Thank you to all who joined us for the 2022 GGRA Industry Conference!
GGRA Industry ConferenceMonday, June 27, 2022
8:30am - 9:30am
Check In & Morning Refreshments
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Bringing San Francisco Back: Reopening & Revitalization Strategies
Join us as SF city officials and other hospitality industry leaders discuss the challenges and opportunities of reopening, with a focus on our downtown, Moscone center, and Union Square districts.
With Return to Office in full swing, we will discuss the current efforts in place to revitalize San Francisco and explore strategies for moving forward. We will explore how companies can partner with restaurants and hospitality partners to help encourage employees to visit businesses in the areas surrounding the offices.
Marisa Rodriguez, Executive Director, Union Square Alliance
Amy Wei, Chief Revenue Officer, OpenTable
Katy Tang, Executive Director, San Francisco Office of Small Business
Kelly Powers, Director, Hotel Council of San Francisco
Laurie Thomas, Executive Director, Golden Gate Restaurant Association
10:45 AM - 11:30 PM
Breakout #1 | Show Me the Money: Options for Restaurant Financing
Finding the money to open a new restaurant or to improve your existing one has always been a challenge, or a slog. Traditional lenders such as banks have always found restaurants too risky, often requiring personal guarantees or unrealistic interest rates. In this panel, we will discuss the pros and cons of newer options that are available to restaurateurs.
Johann Moonesinghe, Partner, InKind
Jason Himber, President, Michael Mina
Roberta Economidis, Founding Partner, GE Law Group
Andy Chun, Owner, Sidecar Hospitality
Breakout #2 | Ask an Expert: Retention, Hiring & Building your Best Team
Staffing matters. Today, it is more important than ever to attract quality candidates as well as retain your existing team members. In this panel, we will explore solutions to foster an environment where your people can thrive. We will also discuss best practices to build and maintain your best team, from exploring new hiring solutions, to fostering an environment that both supports and empowers your employees.
Michael Hearn, Business Development Manager, Qwick
Chris Porter, President & CMO, FCE Benefit Administrators
Marie Trimble Holvick, Managing Partner-Bay Area Offices, Gordon & Rees
Margie Butler, Director of Operations, Perry's
Jenna Johnson, Client Executive, NFP
11:45 AM - 12:30 PM
Breakout #1 | Making the Numbers Work: Navigating Ever-Rising Costs
As costs continue to rise with no end in sight, restaurants are searching for new strategies to cut costs across their businesses and to find ways to build up their bottom line. San Francisco restaurateurs weigh in on how they’ve addressed this colossal issue. We will address raising menu prices, cross-training staff, strategic buying, examining surcharges and more.
Hillary Holmes, Partnerships Manager, SpotOn
Bob Partrite, CEO, Simco Restaurants
Cassie Corless, Senior Director of Business Operations, Tastes on the Fly
Alistair Levine, Partner, Business Development, KitchenSync
Steven Grant, Director of Food and Beverage, Hotel Nikko
Breakout #2 | What’s Now and What’s Next: Trends in the Industry
Flash in the pan or future must-have? Moderated by acclaimed trends forecaster Andrew Freeman, this panel will take a deep dive into the hottest and latest including plant based proteins, non-alcoholic cocktails and more. Join us for a lively discussion on what to offer now to be on the leading edge of trendiness.
Aaron Noveshen, Founder & CEO, Starbird
Bryan Tublin, Owner, Kitava
Amy Cleary, Director of Public Policy & Media Relations, Golden Gate Restaurant Association
Leith Steele, Senior Strategist, Carbonate
Andrew Freeman, Founder, af&co
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
1:45 PM - 2:30 PM
Breakout #1 | Tech Solutions for Your Restaurant’s Bottom Line
Technology is touted as making life easier, but choosing the right tech for your business can be overwhelming.In this panel we will explore the many ways that tech can help your restaurant’s bottom line and efficiency: from operations and food costs to accounting and delivery. We will also discuss how to tell if it is a good ROI, and/or worth switching costs if you have an existing solution. We will discuss how technology solutions, when applied correctly can help you save dollars, and have a smoother service experience.
Justin Richardson, President, The City POS
Benson Wang, Chief, Palm House Hospitality
Dylan MacNiven, MacNiven Group
Hanson Li, Managing Director, Salt Partners
Breakout #2 | To Go Done Right: Reusable, Sustainable and Affordable
During the pandemic, takeout boomed. Many restaurants expanded their to-go options, or pivoted to offer takeout for the first time.
Even with the return to indoor dining, the consensus is in: the demand for takeout is here to stay- but how can we make to-go orders more sustainable for the future? Join us as we discuss ways to and help the planet and your bottom line- from earth-friendly packaging to operations and contracts.
Bryce Fenster, President, Genet Western
Eva Holman, Executive Director of Plastic Free Fridays and Co-Facilitator of Reusable SF
Evan Kidera, CEO, Señor Sisig
2:40 PM - 3:25 PM
Breakout #1 | Increase Your Revenue Streams & Repeat Customers: Subscription and Membership Programs, Packaged Products, Festivals, and More
As margins become increasingly tighter and the restaurant occupancy during the pandemic closed our indoor dining rooms, many of us explored, and are still looking for alternative revenue streams. These streams include: Doing booths at festivals like OutsideLands, moving toward retail: packaging and selling goods, and considering offering other experiences: like at-home subscription offerings and on-premise memberships. Join restaurant panelists and industry partners to explore the pluses and minuses of these opportunities and find out what is working now.
Lindsay Tusk, Owner, Quince & Cotogna
Amanda Nguyen, Co-Founder & CEO, Pastel and Butter+
Vivien Sin, CEO and Co-founder, The Third Place
Doug Collister, Partner, China Live
Breakout #2 | Safe & Clean Streets for our Employees & Guests: What's Being Done?
San Francisco has unfortunately developed a reputation for being unsafe. This panel will look at an overview of current SF city programs in place to address this issue, as well as discuss how our industry can support policy ordinances and engage with groups working to make our streets safer. We’ll also provide practical tips for operators on the front lines of these struggles.
Mary Ellen Carroll, Executive Director, San Francisco Department of Emergency Management
Carolyn Kenady, Co-Leader, Rescue SF
Kyra Worthy, Executive Director, SF Safe
Furlishous Wyatt, Security Services Manager, SF Safe
Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, District 8, San Francisco Board of Supervisors
Mat Schuster, Chef and Owner, Canela Bistro & Wine Bar
3:35 PM - 4:15 PM
Staying Sane: Mental Health & Improving Quality of Life in our Restaurant Community
The restaurant industry and our employees have had a very difficult past few years. Join us as we look at how restaurant owners/operators and our employees stayed connected and supported their staff (emotionally and financially) during the past 2 years. We’ll also discuss sobriety support, mental health resources, and public and private programs designed to help us stay sane.
Pete Sittnick, Managing Partner, Epic Steak & Waterbar
Yuka Ioroi , Co-Owner, Cassava
Gina Helvie, Manager at Che Fico and Recovery Advocate for Ben’s Friends
Dr. Hillary Kunins, Director of Behavioral Health Services, San Francisco Department of Public Health
Rachel Herbert, Owner, Park Cafe Group
Closing Remarks with San Francisco Assessor-Recorder, Joaquín Torres
4:30pm - 6:30pm
Networking | On-Site Networking Reception
Location: Hotel Nikko Ballroom