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 - Restaurant Innovation Summit

Skip to navigation Skip to content

Events & Groups

Email Print

Restaurant Innovation Summit


Registration is open only to individuals directly employed by an operating restaurant company. Service/product providers are welcome to attend as sponsors. If you're interested in sponsoring, please contact Kathie Vu at kvu@restaurant.org or (202) 331-5910.

Registration Rates

Operator Member
Operator Non-Member

Register Here

Hotel Information

Hilton Austin
500 East 4th Street
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 482-8000

Rooms are $229/night plus tax. Click here to make your room reservation online or by calling (512) 482-8000 and asking for the National Restaurant Association rate. The room block expires August 19th.


Tuesday, September 13

12:00 – 12:45 PM Lunch
12:45 – 1:00 PM Welcome
1:00 – 2:00 PM Opening Keynote - COMING SOON!
2:00 – 2:45 PM The Mobile Marketing Challenge
Everything happens on mobile in 2016, but the challenge of discoverability and connection still exists for restaurant marketers. How can you best connect with the mobile audience? Who does it best? Are native mobile apps for restaurants still necessary? What are some best-in-class examples of mobile usage that we can learn from?
2:45 – 3:15 PM Networking Break
3:15 – 4:00 PM Bootcamp - Payments
An update on payments – EMV, mobile payment, pay at the table, and more.
Speakers: Karen Webster, PYMNTS.com
Liz Garner, Merchant Advisory Group
4:00 – 4:30 PM Bootcamp - Digital Marketing
The latest on deep analytics, guest insights, SEO, maps & discoverability, privacy, and engaging guests before they walk into your restaurant.
4:30 – 5:15 PM Bootcamp - Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity Basics for Your Restaurant
Speaker: Laura Knapp Chadwick, National Restaurant Association
Nick Schacht, KnowCyber
5:15 – 5:25 PM Domo Arigato
Meet the robotics companies poised to make an impact on our industry.
Speakers: Momentum Machines, Dishcraft Robotics, Casabots
5:25 – 5:30 PM Day 1 Wrap Up
5:35 – 7:30 PM Cocktail Reception & Tech Showcase
Reception will feature robotics and virtual reality experiences
7:30 PM Dinner on your own

Wednesday, September 14

7:00 – 7:45 AM Mindful Morning
A beginner level mindful meditation session to start off our morning.
8:00 – 9:00 AM Breakfast
9:00 – 9:15 AM Welcome
9:15 – 10:00 AM Swim with Sharks
When evaluating tech and marketing solution partners, it helps to think like a venture capitalist: what stands out as a viable company? What’s unique about the solution? How can you tell a good pitch from a bad one? Save yourself some time and learn to think like a VC.
Speakers: Helen Springut, PlateIQ
Brian Frank, FoodTech VC
Rob Wilder, ThinkFoodGroup
10:00 – 11:00 AM I Know What You Want
Netflix suggests content based on subscribers’ viewing preferences. Google Now notifies travelers, based on traffic, of the ideal time to head to the airport. To satisfy customers’ desires for streamlined experiences, some restaurants are utilizing predictive ordering technology. Learn how to use data you already have to predict your guests’ next order and offer it up before they even ask.
11:00 – 11:30 AM Networking Break
11:30 – 12:30 PM Let’s All Get Along, Y’all
How to build a collaborative workplace culture between IT and Marketing and empower everyone to feel like owners.
Speaker: Daren Martin, the culture consultant
12:30 – 12:40 PM Breakout Sessions Preview
12:40 – 1:45 PM Food Truck Lunch
2:00 – 3:30 PM Breakout A1 – Brainstorming For a Better Way: How Can Music Licensing Be Made Easier For You and Your Restaurant
Austin is known as the “Live Music” capital of the world. You can find singers and songwriters practicing their craft all over the city. But for many restaurants, securing the proper licensing to perform music, whether it’s live, on the television or radio or by DJ or karaoke, has been at times an area of much confusion and friction. Join Laura Chadwick, Director of Commerce & Entrepreneurship, Dan Spears, Vice President, Industry Relations, BMI and others for a conversation, brainstorm and workshop on how to improve the music licensing process for restaurants.
Speakers: Laura Knapp Chadwick, National Restaurant Association
Dan Spears, BMI
John Johnson, ASCAP
2:00 – 3:30 PM Breakout A2 – Live Streaming Workshop
One of the newest ways to connect with your online following, livestream video lets you showcase a real-time look at restaurant activity and simultaneously interact with your social media community. In this workshop, get a hands-on look at live streaming as a unique marketing tactic. (It’s easier than you think!)
Speaker: Ryan Bell
3:30 – 3:45 PM Networking Break
3:45 – 4:30 PM Breakout B1 – Can You Hear Me Now? All About Audio Ordering
The advent of new technologies like Siri, Alexa, and Home makes it easy to get what you want by simply asking out loud. It’s already possible to play music, add items to your Amazon shopping cart, and even order food through a conversation with these devices. What can you do as a restaurant to make sure it’s your pizza being delivered, or your restaurant that gets the reservation, the next time a guest is hungry? What does the future of audio ordering mean for the restaurant industry?
3:45 – 4:30 PM Breakout B2 – TBD
Info coming soon!
4:30 – 4:45 PM Networking Break
4:45 – 5:00 PM Big Idea: The Future of Food
Speaker: Coming Soon!
5:00 – 5:15 PM Big Idea: Technology and Training
Harness the power of technology to prepare your greatest asset: your staff. Learn from Newk’s Eatery’s use of a tech-driven training program called Newk’s Online Academy. The highly blended program takes advantage of multiple technologies to train hourly partners, MIT training, rolling out LTO's, ongoing food safety education, and more. The program is constantly expanding and finding innovative ways to use technology to streamline the training process.
Speaker: Mark Reedy, Director of Performance Development & Culture, Newk's Eatery
5:15 – 5:30 PM Big Idea: Virtual Reality and Restaurants
What’s the future of virtual reality and restaurants? Where are the opportunity areas? Who will lead this charge?
Speaker: Ryan Bell, Co-Founder, SummitLive
5:30 – 5:45 PM Big Idea: Hot Shifts
Using technology, restaurant employees and managers can easily find and swap shifts, giving workers more control over their schedules and managers the flexibility to find last-minute help.
6:00 – 8:00 PM RIS Live! at Brazos Hall
Enjoy dinner and drinks with your fellow Summit-goers along with entertainment from a local Austin band. It’s the place to be on Wednesday night.

