Tuesday, January 31

2:00 PM - 7:00 PM | Harmony Foyer


Join us early at registration to grab your badge and our signature swag before we kick off the day with purpose-driven speakers.

5:00 PM - 5:05 PM | Harmony Ballroom

General Session: Opening

Welcome conference attendees and sponsors!

David Cantu, CEO, Black Box Intelligence

5:05 PM - 5:25 PM | Harmony Ballroom

Powering the Best Workplaces of 2023: What’s Possible, Measurable, and Sustainable

Correction: finding sustainability in the workplace is not a complex process. In this session, we’ll walk through the tangible steps any business can take in order to foster a better workplace.

Joe Wiese, Senior Sales Director, GreenPlaces

5:25 PM - 5:55 PM | Harmony Ballroom

Panel: Leading with Purpose

Building and nurturing communities, facing environmental and economic change, competing against shareholders wealth - hear from industry experts to learn the balance and the action you should take to deliver on every expectation.

Fred LeFranc, CEO and Founder, Results Thru Strategy

Scott Lawton, CEO and Co-Founder, Bartaco

Chad Houser, Founder and CEO, Cafe Momentum

5:55 PM - 6:15 PM | Harmony Ballroom

Taking Leadership Lessons Forward

Recap of the day’s largest takeaways and what to expect throughout the remainder of the conference.

Fred LeFranc, CEO and Founder, Results Thru Strategy

6:15 PM - 8:15 PM | Harmony Ballroom

Dinner and a Movie | Exclusive Viewing of Award Winning Documentary, Beyond Zero

Let’s toast to connecting purpose to process - beer, wine, beverages and movie-theater snacks to fuel an exclusive viewing of award winning documentary, Beyond Zero.

Nathan Havey: Director, Producer and Documentarian

Purpose-driven leadership that has transformed an industry and made a difference in the world for generations to come. Beyond Zero chronicles the story of visionary leader, Ray Anderson and his company, Interface, as they embark on a high-stakes journey to become a 100% sustainable enterprise. Ray’s heroic leadership serves as an inspiration for organizations at any stage and a call to action that ignites the human spirit.

Wednesday, February 1

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM | Harmony Foyer


Get your breakfast classics and be sure to fuel up. We have a lot to discuss, learn, and celebrate today!

9:00 AM - 9:05 AM | Harmony Ballroom

Welcome Best Practices Attendees!

Conference highlights through the years. Join us for our National Anthem.

9:05 AM - 9:30 AM | Harmony Ballroom

Opening Address: Making the Best of Every Journey

It starts with you, the leaders in the room and those managing our restaurants day in and day out, to create transformational change in the workplace. In this session, we’ll talk through the journey we’ve been on to help you do exactly that.

David Cantu, CEO, Black Box Intelligence

9:30 AM - 9:50 AM | Harmony Ballroom

Black Box Presents | The Future of How We Manage Experience

We’ve always represented the intersection of people, planet and profit. Find out how we’re evolving to help customers drive transformational change with experience-driven restaurant performance.

David Cantu, CEO, Black Box Intelligence

Hannah Albarece, VP of Product, Black Box Intelligence

Ben Holschuh, Sr Product Manager, Black Box Intelligence

Peter Vermeulen, Chief Architect, Black Box Intelligence

Tim Suh, VP of Data Analytics, Black Box Intelligence

9:50 AM - 10:25 AM | Harmony Ballroom

Black Box Presents | The Future of How We Manage Experience

A look back at the most critical lessons from the past few years, where the workforce has evolved and current demographic trends that have led to the worst labor crisis in decades.

Victor Fernandez, Head of Insights, Black Box Intelligence

Mary Hamill, CRO, Black Box Intelligence

10:25 AM - 10:40 AM | Harmony Ballroom

Networking Break

10:40 AM - 11:25 AM | Harmony Ballroom

The Journey Toward Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging

Union Square Hospitality Group’s journey to fostering an inclusive workplace.

James Pogue, Ph.D, President & CEO, JP Enterprises

11:25AM - 12:00 PM | Harmony Ballroom

Panel: Best Practices to Enrich The Employee Journey

How do brands achieve employee and manager retention? Where are training investments being made? Learn from the passionate group of leaders who have tested and proven best practices for managing people in this new operating era.

Jamie Griffin, Founder & Principal, Consult to Grow (Moderator)

Peggy Rubenzer, Chief People Officer, Whataburger

12:00 PM - 12:45 PM | Harmony Foyer


Grab a warm cup of chicken tortilla soup, any of our southwest classics, or head straight to the churro station to fuel your afternoon of learning, discussion, and delight!

