NRA We Serve America's Restaurants Representing nearly 500,000 restaurant businesses, we advocate for restaurant and foodservice industry interests and provide tools and systems that help members of all sizes achieve success.
    NRAEF Building & Retaining Talent The NRAEF is focused on developing a stronger workforce and building the next generation of industry leaders through education, scholarships and community engagement.
  • NRA Show
    NRA Show May 21-24, 2016 As the international foodservice marketplace, the NRA Show provides unparalleled opportunities for buyers and sellers to come together, conduct business and learn from each other.
  • ServSafe
    ServSafe Minimize Risk. Maximize Protection. For over 40 years, ServSafe® training programs have delivered the knowledge, leadership and protection that have earned the trust and confidence of business leaders everywhere.

National Restaurant Association - Marketing Executives Group (MEG)

Skip to navigation Skip to content

Events & Groups

Email Print

Marketing Executives Group (MEG)

Agenda  |  Pricing   Sponsorship   Hotel  |  Video  |  Stay Informed


MEG's bi-annual meetings provide a forum and environment conducive for networking, relationship building and the mutual exchange of information relative to marketing practices, as they pertain to the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry.

Every contact and topic is focused on the responsibilities you handle daily. Meetings address issues such as social media marketing, brand development and innovation, marketing on a small budget, building customer loyalty and "daily deal" promotions — exclusively as they apply to the restaurant industry.



Wednesday, May 18

4 p.m. - 7 p.m.          Registration
  Location: Wright Ballroom Foyer
6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Opening Reception
  Location: Streeterville Social, Rooftop Terrace at the Loews

Sponsored by:

Thursday, May 19
*All sessions will be held in the Wright Ballroom. Meals and Networking Breaks will be in the Wright Ballroom Foyer.

7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Breakfast  
8:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Welcome & Introductions  
9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Leave A Legacy  
             Speaker: Chad Hymas, Internationally Recognized Author & Speaker: Wall Street Journal's "One of 10 Most Inspirational People in the World"  
  How is it possible that someone else always finds success? What's the secret to success that nobody told you? Don't just sit on the sidelines as others live your dream... claim it for yourself! With a humorous approach, listen in as Hymas demonstrates:

  • How to stick your neck out and fly in the face of fear of rejection and overwhelming discouragement
  • The value of personal accountability and bold-faced tenacity
  • How to turn jealousy, envy and blame into powerful tools of change
  • The secret to turning even failure into immediate success

Hymas emphasizes the power in seizing current circumstances and opportunities, while holding tight to your vision until you soar!

10:45 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Networking Break  

Sponsored by:

11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Transatlantic Trends: Why The Two-Way Flow Of US And UK Restaurant Brands Is Set To Continue  
Peter Martin, Vice President, CGA Peach
Jon Collins, President, Nielsen CGA

With the likes of Five Guys, Shake Shack and MOD Pizza following established players such as TGI Fridays and Pizza Hut to Britain, more and more UK-headquartered groups, from Pret A Manger and Nando's to Wagamama, Carluccio's, Yo! Sushi and Hawksmoor, are looking West to America for expansion. What's the attraction for each nation's brand?

Martin and Collins will draw on Nielsen CGA's unique data and insight to highlight the big market trends and consumer habits developing on both sides of the Atlantaic - where they match and where they differ - and what the implications are for operational success.

12:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Lunch  

Sponsored by:

1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Behind The Scenes Of 2,500 Crises: What To Do Now To Protect Your Brand  
Suzanne Miller, President and Founder, SPM Communications
Kristen Kauffman, Editorial Vice President, SPM Communications

From foodborne illnesses and violent crimes, to viral videos and lawsuits, SPM Communications, a top food, beverage and restaurant PR firm specializing in Crisis Comunications, has worked through some 2,500 crises on behalf of its clients.

Miller and Kauffman will share insights they've gained in nearly 20 years of crisis counsel and how to apply those lessons to prepare for what lies ahead.

2:15 p.m. - 3 p.m. Servant of Change  
  Speaker: Harald Herrmann, Senior Vice President, Special Projects, Darden Restaurants  

Herrmann's restaurant industry career spans from beginning as a dishwasher at Marie Callendar's to the Board Room of Darden Restaurants. Herrmann's personal life and career path have been framed by a constant state of change, community involvement and a servant of leadership philosophy that he refers to as the basis for his "Recipe for Success." Herrmann currently serves at the SVP of Special Projects at Darden while he transitions back to California and the next chapter of his life's journey. Herrmann will share experiences and learnings that propelled Yard House to the national stage, an acquisition by Darden, as well as leadership values that become the foundation for his recipe for success.

3 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.        Networking Break  

Sponsored by:

3:30 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. Culture and Innovation @ Google  
  Speaker: Lisa Landsman, Head of Industry, Restaurants, Google  
  As one of the world's top companies to work for, find out how Google creates a culture to acquire and retain top talent. In this session, you will learn not only the guiding principles behind the thinking, but also get a sneak peek behind the scenes of the innovation that keeps Googlers inspired.  
4:15 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Living Your Life As A Daymaker  
  Speaker: David Wagner, world-renowned hairstylist, artist, entrepreneur, educator, author and "Daymaker"  
  Wagner discovered the profound impact that being a Daymaker can have on others' lives when he literally saved a woman's life by being kind. It changed his life too! Wagner will share how to create purpose in your professional and personal life. Living a life that inspires and is on purpose is one of the benefits of being a Daymaker in your everyday life. It's that simple, yet escapes the mass of humanity. He'll share stories of the profound way that he and his 450 employees impact over 400,000 guests a year while make their day!

