Program Schedule    

In an effort to extend learning opportunities to a larger community, GE Capital and Big Picture Conferences will be producing an additional event, in association with Restaurants Canada on March 2, 2016 at the Hilton Hotel .

The Canadian Restaurant Operators Summit (CROS) will focus on boosting operational knowledge, and will run at the same time as the 7th Annual Canadian Restaurant Investment Summit (CRIS) which covers investment and real estate trends. CRIS/CROS will follow the Restaurants Canada National Show with an opening reception held at the Hockey Hall of Fame followed by conference sessions on March 2nd at the Hilton Toronto Hotel

Whether you attend CRIS or CROS, prices for the events are exactly the same.  You may choose to stay in the investment or development track at CRIS, or join in on the CROS sessions designed to fine-tune your operations to reduce waste and grow profits. The choice is yours! 

                            

SUNDAY FEB 28, 2016 - TUESDAY MARCH 1, 2016

In celebration of Hospitality Week, get a free ticket to attend the Restaurants Canada National Tradeshow at the Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place. 
When you complete your registration for CRIS/CROS, select the option to receive a complimentary Tradeshow ticket and it will be mailed out to you.

TUESDAY MARCH 1, 2016
Hockey Hall of Fame | 30 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5E 1X8
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm REGISTRATION OPENS
(Hockey Hall of Fame)
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

OPENING RECEPTION
(Hockey Hall of Fame- A Museum and Entertainment Destination)

Join us at this networking event with the one and only Stanley Cup!  This deluxe reception, professionally catered with amazing food, will start at 6:00PM in the Esso Great Hall so you can get up close and personal with the Stanley Cup.  At 7:30PM, you can enjoy free run of the entire facility! Go one-on-one against life-size, animated versions of today's greatest goalies and shooters, including Carey Price and Sidney Crosby and explore the largest collection of hockey memorabilia in the world.

Reception ticket is sold in conjunction with the CRIS/CROS ticket and not available for separate purchase. Sorry, no exceptions.     

WEDNESDAY MARCH 2, 2016
Hilton Toronto Hotel | 145 Richmond Street West, Toronto, ON
7:00 am - 8:00 am CONFERENCE REGISTRATION & CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST 
(Toronto Ballroom Foyer)
 

8:00 am - 8:15 am

 

 

WELCOME & OPENING REMARKS 
(Toronto Ballroom)

   
Ed Khediguian | GE Capital Canada Donna Dooher | Restaurants Canada

 

MORNING PLENARY SESSIONS

8:15 am - 9:15 am
 

PLENARY #1: TOP 10 TRENDS FOR RESTAURANT BRANDS.
BEST BUSINESS-DRIVING, ACTIONABLE IDEAS TO EXECUTE OVER THE NEXT 12 MONTHS

(Toronto Ballroom)

We'll glimpse into the near future based on Robert Carter (Executive Director | The NPD Group) and Todd Jones (Managing Director, Brand Management | GE Capital)  understanding of the Canadian and US restaurant industry.
The duo will examine 10 emerging trends and high leverage activities that yes, you too can execute over the next 12 months.
The presentation will cover developments in the Canadian and U.S. Restaurant markets, opportunities and challenges to drive traffic, fast casual and segment trends success, forecasting, loyalty programs and social/digital media advances.

EXCLUSIVE OFFERING: All registered CRIS/CROS delegates will receive a complimentary copy of the Canadian Chain Restaurant Industry Review, an extensive research report commissioned by GE Capital and compiled by fsSTRATEGY and NPD Group Canada. The Report is a comprehensive analysis and factual overview of market shares, revenue trends, costs, hot (and not-so-hot) products, consumer behaviour and the overall state of chain foodservice in Canada. These findings have implications for job growth, construction activity and other factors that will impact the economic health of Canada for 2016 and for several years to come. 


If you would like to download a copy of the 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012 Canadian Chain Restaurant Industry Review, please click here.

