CHICAGO, April 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Restaurant Association (NRA), in partnership with Technomic and DigitalCoCo, is pleased to present the 2nd annual National Restaurant Association Fast Casual Trends & Directions conference, an industry event focused on the fast casual segment. The event will be held May 17th & 18th, 2013, in Chicago.
The conference is designed to deliver a comprehensive look at where the fast casual segment is and where it is headed. The event will bring together key players in the fast casual community, including leaders from the National Restaurant Association's Fast Casual Industry Council. Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises Founder and Chairman Richard Melman, Le Duff America President and CEO Jim Vinz, Boloco Founder and CEO John Pepper, and Cosi Inc. President and CEO Carin Stutz are among the many restaurant operators slated to share their experience and insight.
"As the fast casual restaurant industry segment continues to evolve, we will explore the challenges and opportunities unique to this segment at our conference," said James Balda, senior vice president of innovation and business development for the National Restaurant Association. "By approaching key issues and trends through operator insights and research, we will thoroughly examine both current conditions and future trends."
"This is a must for all fast casual executives. Attendees will gain a reliable and detailed vision of this fast-growing segment, where it's headed and how to capitalize on opportunities," said Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic.
Drawing on the wealth of expertise in trend-watching, foodservice knowledge, data collection and customer insight, the teams at the NRA, Technomic and DigitalCoCo have developed a compelling program. This event will provide insights for fast casual executives, as well as casual dining and quickservice restaurant executives who can learn from the success of what is one of the fastest growing segments in the industry. Attendance is limited to restaurant operators and sponsoring organizations.
"Fast casual faces serious challenges for the first time as casual dining chains and local chefs begin to creep into the fast casual model," said Paul Barron, founder of DigitalCoCo. "We will reveal not only new insights from more than 18 million fast casual consumers but also new operational and culinary innovations that will guide the future of this powerful segment."
Technomic provides clients with the facts, insights and consulting support they need to enhance their business strategies, decisions and results. Its services include numerous publications and digital products, as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry.
DigitalCoCo is the brainchild of web entrepreneur, publisher and producer Paul Barron. Paul has been instrumental in developing publishing platforms, creative content, tech solutions and web audience over the past 18 years. As the founder of Fastcasual.com and QSRweb.com, he has been a retail and restaurant industry catalyst and sought after speaker and consultant to many of the top brands in the business. DigitalCoCo is leading the social business movement in the restaurant business with the creation of the restaurant industry's first consumer and social brand index. The Restaurant Social Media Index (RSMI) www.rsmindex.com is expected to reach 5000 restaurant brands, 42 million consumers and more than 250,000 locations in 2013.
About the National Restaurant Association
Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 980,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of more than 13 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We operate the industry's largest trade show (NRA Show May 18-21, 2013, in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart, including the National ProStart Invitational April 19-21, 2013, in Baltimore, Md.); as well as the Kids LiveWell program promoting healthful kids' menu options. For more information, visit Restaurant.org and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.
SOURCE Technomic, Inc.