Thursday, September 15

7:00 – 7:45 AM Mindful Morning
8:00 – 8:45 AM Breakfast
8:45 – 9:00 AM Welcome
9:00 – 9:30 AM On-Demand Guidelines
At last year's Restaurant Innovation Summit, we talked about disruption in restaurant delivery services. One year and many, many conversations later, we’ve created a set of guidelines for best practices in working with delivery companies.
Speaker: Cicely Simpson, EVP of Government Affairs and Policy at the National Restaurant Association
9:30 – 10:00 AM The Challenges and Opportunities of a Delivery-Only Business
A virtual restaurant is one that doesn’t have a traditional dining room. Instead, all food is produced in-house but only served to customers via delivery. These businesses offer an opportunity to try new concepts and menu items based purely on performance data. We’ll explore the technical and marketing side of this fast-growing trend.
Moderator, Justin Massa, IDEO
Speaker: Wiley Cerilli, Co-CEO and Founder at Good Uncle
Peter Schatzberg, CEO and Co-Founder at Green Summit Group
10:00 – 10:30 AM Mapping The 2016 Restaurant Technology Landscape
Consumers expect tech offerings from restaurants, but do you know which ones they prefer and how to implement them? Explore National Restaurant Association research and insights to uncover the right tech options for you so you can serve up the best customer experience possible to drive loyalty and growth.
Speaker: Annika Stensson
10:30 – 10:45 AM Networking Break
10:45 – 11:15 AM Catch ‘Em: Using Pokemon Go to Lure in Customers
Pokemon Go is everywhere. It’s the most downloaded game in U.S. history, is on more phones than Twitter and Google Maps and is boasting an average use time of 33 minutes per day - more than Snapchat and Facebook. Although ads don’t exist on the platform just yet, we’ll walk through creative ways to capitalize on the app’s success.
Moderator: Natalia Leal, National Restaurant Association
Speaker: Stacey Kane, East Coast Wings
11:15 – 12:00 PM The Chatbot Takes Your Order
Many companies are experimenting with artificially intelligent bots as an interface to allow guests to place orders. Robots aren’t exactly warm and hospitable (remember HAL 9000?), so tech will need to work in tandem with marketing and creative teams to create the perfect bot for conversation and ordering.
Speakers: Stacy Peterson, Wingstop
Ben Lamm, Conversable
12:00 – 12:15 PM Closing Remarks

2015 Recap

Last year, 225+ innovation-focused restaurant operators gathered in San Diego for our 3rd annual Restaurant Innovation Summit. Our sessions in 2015 took a look at how restaurants are reinventing the hospitality experience for their guests. More to come on our plans and surprises for 2016, but in the meantime have a look at our recap video. See you in Austin, y'all!

▲ 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