Book Sponsored by:

7 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Dinner  
  Location: IO Godfrey Lounge at The Godfrey Hotel, 127 W Huron St at LaSalle, 4th Floor
*Shuttles will depart from the Loews Hotel porte cochere starting at 6:45 p.m. and will run on a loop throughout the evening, with the last bus departing The Godfrey at 10:30 p.m.

Friday, May 20

7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:30 a.m. - 9 a.m. Welcome Remarks
9 a.m. - 10 a.m. CH-CH-CH-Changes: Guests, Technology & Marketing in Today's Restaurant Industry
  Speaker: Scott Jampol, Senior Vice President, Marketing, OpenTable
  The game has changed when it comes to diner behavior. Finding and attracting diners (profitably) is more difficult than ever as they have more choices and less time to plan. In this session, Jampol uses insights from OpenTable's aggregated diner data to illustrate how diners today decide on a restaurant, when they make decisions, and what they want from technology in the dining experience. Jampol will share important trends, along with some of OpenTable's newest products and features like the ability to pay with the OpenTable app, and explain what it all means for restaurants.
10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Networking Break
  Sponsored by:
10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Small Budgets, Big Ideas: Market Like A Pro
Meg Edgett, CEO, GetPerception
Monique Yeager, Chief Marketing Officer, Tijuana Flats Tex-Mex
Jack Civa, Head of Marketing, Taco Cabana
Kaffee Hopkins, Director, Brand Marketing, Marlow's Tavern, Sterling Spoon and Aqua Blue
Christina Coy, Vice President, Marketing, Pie Five Pizza Co.
  Have little money for marketing efforts? Your budget may be small,  but that doesn't mean your impact can't be huge! There are many creative and cost-effective marketing tactics you can use to increase awareness and capture the attention of your target audience. Listen in as our panelists provide strategies, advice and real-life marketing ideas without breaking the bank.
11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. More Than Marketing: Make Experience Your Brand
  Speaker: Anita Walker, Vice President, Marketing, Fox Restaurant Concepts
  With a firm belief that Experience is your brand, Walker will wake you through a clear path of why integrating a marketing perspective into all facets of your organization results in an extraordinary brand experience for all audiences.
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Lunch
  Sponsored by:
1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Social Media in the Disruptive Age
Anna Tauzin, Senior Marketing Manager, Innovation and Entrepreneurial Services, National Restaurant Association
Ryan Bell, Partner at BackLamp LLC and founder of Summit.Live, the world's largest nontraditional media conference
Joaquin Jimenez, Vice President, Operations & Partnerships, Lava Surf
  Social media is an important part of every restaurants repertoire, creating a sense of proximity between brands and consumers, but this also makes brands susceptible to potentially damaging situations. Our panelists will review case studies and industry stories of guest recovery and guest relations in the ever changing hospitality space.
2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Buzzed About Brands™ - CMO Perspectives
Clay Dover, Chief Marketing Officer, Pei Wei
Kim Kelly-Bartley, Chief Marketing Officer, White Castle
Sarah McAloon, Chief Marketing Officer, Cicis
Mark A. Mears, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, Noodles & Company

Josh Kern, Chief Marketing Officer, Smashburger
  Hear from brands that are generating excitement among consumers and the industry. They will share the strategies, programs and tactics that garnered their brand buzz.
3:30 p.m. - 4 p.m. Networking Break
  Food provided by Rural Society Chicago
4 p.m. - 5 p.m. Cory Morris, Chef de Cuisine, Rural Society Chicago & Food Network "Chopped" Champion
5 p.m. Wrap-Up



Operator Cancellation Policy: Cancellations received by 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 31, 2016 will be fully refunded. A $50 cancellation fee is applied thereafter nd no refunds will be offered after Friday, April 29, 2016. No shows will not receive a refund.

Not a member of the National Restaurant Association? Click here to learn how membership can help you cost-effectively reach prospects nationwide, build your image and customer relationships, and instantly access restaurant industry intelligence.

Back to top


Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors:


Service/product providers are welcome to attend as sponsors. For information on available sponsorship opportunities, please contact John Lehmann, Director, Member Engagement Programs at jlehmann@restaurant.org

Back to top


Once you register, you will receive detailed instructions on how to book your hotel room in your confirmation email. Please wait for the confirmation email to book your room to ensure you are in our discounted hotel block.

Back to top

Connect. Inspire. Teach. Challenge.

MEG is the community of restaurant marketing leaders who seek to connect, inspire, teach and challenge each other through the exchange of ideas.

Stay Informed

Stay informed about MEG happenings by filling in your information:

Back to top






▲ Back to Top

We're glad you're here!®

® 2012-2015 National Restaurant Association. All rights reserved.

2055 L St. NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 331-5900 | (800) 424-5156