Welcome to the Restaurant Next Highlight Hub, where you can explore the educational sessions we presented at our virtual restaurant conference. Use the navigation bar (above) to visit all five of our virtual restaurant environments — Curbside & Delivery, Full Service, Kitchen Solutions, QSR & Drive-Thru, and Universal Solutions — and watch our audio tours, keynotes, interviews, and panel discussions.
Firechat with Papa John's
An explosion of ordering channels and on-prem / off-prem access points has forced every restaurant to rethink technology and business strategies that maximize return on investment. With a hyper-focus on digital and menu innovation, an exciting plan for growth, and estimated systemwide sales up nearly 25% in August in North America, Papa John's brand is on the rise. Find out how the company has aligned business objectives with smart technology architecture to come out on top. And how it plans to stay there.
Firechat with Topper's Pizza
Topper's Pizza VP of IT details the tech investments made that empowered the brand to quickly add three major features in a matter of weeks.
Now that we understand how critically important off-prem revenues are, how do we prioritize and optimize every aspect for the long-term?
Native Delivery Rising
From third-party to hybrid to owned channels, hear how three brands are navigating through the complex world of delivery. Matt Friedman founded Wing Zone, a concept thriving for nearly three decades, always delivering on delivery. Former Domino's and Bloomin' Brands off-prem expert Chris Demery explains how he's currently overseeing P.F. Chang's smart delivery moves. And Skip Kimpel, CIO of 4R Restaurants and TechChef podcaster, describes the pivot from hybrid to owned delivery, with a little help from RTN's Native Delivery TCO Calculator.
Firechat with The Atlanta Hawks
Marcus Wasdin, CIO of the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena, will share how the organization has created the #1 Guest Experience in the NBA with technology that delivers for its fans. In addition, we’ll hear about how State Farm Arena is supporting the cause for social justice, transforming its venue in partnership with the Fulton County Elections Commission, to create a social-distanced, safe and convenient space for voting in the run-off and general elections.
Firechat with Torchy's Tacos
Scott Hudler, CMO of Torchy's Tacos, sits down with us to talk about how the brand has pivoted and stayed strong through the pandemic - and the best is yet to come.
Firechat with Brinker International
We sit down with Wade Allen, SVP, Head of Innovation at Brinker International, to explore how the brand pivoted at lightning speed to accommodate 100% off-prem at the start of COVID. We're also talking about Brinker's new virtual brand, It's Just Wings, recently rolled out to 1000+ of the company's own kitchens exclusively through DoorDash.
Trend Talk on Voice Ordering
AI-assisted voice ordering is happening now and is poised to move from "good idea" to "must-have." Learn how voice is bringing efficiency and ROI not only to the ordering process but even to management and inventory processes.
Host Kitchens Heat Up
Explore what's next as business models evolve like never before. From a beloved family brand innovating with new concepts to a concept that any kitchen can prepare, and a completely new business model for maximizing unused real estate and chef talent to deliver exceptional culinary experiences, we're talking hot new ideas, and exciting new revenue streams.
Firechat with Dunkin' Brands
VP of IT at Dunkin' Brands, Gagan Sinha is implementing some of the company's most innovative technologies to date, from cashierless and contactless, to a drive-thru of the future guest experience. The brand is staying ahead of the pack, and America is running on Dunkin' better than ever before.
Firechat with Dickey's BBQ
Laura Rea Dickey, CEO of Dickey's Barbecue, explains how this famed barbecue brand has leveraged analytics to identify friction points in the customer journey and then used its in-house tech team to quash those obstacles, reducing checkout times, increasing spend and improving customer satisfaction along the way.
Spotlight on White Castle's Tech Initiatives
From revolutionary robotics in the fryer area to sophisticated AI in the drive-thru, nearly a century-year-old, beloved brand White Castle is shaking up the QSR world by embracing cutting-edge tech. The Crave is a Powerful Thing. And so is the next-gen tech this legacy brand is putting to work in powerful ways.
Keynote: A View From the Top
Hear how The Howard Hughes Corporation turned a piece of prime New York City real estate into the hottest place to see and be seen, a socially-distanced mega-rooftop with individual dining lounges in squares of green, complete with contactless technologies, enhanced bandwidth, unique culinary partnerships and spectacular views.
RTN's Open API Industry Update
Technology leaders from both restaurants and supplier worlds have been working together for over a year to create an Open API Framework, arguably the most impactful foundational initiative to ever exist in the restaurant industry. Leading voices share why the framework is critical to shaping the future of integration, and how it will ease interoperability for restaurants who have long struggled through a mind-boggling maze of complexity involving disparate systems.
Firechat with Church's Chicken
Felicia White, Vice President of Global Operations Training and Development at Church's Chicken, tells the story of implementing an intense, international, multilingual workforce training and health & safety platform.
ANALYZE THIS! Real-World Data Does Double-Duty
Restaurants are collecting more customer data than ever before and our expert panel will take a deep dive into how that data can be leveraged to enhance customer service, loyalty, and revenue.
Contactless Customer Journey
The pandemic has forced restaurants to embrace contactless technologies that keep customers and employees safe, while keeping revenues coming in the door. Find out how some operators are going contactless, including some of the most innovative solutions out there, from facial recognition payments to pick-up lockers, and everything in between.