Elite talent and experts on tap at Mid-America Restaurant Expo on Jan. 29-30


Have you looked at the lineup of speakers for the Mid-America Restaurant Expo? We’ve assembled a collection of elite talent in the restaurant industry to speak during the two-day event (Jan. 29-30 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center).

In addition to our keynote – celebrity chef and TV personality Richard Blais – our speakers range from social media experts, coffee gurus, marketing professionals and connoisseurs of food, pizza and ice cream. Also on tap are superb people who will share insights about culture, the kitchen of the future, labor costs, security, farm-to-table, food trucks, franchising and staffing. The names range from Cameron Mitchell to Greg Ubert (Crimson Cup), David Ash (Zink Foodservice), Alex Barrotti (TouchBistro), Jamie Richardson (White Castle), Tom Krouse (Donatos) Jeremy Galvin (Master Pizza), Kelly Weikel (Technomic), Dean Haskell (National Retail Concept) to chef Jennifer Kagy (Sysco).

To see the line-up, click here.

One of the speakers I know you will enjoy is Joe DeLoss, founder of Hot Chicken Takeover. He calls himself the “head fryer” for the restaurant located on the second floor of the North Market in downtown Columbus.

Joe is a young man who sells fried chicken, but sees himself more as a social entrepreneur. He has run both successful and failed businesses, and insists it’s been great learning. It shows in his Hot Chicken Takeover concept, which employs people whose lives have been disrupted by crime and incarceration.
I met with Joe on Tuesday during a very busy lunch rush. By the time we finished our conversation around 1:30 pm, there were only 39 pieces of chicken left for the day --- and there was still a long line of hungry customers.

Joe & I will discuss his business and his progressive HR approach on Monday, Jan. 30 during the Expo. I’ll interview him on the Innovation Stage at 11:00 am. You will be impressed with his focus, intensity, friendliness and commitment. He has a growth plan for the chicken business, which we will discuss, but what he’s most passionate about is sharing his approach to “Employee Engagement and Retention.”

Joe says he’s been fortunate to have many excellent mentors during his career, which included teaching entrepreneurship at The Ohio State University. Speaking engagements like the Expo are Joe’s way to share insights that have helped him build a successful business and help change people’s lives in a very positive way.

Join us at the Expo to learn more about employee engagement … and hopefully use some of the lessons and strategies in your business.