Nov. 11, 2015
A few hundred CEOs and c-level executives met Oct.18-20 in Miami to learn about all-things fast casual at the 10th annual Fast Casual Executive Summit. Many of the industry’s most successful CEOs shared the secrets of their successes, said Cherryh Butler, managing editor of food and retail publications at Networld Media Group, which produces the event.
"The CEO Roundtable, for example, featured the CEOs of Corner Bakery, McAlister's Deli, Blaze Pizza and a new concept called Eatsa," she said.
Summit highlights included:
- Food Tours: Due to popularity, six simultaneous restaurant tours kicked off the event Oct. 18. Each tour visited three or four restaurants where attendees will sample the food and hear from the restaurant operator about the concept.
- Jeremy Gutsche Keynote: The founder of TrendHunter.com and author of two books (Better and Faster; Exploiting Chaos) taught attendees to become better at adapting and faster at finding opportunity.
- Four:15: Inspired by TED Talks, it featured four speakers who each have 15 minutes to deliver their big idea. Speakers included former all-pro Miami Dolphins linebacker (and now fast casual restaurant owner) John Offerdahl and Smashburger Co-Founder Tom Ryan.
- 10th Anniversary Party: Conference attendees partied like A-listers when the summit took over one of South Beach’s hottest restaurants and nightclubs, Baoli, to celebrate the summit's 10th anniversary.
- The Perfect Pitch: Following a global contest, three fast casual restaurants pitched concepts to a panel of experts in a friendly version of "Shark Tank."
Next year's Summit will be in October in L.A.