Information Technology

A specialized resource devoted to keeping you current with the latest developments in restaurant information technology.


About the Information Technology Study Group

Come together with experienced, senior IT professionals from national restaurant brands at the annual IT Executive Study Group meeting. This is your once-a-year chance to access the collective wisdom of this intimate group (limited to forty operator attendees), all of whom are grappling with the same IT challenges as you and your restaurant brand. 

The IT Executive Study group offers you the opportunity to assess roll-outs, highlight wins, talk through issues and learn directly from other IT leaders in the industry. Additional programming addressing new regulations on privacy, data security and beyond will be provided a leading law firm, giving you critical information to bring back to your internal colleagues. 


Attendance Policy

Registration is open to restaurant operators and those who work for restaurant or hospitality companies. Product and service providers are allowed to attend only as sponsors. Questions? Contact Laura Chadwick, Information Technology Program Director.


Monday, September 9
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.: FSTEC Chairman's Reception
OPTIONAL: Special invitations for IT ESG attendees 
Winsight Media, the producers of FSTEC, have graciously extended a special invitation to all IT Executive Study Group attendees to attend their exclusive FSTEC Chairman’s Reception.
Tuesday, September 10
8 a.m.: Registration & Breakfast 
8:30 a.m.: Welcome & Company Introductions
Laura Chadwick, Program Director, National Restaurant Association
9:15 a.m.: Managing Third Party Delivery Integrations: Custom and Off-The-Shelf POS Solutions
Learning from some of the best in restaurant IT through the presentation of real life case studies, attendees will develop a framework to approach third party delivery integrations; understand its components, stages and timelines as well as metrics for its success.
Speaker: Rex Smith, Sr. Director, Information Technology, Red Lobster

10 a.m.: Networking Break

10:15 a.m.: Emerging Perils of the Data Economy: Legal Issues to Consider When Collecting, Buying, Using and Sharing Data on Your Customers and Employees
This session will provide an overview of legal risks presented by new and growing methods of acquiring and handling customer and employee data, such as (i) video surveillance of restaurant premises; (ii) marketing efforts subject to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA); (iii) use of mobile location data, whether for business analytics or advertising; and (iv) data breach litigation.
Speaker: Jonathan Cedarbaum, Partner Wilmer Hale 

11 a.m.: An Update on EMV® 3DS and EMV Secure Remote Commerce
As more and more restaurants move to accept payments online, it is critically important for restaurant IT leaders to be up-to-speed on payment industry and EMVCo initiatives which will impact your restaurant brand's e-commerce efforts — such as EMV® 3-D Secure and EMV Secure Remote Commerce. EMVCo will join the IT Executive Study Group for a deep dive into these topics and provide an overview of the global technical body that facilitates the worldwide interoperability and acceptance of secure payment transactions by managing and evolving the EMV Specifications and related testing processes. 

EMV® is a registered trademark in the U.S. and other countries and an unregistered trademark elsewhere. The EMV® trademark is owned by EMVCo, LLC.  
Speaker: Brian Byrne, Director of Operations for EMVCo

12 p.m.: Joint Lunch and Programming with the Dallas Chapter of the International Food & Beverage Technology Association (IFBTA)
Attendees will join with the Dallas Chapter of the IFBTA for the following special joint programming over lunch in the DeSoto Room: 

12:15 p.m.: How AI Enhances the Customer Experience
Artificial Intelligence is making its way into the food and beverage industry --increasing sales and engaging customers both inside and out of the store. AI has the ability to leverage data in ways that were previously unattainable; providing an increase in revenue, online engagement, and contributing to a positive and personalized customer experience. In this session, you'll hear from restaurant industry AI early adopters on how AI bots can improve your business. 

12:45 p.m.: From the Tech Stack & Beyond: Where You're Impacted Most
Building an effective and streamlined tech stack is becoming a focus of food and beverage operators. How do you know you're using the most appropriate and customized technology for your business, but not duplicating efforts? In addition, how do you ensure your tech stack can be utilized by multiple departments? Panelists will discuss the ways in which building the perfect tech stack has impacted their security implementations, leadership approach, and key learning within their business. 
Moderator: Pankaj Patra, Brinker

