance to your operation. Sit down with experts and operators who have already successfully navigated the technology realm to determine which technology solutions meet your business needs. Learn how to identify the most effective tech solutions, maximize your tools, and use technology in ways you may not have thought of before.
- Day 1: Prioritizing Your Technology Needs
Technology is more critical than ever to sustaining business. Whether you are a small or multi-unit independent, or a large chain, technology can be daunting. You cannot afford to spend your time and money guessing what technology may be of most importance to your operation. With a little investment of your time in this workshop, you will be led step by step through how to determine technology solutions to meet your business needs. You will work directly with industry experts and operators who have successfully prioritized their own technology needs to help you understand and identify solutions, maximize your tools, and use technology in ways you may not have thought of before.
- Day 2: Technology Integration: Best Practices and Pitfalls
Whether you already have some systems in place and are looking to further integrate, or you are onboarding new technology, a successful integration relies on understanding the strategies that best fit your needs. Learn how to effectively manage vendors, ask the right questions in preparation of integration and throughout the integration process, and identify pitfalls to avoid - all to ultimately get the most out of your technology platforms. Gain expert tips on vendor relationship management to ease potential points of frustration and to navigate through the integration process as seamlessly as possible.
- Day 3: Training with Purpose
Now that you have technology in place, these tools are only as powerful as how they are used. While operators and staff may view technology training as boring and tedious, it is absolutely necessary to use technology in the way it is intended to maximize performance for your business. It is also critical that you understand best training practices to train with purpose and set your staff up for success. Learn strategies on effective training processes to keep your staff motivated, create a fun and inclusive experience, and over time, show your employees how technology positively impacts their work.
Workshops will be held at McCormick Place during the Show dates from 8:00 – 9:40 am CT, Saturday 5/21, Sunday 5/22, and Monday 5/23. Registrants can sign up for one, two, or all three sessions within each workshop, or mix and match sessions from both workshops. Workshop registration is limited to foodservice operators only and workshop registrants must also be registered for the Show.