The prevalence of e-commerce and speedy supply chains has opened more opportunities than ever. Distributors and dealers that were once confined to their local markets can now reach operators across the world. But as these barriers to business have broken down, new kinds of competitors have entered the market, creating disruption and challenging longstanding distributor-client relationships. To remain relevant, FEDA members must look inward and consider where they must improve, how to become more innovative and entrepreneurial, and what technology will help them pull their businesses up to the next level.
On the journey forward, knowing where to start is one of the most difficult steps. Friday’s keynote and general session will center on this question by diving into the data and tools distributors and dealers need to know as they pivot to the challenges of the coming years and solidify their Will to Win in this new environment.
Friday’s keynote speaker is Shark Tank celebrity Robert Herjavec. Shark Tank is the “critically acclaimed and multi-Emmy Award-winning entrepreneurial-themed reality show” that allows emerging industry entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to the “sharks” – a panel of five business champions who built successful empires. If the sharks decide to invest in the entrepreneur’s business, they may bid against each other to be selected as an investor. The panel also guides the contestants to persuade any of the sharks to invest money in their idea. When more than one of the sharks decide they want a piece of the action, a bidding war can erupt, driving up the price of the investment. Most importantly, the sharks advise potential investees on the viability of their business models and markets.
Herjavec will continue the previous day’s discussion on foodservice operator needs, then move the audience to the next steps for how foodservice equipment dealers and manufacturers can leverage their experience, knowledge, and understanding of evolving tech trends to keep pace with operator and consumer change.
FEDA is also excited to announce as a Friday speaker Kelli Valade, president and CEO of TDn2K (Transforming Data into Knowledge.) TDn2K, through its People Report, tracks restaurant staffing levels, demographics, and turnover and provides a detailed compensation analysis. TDn2K’s Black Box Intelligence provides metrics covering restaurant revenue, expense, and consumer data and weekly interactive reports with drill-down capability including industry benchmarks based on the latest operational results for over 31,000 restaurant units in six unique segments and reflects $72 billion in annual sales. To help restaurants keep up with the rapidly changing environment of online communication, TDn2K also offers White Box Social Intelligence, the restaurant industry’s first location-based social media listening tool to combine traditional engagement and measurement tools with operations, sales and competitive data analysis. All three products are under the umbrella of TDn2K.
During Friday’s General Session, Valade will highlight how new restaurant technology can work with foodservice equipment technology to serve operators at a higher level.
Valade also joins AutoQuotes CEO Jim Contardi and Welbilt Executive Vice President and COO Josef Matosevic to discuss how we can win as an industry by working together in an evolving global and digital marketplace. AutoQuotes delivers products and solutions for the foodservice equipment and supplies industry, including the industry’s most comprehensive catalog, configure, price, quote (CPQ), and design applications. Welbilt’s strong culture of innovation and continuous improvement has paved the way for the development of new technology that is helping operators compete.
Contardi will detail how AutoQuotes’ innovations are helping to advance the foodservice equipment industry by anticipating new operator and consumer technology trends. Matosevic, meanwhile, will describe Welbilt’s passion for developing industry-leading technology, including KitchenConnect and fitKitchen.