1:45 p.m.: CCPA: 5 Step Guide to California Consumer Privacy Act Compliance
With the clock ticking down until the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) comes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, many companies are struggling to understand the sweeping new privacy law, its impact on the business, and how to manage compliance across a matrix of global privacy laws. While there are still amendments to be settled before 2020, there are several few key ways to get ready for the CCPA's privacy governance and consumer rights requirements. In this session, we'll outline what this new law means for your business, detail what changes to expect to see before it's put into effect, and lay out a 5-step guide to demonstrating on-going compliance with the CCPA.
Speaker: Chris Stearns, Privacy Consultant, OneTrust 

2:45 p.m.: Networking Break
3 p.m.: Update from the Retail Hospitality Information Sharing and Analysis Center (RH-ISAC)
Data security issues continue to be top of mind for the restaurant industry. Join leaders from the Retail and Hospitality Information Sharing and Analysis Center for an in-depth briefing on the work of the ISAC, which serves as a central hub for IT leaders to share and analyze retail and restaurant-specific cybersecurity information and intelligence. Speakers Squier and Kizzee will also present their latest benchmark study on eCommerce cybersecurity risks and seek input on the RH-ISAC's Franchisee Cybersecurity Initiative. 
Speaker: Suzie Squier, Executive Director; and Carlos Kizzee, VP of Intelligence, RH-ISAC
6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.: Operator-Only Dinner
Location: Mesero, 2375 Victory Park Lane, Suite 180, Dallas, TX

Join the IT Executive Study Group's annual operator-only dinner at a local Dallas restaurant -- for not only a good meal, but a terrific opportunity to build or broaden your relationship with other restaurant IT leaders as well. 
Wednesday, September 11
8 a.m.: Breakfast

9 a.m.: Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in Action: Implementation Case Studies and Results
Many national restaurant brands have begun to incorporate robotic process automation (RPA) to eliminate tedious tasks and free corporate staff to focus on higher value work. Automation is also driving cooking processes in the restaurant. To realize the benefits, though, RPA journey must have a solid strategy, design, implementation and governance model. Raj will walk attendees through the Fiesta Restaurant Group's recent work to incorporate RPA. After presenting his case study, he will lead a group discussion focused on best practices on RPA implementations.
Speaker: Sri "Raj" Raju, CEO and Sanat Nileshwar, Senior Director, Enterprise Systems, Smartbridge

10 a.m.: Networking Break

10:15 a.m.: Mini Cyber Incident Table Top Exercise Facilitated by EY
Renana Friedlich and Will Coursey of EY will facilitate a special, 90-minute interactive experience that will challenge your thought process regarding cyber incidents. Through role-playing, attendees will learn critical skills on what to expect during a crisis situation and how to respond based on leading practices and battle tested methodologies. 
Facilitators: Renana Friedlich, Senior Manager, Threat Detection and Response, EY and Will Coursey, Manager, Incident Response and Readiness Practice, EY
12 p.m.: Operator Only: Lunch and IT Executive Study Group Planning Meeting
1 p.m.: Marketing Technology: A Deep Dive into Making the Digital Guest Experience Work
Customers have high expectations for digital experiences: the last best experience they had is the minimum for what they want everywhere else. Applied to the restaurant industry, where resources are limited, how can IT leaders deliver on great digital guest experiences? Speakers from Bottle Rocket -- a trusted partner of a number of national restaurant brands -- will provide key insights and strategies on low cost, high impact steps restaurant IT leaders can take to meet customer expectations. 
Speakers: Peter Klayman, Senior Manager, Strategy & Transformation Acceleration, Bottle Rocket and Monte Masters, Executive Vice President of Solutions and Delivery, Bottle Rocket
2 p.m.: National Restaurant Association Legislative Update
Hear the latest about what the U.S. Congress and Trump Administration are pursuing in the areas of data security, privacy and patent trolls, and how it will impact your work in restaurant IT. Michael O'Neill will give an update about other National Restaurant Association government affairs initiatives as well. 
Speaker: Michael O'Neill, Director, Technology & Innovation Policy, Government Affairs, National Restaurant Association
2:30 p.m.: IT Trench Talks: Implementing Cubbies, Beacon-Enabled Curbside & Table Delivery, and Kiosks
Divided into three 15 minute sessions, restaurant IT leaders will in rapid-fire succession give an overview of recent implementations and lessons learned along the way. 
3 p.m.: Closing Session


If you are a product or service provider, you must sponsor the meeting in order to attend. For available sponsorship opportunities, contact Deb Sas, vice president, sponsorship and engagement.