The third-annual Food On Demand Conference is going all in on ghost kitchens and virtual restaurants, customer attraction through loyalty and direct marketing, helping restaurant operators know where to dedicate finite resources with more channels than ever and Designing the Restaurant of the Future. Held in Las Vegas, March 30 through April 1, this event will be the largest yet, with three days of content dedicated to the future of restaurants, foodservice, delivery, catering and takeout.

FODC kicks off Monday afternoon with a quick look at the state of the off-premises industry from Food On Demand Editors Tom Kaiser and Nick Upton, joined by Cowen analyst Andrew Charles. Next up, Celebrity Chef Gabrielle Hamilton of New York City’s beloved Prune shares her perspective on a fast-changing foodservice world and where hospitality and culinary excellence fits into the convenience economy.

The rest of opening day’s programming includes a look at mastering delivery operations from Toby Espinosa of DoorDash and Steve Provost of the Brinker International, followed by a deep dive into shifting consumer expectations from Sense360’s Eli Portnoy and Sam Acuna of Gallup.

Day 2’s packed agenda kicks off with a keynote address from Postmates CEO Bastian Lehmann, one of the industry’s most outspoken and engaging leaders. Following months of speculation about the company’s future, Lehmann will share his vision for delivery’s future garnered from nine years at the helm of one of the largest U.S.-based delivery providers.

Tuesday’s programming also includes the third installment of our national delivery customer secret shop in conjunction with SeeLevelHX, filled with actionable insights from CEO Lisa van Kesteren. Also on tap is a fireside chat between Google’s Jaffer Zaidi and Olo CEO Noah Glass, as well as panels on boosting off-premises volume through catering, delivery and pickup. Just before lunch, Editor Nick Upton joins Flirtey CEO and Founder Matt Sweeny on stage for an up-close look at drone deliveries.

Afternoon programming includes a panel of innovative, independent-restaurant operators, joined by Kelly Seeman of Uber Eats, and a panel dedicated to franchised delivery ops led by Franchise Times Editor-in-Chief Laura Michaels with off-premises experts from Moe’s Southwest Grill, Dunkin’ Brands and Fazoli’s.

The final day’s highlights include a panel designed to help restaurant operators evaluate delivery-only kitchens and virtual restaurants, led by Fred LeFranc of Results thru Strategy, Jim Collins of Kitchen United, Alex Canter of Ordermark and Steve Goldberg of the California-based Family Style restaurant brand.

That’s not all, as we weren’t kidding about a packed agenda. Billy Koehler and Melissa Fahs from Coca-Cola will be joined by Omnivore CEO Mike Wior to help operators build a connected in-store tech stack. This year’s Third-Party Deep Dive will feature moderated, individual Q&A’s with FOD’s Tom Kaiser and hands-on execs from each of the four leading third-party delivery providers: DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub and Postmates.

The conference concludes with “Designing the Restaurant of the Future,” where five experts from diverse corners of the restaurant and delivery world share their views on how restaurants of the future need to differ from the status quo, including everything from entering new territories, the promise of neighborhood pods and pop-ups, and how technology, operations and real estate all factor into the equation.

We are tremendously proud of this year’s Food On Demand Conference agenda, and look forward to seeing you in Vegas! In the meantime, check here for ongoing updates and additions to the agenda, and contact FOD Editor Tom Kaiser with any questions at [email protected].


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