1:45 PM - 2:10 PM | Harmony Ballroom

Networking Break Sponsored by Opus
[Training technology for deskless workers]

Coffee, water, tea? >> right this way. Take advantage of your time away from it all to get connected with fellow attendees.

2:10 PM - 2:30 PM | Harmony Ballroom

Workforce Strategies & Tech to Keep Your People at the Center of Your Digital Evolution

Rachael Nemeth, CEO and Co-Founder, Opus

2:30 PM - 3:00 PM | Harmony Ballroom

Instant Sponsor Session

Join the CEO of Instant Financial for a fireside chat with the CFO of Cotton Patch Cafe, who discusses the roll out of electronic, same-day tip payments for staff, and the business benefits it has delivered

3:00 PM - 3:30 PM | Harmony Ballroom

GoHappy Sponsor Session

In this session, you will hear from the Founder and CEO of goHappy, Shawn Boyer, who also led and founded the nation's largest marketplace for hourly work - Snagajob - as well as the COO of Tupelo Honey, Caroline Skinner. These two dynamic speakers will discuss the importance of meaningful and ongoing engagement and communication with your frontline employees.

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM | Harmony Ballroom

Black Box Presents | The Difference Between Good to Great Customer Experiences

A granular look at what our analysts are seeing in our guest sentiment insights, connecting the dots between employee happiness and customer satisfaction

Victor Fernandez, Head of Insights, Black Box Intelligence

Emily Bennett, Sr Customer Success, Black Box Intelligence

4:00 PM - 4:15 PM | Harmony Ballroom

The 2023 MarTech Stack: The Balancing Act Between Modernization and Humanization

Find the right balance between people, data and automation to create seamless experiences for your guests

Fred LeFranc, CEO and Founder of Results Thru Strategy

4:15 PM - 4:45 PM | Harmony Ballroom

Customer Experience Panel: Data's Role in the Customer Journey

The more we progress digitally, the more room for error - or opportunity. Learn from the top marketing executives on how they're using a hybrid strategy to bring consistency and delight throughout the in-person and online experience

Sam Oches, Senior Editor, Nation's Restaurant News

4:45 PM - 5:00 PM | Harmony Ballroom

Closing Remarks

David Cantu, CEO, Black Box Intelligence

6:30 PM - 10:30 PM | Harmony Ballroom

Awards Ceremony + Dinner

Followed by a Dessert Reception Sponsored by ECOLAB

Celebrating everyone in this industry and their accomplishments, and honoring the brands that worked diligently to keep operations running smoothly, employee and guest expectations high, and growing sales

Presented by:

Melissa Doolin-Koehne, VP of Business Development, Black Box Intelligence

Amy Valentine, Director of Customer Success, Black Box Intelligence

Sarah Lockyer, Chief Brand Officer, The Elliot Group

Thursday, February 2

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM | Harmony Foyer


Start the day off right. Enjoy grab & go and sit down options, to suit any mood.

9:00 PM - 9:15 PM | Harmony Ballroom



Fred LeFranc, Founder & CEO, Results Thru Strategy 

9:15 AM - 9:45 AM | Harmony Ballroom

Panel: Data's Role in the Customer Journey

9:45 AM - 10:00 AM | Harmony Ballroom


10:00 AM - 10:45 AM | Harmony Ballroom

Black Box Presents | Connecting Experience to Outcome

Black Box analysts take a deep dive into the most impactful actions restaurants can make at any stage of your restaurant journey so you can make the best of every moment

Victor Fernandez, Head of Insights, Black Box Intelligence

Melissa Doolin-Koehne, VP of Business Development, Black Box Intelligence

10:45 AM - 11:15 AM | Harmony Ballroom

Panel: C-Suite from Experiential Brands Reveal the Lessons that Led to Growth

Michael Halen, Senior Restaurant Analyst, Bloomberg

11:15 AM - 12:15 AM | Harmony Ballroom

KEYNOTE: David Salyers

David has been on quite a strange journey. Graduating from college on a Saturday morning, he started his career with Chik-Fil-A before the day was over. With over 30 years leading national, regional and local marketing for Chik-Fil-A, David will share his experience of working with a team committed to building the kind of culture that people want to talk about.

David Salyers, Founder, Spark a Revolution

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM | Harmony Ballroom

Closing Remarks: Where We Go From Here

David Cantu, CEO, Black Box Intelligence

Fred LeFranc, Founder & CEO, Results Thru Strategy