Speakers:
Robert Carter | The NPD Group
Todd Jones | GE Capital

9:15 am - 10:00 am

PLENARY #2: OVERVIEW OF THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
(Toronto Ballroom)

As the Senior Economist for Restaurants Canada, Chris Elliott manages and produces a comprehensive research program that has made Restaurants Canada a leading source of information for and about Canada’s $72-billion foodservice industry. Chris tracks and analyzes key industry and economic indicators and translates them into member reports and publications. He also provides research to support Restaurants Canada’s lobbying efforts on issues that affect foodservice operators – from payroll taxes to food costs.

Chris has worked with Restaurants Canada for 17 years, has a Bachelor of Arts and Master Degree in Economics and specializes in economic modeling and forecasting.

Speaker:
Chris Elliott | Restaurants Canada

10:00 am - 10:30 am

NETWORKING COFFEE BREAK
(Toronto Ballroom Foyer)

 
MORNING BREAKOUT SESSIONS: YOUR CHOICE A1, A2, A3 or A4

10:30 am - 11:45 am

A1: ADVANCED REAL ESTATE METRICS AND THE IMPACT ON RESTAURANT INCOME
(Carmichael/Jackson)

From growth & positioning, to lease terms, to renewal negotiations, we show how real estate inefficiencies can dramatically impact EBITDA and the overall value of your business.   Capture hidden profits and reduce risk with some creative real estate practices and strategies. Panel session lead by Grant Kosowan, President of Orange National Retail Group Inc. - a company that provides real estate brokerage, advisory and on-going management services to clients in Canadian markets with a focus on businesses where location has a tangible effect on the P&L.  Registered delegates will receive access to valuable white papers.    

Speakers:
Michael Horowitz | Minden Gross LLP
Grant Kosowan | Orange National Retail Group Inc. 

10:30 am - 11:45 am

A2: A NEW COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE: ADDRESSING THE TALENT GAP 
(Johnston)

The business environment has become especially challenging, having to cope with agile new competitors, a volatile economy and increasingly short supply of qualified workers. Companies need to wage a steadfast war for talent to attract and keep the best performers, especially individuals adept at serving diverse markets.  

Regardless of title, we’re all in the HR business because employees are at the heart of every successful restaurant. The panel, moderated by Philip Mondor (President of Tourism HR Canada) will look at current trends and issues that are changing the way we manage human resources: re-designing your workforce, navigating the immigration system, mastering cultural intelligence, addressing the wage gap, figuring out where to invest in skills training to drive profits and productivity, and more. Find out what it will take to thrive in an increasingly competitive environment. 

Moderator:
Philip Mondor | Tourism HR Canada 

Speakers:
Jose Bansil | WJPallett & Associates
Cindy Simpson | Imago Restaurants Inc.
Dean Sockett | Keg Restaurants Ltd.

10:30 am - 11:45 am

A3: LEGAL PANEL DISCUSSION
(Tom Thomson)

Canada’s leading lawyers discuss the burning issues impacting restaurant ownership and operations. Learn tips to negotiate better financing documentation, marketing, leasing and operations strategies. Navigate legal contracts – disclosure documentation and statutory compliance. Select the right franchisee and learn the best approaches to franchisee relations. Get FREE advice.  Have a topic you want the panel to discuss?  Send confidentially to orieberlasso@bigpictureconferences.ca

Speakers:
Allan Dick | Sotos
Jennifer Dolman | Osler
Larry Weinberg | Cassels Brock & Blackwell 

10:30 am - 11:45 am

A4: LEVERAGING FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM TO DRIVE BUSINESS FOR RESTAURANTS
(Toronto Ballroom)

Learn from the best! Join Brandie Kelly, digital pioneer at Facebook as she dives deep into this session on social media strategy. Brandie collaborates with key decision makers at the largest restaurant brands and agencies in Canada providing marketing tactics on Facebook and Instagram that deliver ROI. Since your customers are already using these platforms, (every day!!), learn new approaches and innovative tips.

