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What’s in store at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference


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The Restaurant Finance and Development Conference is one of the must-attend conferences of the year for one big reason. And it’s not the Las Vegas locale.

Education is the real reason. Yes, the readers of the Restaurant Finance Monitor, conference presenter, are already savvy restaurant operators, investors, vendors and owners. But the restaurant world is constantly evolving and there is always something new to learn.

This year’s conference kicks off with Ron Shaich, the visionary behind Panera Bread’s many pivots that elevated and enhanced the brand. The co-founder turned CEO took the brand from nothing to a more than $5 billion company and presided over a nearly 10,000 percent share growth since 1997. He certainly has a few lessons for the restaurant community.

So does Guy Adami, one of the market gurus from CNBC’s Fast Money—he’ll be talking about macroeconomic effects on restaurants.

Then there’s Bill McClave of Birchwood Resultants, who will be discussing how to bridge the widening gulf between millennial and boomer restaurant-goers.

Marie Perry of Jamba Juice and The Women’s Foodservice Forum will be talking about winning the war for talent (a brutal one these days). And Bloomberg’s Michael Halen will bring a sober look at how legal weed will impact the restaurant world.

The panels are packed with insights as well. This year, the RFDC will dig into the major trends of delivery, how to exit a restaurant company, new revenue streams and the real banker math when it comes to debt and equity financing for companies large and small.

Beyond that meaty restaurant menu, there are plenty of light moments, too. Attendees will get a little glimpse of European hospitality from a true insider, Rick Steves, the renowned travel guide writer and travel show host extraordinaire. And attendees can’t miss Art Laffer’s economic outlook—it’ll be fun, really. The economist behind the “Laffer Curve” knows how to make the heavy topic of macroeconomics interesting.

Also get to the deals in the Finance and Development Mall, packed with top vendors, bankers and experts in the restaurant space, there to help restaurateurs get where they want to go. There’s plenty of space for closed-door deals as well. In fact, the RFDC has become the “dealmakers” event where scores of deals are signed.

The conference is November 12-14 at the Wynn/Encore hotel in Las Vegas. For more information or to register visit restfinance.com/RFDC.

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