Beverage, Dessert Innovation to Open Fast Casual Executive Summit

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Former McDonald's and Dunkin’ Brands executives to headline a panel that will teach attendees how to create, launch and market desserts and beverages.

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Former McDonald's and Dunkin’ Brands executives to headline a panel that will teach attendees how to create, launch and market desserts and beverages

...restaurants serving unique desserts and beverages are ahead of the game. Whether it's shakes, smoothies, slushy drinks, coffee-infused or adult beverages, this trend is only going to grow."

Research over the past year has shown that restaurants serving innovative desserts and beverages are seeing increased traffic and check spend. That trend has inspired this year’s Fast Casual Executive Summit to open the event with “New Menu Stars: Beverages and Desserts,” a special session to teach attendees how to create, market and launch specialty menu items, said Cherryh Butler, editor of FastCasual.com and hostess of the Summit set for Oct. 13-15 in New Orleans.

“We’ve been tracking this trend on FastCasual.com, and restaurants serving unique desserts and beverages are ahead of the game,” she said. “Whether it's shakes, smoothies, slushy drinks, coffee-infused or adult beverages, this trend is only going to grow.”

The panel features several industry experts who have been key players in launching successful dessert and beverages programs, including: Louis Basile, founder of Wildflower Bread Company, Richard Yoo, former McDonald's senior director of new product innovation and marketing, Ken Kimmel, former SVP, Baskin-Robbins Brand Officer and former VP for Dunkin’ Brands.

Moderating the panel is Rolie Zagnoli, managing director of Zagnoli Trading Company, which specializes in helping restaurants create beverage programs. Clients have included McDonald’s, Au Bon Pain and Dunkin’ Brands.

The panel, Zagnoli, said will help restaurant operators tackle every aspect of creating, launching and marketing dessert and beverages, including:

  •     Innovative beverage thinking from concept to customer.
  •     Transitional menu thinking from afterthought to key differentiator.
  •     Beverages that are on-trend, trend forward and consumer preferred.
  •     Identifying & satisfying guest demand moments that can transform your business.
  •     Supplier selection and integration.
  •     Guest-driven test practices that increase the probability of innovation success.
  •     Brand positioning and strategic marketing.
  •     And operational and execution excellence.

Registration for the 8th annual Fast Casual Executive Summit is now open at http://www.fastcasualsummit.com.

ABOUT THE FAST CASUAL EXECUTIVE SUMMIT

Networld Media Group, publisher of FastCasual.com, created this exclusive event for top-level restaurant executives, leaders and innovators of the fast casual industry. In its eighth year, the Summit’s goal remains to bring together an experienced group of restaurant professionals whose common interests and concerns are brought to the table for open discussion in a fun and relaxing environment.

ABOUT NETWORLD MEDIA GROUP

Founded in 2000, Networld Media Group is a leading business-to-business media communications company specializing in digital media, associations and events in the mobile, self-service, digital signage, retail, food service and financial services industries. Online properties include ATMmarketplace.com, DigitalSignageToday.com, FastCasual.com, KioskMarketplace.com, MobilePaymentsToday.com, PizzaMarketplace.com, QSRweb.com, RetailCustomerExperience.com, SelfServiceWorld.com and ChurchCentral.com. The company produces executive summits in the fast casual, retail, ATM and mobile payments industries. Its custom media division develops premium content and marketing services for associations such as the ATM Industry Association.

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James Bickers, VP of Events
Networld Media Group
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