Speaker:
Brandie Kelly | Facebook Canada

 

11:45 am - 1:00 pm

NETWORKING LUNCH
(Toronto Ballroom Foyer)

Sponsored by:

 
AFTERNOON PLENARY SESSION

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

PLENARY #3: MERGER IS ON THE MENU
(Toronto Ballroom)

When Cara Operations merged with Fairfax Financials Prime Restaurants, the 130-year old company cemented its grip on Canada’s casual dining market by adding East Side Mario’s and Casey’s to an arsenal that already included nationwide chains like Swiss Chalet and Milestones.

The past few years have been tough on casual restaurants it seems the best defence has been to consolidate and conquer.  This panel looks at some of the recent mergers and the partnerships that have developed. 

Moderator:
Amanda Lang | Bloomberg TV Canada 

Speakers:
Derek Doke | FranWorks Group of Companies
Michael Glen | Laurentian Bank Securities   
Bill Gregson | Cara Operations Limited 
Sean Morrison | Diversified Royalty Corp 
Paul Rivett | Fairfax Financial Holdings

AFTERNOON BREAKOUT SESSIONS: YOUR CHOICE B1 B2, B3 or B4
2:15 pm - 3:15pm

B1: MENU LABELLING
(Tom Thomson)

Everything you need to know before JAN 2017!

Speakers:
James Rilett | Restaurants Canada
Carol Zweep | NSF Canada 

2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

B2: REVENUE MANAGEMENT FOR RESTAURANTS
(Carmichael/Jackson)

Hosted by Bruce McAdams from the University of Guelph, this session explores 5 BIG ideas on managing top line revenue for restaurants.  Explore topics like; reservation cancellation fees, preferred seating charges for customers who want that special booth in the corner, managing hours of operation for profits, dynamic pricing models used in the hotel and airline industry and their application for restaurants...and tipping, how can we close the wage gap between dining room staff and kitchen staff?

Moderator:
Bruce McAdams | University of Guelph

Speakers:
Darcy MacDonell | FARMHOUSE tavern & The Daughter
Eric Malcolmson | ICON Legacy Hospitality

More Speakers to Follow...

2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

B3: IS THE PRICE RIGHT? 
(Johnston)

How are your food and beverage costs? Issue of profitability is a complex one, and one that a lot of operators are wrestling with at the moment. Managing costs and bringing them under tight control is exactly what the session is all about.  Speakers tackle the problem by focussing on your marketing aims, then target pricing, menu design, supply and demand issues and disease tracking of food.

Speakers:
Jeff Dover | fsSTRATEGY
Michael Von Massow | University of Guelph 

2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

B4: MOBILE INNOVATION
(Toronto Ballroom)

How do you leverage mobile and digital channels to build your brand, increase sales and improve customer engagement, experience and loyalty? 

Speakers:
Ron Caughlin | BRAND > eD
Peter Pinfold | The Mobile Experience Company
 

3:15 pm - 3:45 pm

NETWORKING COFFEE BREAK
(Toronto Ballroom Foyer)

 
AFTERNOON PLENARY SESSION

3:45 pm - 4:45 pm

 

PLENARY #4: BRAND TRANSFORMATION > A DELICATE BALANCE
(Toronto Ballroom)

The need to innovate is a given but continual reinvention requires a delicate balance. On one hand, restaurants need to be proactive, vigilant, flexible and opportunistic.  On the other hand, successful brand transformations require tactical precision to lead sustainable growth.  This session explores the constant commitment to reinvention, new ways to deepen the connection to customers, pace of disruption, emerging technologies, the rise of competitors, successes, failures, setbacks, and homeruns.

Moderator: 
Mike Cordoba | Empresario Capital Partners  

Speakers:
Jean Bédard | La Cage Brasserie Sportive 
Tom Gaglardi | Northland Properties Corporation 
Ken Otto | Cara Operations Limited
Mo Jessa | Earls Restaurants Ltd.
Susan Senecal | A&W Food Services of Canada

4:45 pm - 5:00 pm

CLOSING REMARKS
(Toronto Ballroom)

Speaker:
Ed Khediguian | GE Capital Canada

 

 

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The Canadian Chain Restaurant Industry Review is an extensive research report commissioned by GE Capital and compiled by fsSTRATEGY and the NPD Group Canada.

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