New York restaurateur Danny Meyer and Slutty Vegan owner and CEO Pinky Cole will headline the National Restaurant Association Show, taking place May 20-23 at McCormick Place in Chicago.
The two keynote speakers, who have had entrepreneurial success both individually and in collaboration, will speak about the challenges and opportunities that paved the way for their business growth. They will speak at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 21.
“We are thrilled to welcome Danny Meyer and Pinky Cole to the National Restaurant Association Show as our esteemed keynote speakers to share their strategies for success in building a diversified restaurant empire and leading the way for the next generation in the industry,” said Tom Cindric, president of Winsight Exhibitions, which owns and operates the show. Chicago-based Winsight LLC owns CSP. “Meyer and Cole exemplify the dedication and ingenuity of so many within the industry and have also made it a priority to give back to their communities and to those just getting started in the business. Our hope is that show attendees will walk away with insights and inspiration to help grow their own businesses.”
This year’s event will mark the newest wave of foodservice innovation as the show continues to showcase the industry’s latest technology and equipment enhancements, solutions driving operational efficiencies and the latest in flavor, taste and dining trends.
Meyer and Cole will share their expertise, business prowess, commitment to creating strong teams, and philanthropic and community initiatives. The two first crossed paths in 2021 when Cole collaborated with Shake Shack’s Harlem restaurant for a limited-time offer. Meyer saw first-hand the impact of Cole’s work—not only evidenced by the long customer lines but also in her ingenuity and leadership—and has since become an investor and mentor.
Danny Meyer is the founder, former CEO and current executive chairman of Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG). His restaurants and chefs have earned an unprecedented 24 James Beard Awards.
Cole is CEO and Founder of Atlanta-based Slutty Vegan. She began in a shared kitchen to a food truck and eventually to seven brick-and-mortar locations. With a rotating menu and a standard two-hour wait to pick up made-to-order food, Slutty Vegan has revenues growing to $4 million in the first six months of its grand opening.
Also, Michelle Korsmo, the National Restaurant Association’s president and CEO, will present a strategic industry outlook showcasing the work being done across the association to advocate for and advance the foodservice community.
In addition to the keynote session, the National Restaurant Association Show will hold a featured session with Technomic, “Chart Your Course: Traversing What’s Next for the Restaurant Industry,” at 1 p.m. Monday, May 22. Technomic’s Joe Pawlak and a Winsight media expert, along with top industry operators, will provide insights on the key issues impacting the industry today—from labor and menu trends to innovation and industry growth.
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