Information Technology

A specialized resource devoted to keeping you current with the latest developments in restaurant information technology.

About the Information Technology Study Group

Come together with experienced, senior IT professionals from national restaurant brands at the annual IT Executive Study Group meeting, held this year alongside FSTEC in Dallas, TX on September 10-11. This is your once-a-year chance to access the collective wisdom of this intimate group (limited to forty operator attendees), all of whom are grappling with the same IT challenges as you and your restaurant brand. 

The IT Executive Study group offers you the opportunity to assess roll-outs, highlight wins, talk through issues and learn directly from other IT leaders in the industry. Additional programming addressing new regulations on privacy, data security and beyond will be provided a leading law firm, giving you critical information to bring back to your internal colleagues. 

Attendance Policy

Registration is open to restaurant operators and those who work for restaurant or hospitality companies. Product and service providers are allowed to attend only as sponsors. Questions? Contact Laura Chadwick, Information Technology Program Director.


Monday, September 9
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.: FSTEC Chairman's Reception
OPTIONAL: Special invitations for IT ESG attendees 
Winsight Media, the producers of FSTEC, have graciously extended a special invitation to all IT Executive Study Group attendees to attend their exclusive FSTEC Chairman’s Reception.
Tuesday, September 10
8 a.m.: Registration & Breakfast 
8:30 a.m.: Welcome & Company Introductions
Speaker: Laura Chadwick, Program Director, National Restaurant Association

9:30 a.m.: Managing Third Party Delivery Integrations: Custom and Off-The-Shelf POS Solutions
Learning from some of the best in restaurant IT through the presentation of real life case studies, attendees will develop a framework to approach third party delivery integrations; understand its components, stages and timelines as well as metrics for its success.
Speaker: Rex Smith, Sr. Director, Information Technology, Red Lobster

10:45 a.m.: Networking Break

11 a.m.: Preparing for the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and Beyond
Quickly passed into law last year and unlikely to be amended before it goes into effect on January 1, 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act sets an extremely high bar for compliance. During this session, experts will provide an overview of the major provisions of the law and present a number of tech and operation solutions that national restaurant brands are considering to meet the regulatory requirements. 

12 p.m.: Joint Lunch and Speaker with the Dallas Chapter of the International Food & Beverage Technology Association (IFBTA)
Attendees will join with the Dallas Chapter of the IFBTA for the following special joint programming over lunch: 

12:15 p.m.: How AI Enhances the Customer Experience
Artificial Intelligence is making its way into the food and beverage industry --increasing sales and engaging customers both inside and out of the store. AI has the ability to leverage data in ways that were previously unattainable; providing an increase in revenue, online engagement, and contributing to a positive and personalized customer experience. In this session, you'll hear from restaurant industry AI early adopters on how AI bots can improve your business. 

12:45 p.m.: From the Tech Stack & Beyond: Where You're Impacted Most
Building an effective and streamlined tech stack is becoming a focus of food and beverage operators. How do you know you're using the most appropriate and customized technology for your business, but not duplicating efforts? In addition, how do you ensure your tech stack can be utilized by multiple departments? Panelists will discuss the ways in which building the perfect tech stack has impacted their security implementations, leadership approach, and key learning within their business. 

1:45 p.m.: eCommerce Update: Understanding EMVCo's New 3-D Secure and Secure Remote Commerce ("Click To Pay") Specifications
As more and more restaurants move to accept payments online, it is critically important for restaurant IT leaders to be up-to-speed on payment industry and EMVCo initiatives which will impact your restaurant brand's e-commerce efforts — such as EMV® 3-D Secure and EMV Secure Remote Commerce. EMVCo will join the IT Executive Study Group for a deep dive into these topics and provide an overview of the global technical body that facilitates the worldwide interoperability and acceptance of secure payment transactions by managing and evolving the EMV Specifications and related testing processes. 

EMV® is a registered trademark in the U.S. and other countries and an unregistered trademark elsewhere. The EMV® trademark is owned by EMVCo, LLC.  
Speaker: Brian Byrne, Director of Operations for EMVCo
2:45 p.m.: Update from the Retail Hospitality Information Sharing and Analysis Center (RH-ISAC)
Data security issues continue to be top of mind for the restaurant industry. Join leaders from the Retail and Hospitality Information Sharing and Analysis Center for an in-depth briefing on the work of the ISAC, which serves as a central hub for IT leaders to share and analyze retail and restaurant-specific cybersecurity information and intelligence. Speakers Squier and Kizzee will also present their latest benchmark study on eCommerce cybersercurity risks and seek input on the RH-ISAC's Franchisee Cybersecurity Initiative. 
Speaker: Suzie Squier, Executive Director; and Carlos Kizzee, VP of Intelligence, RH-ISAC
3:45 p.m.: Networking Break
4 p.m.: Marketing Technology: A Deep Dive into Making the Digital Guest Experience Work
Customers have high expectations for digital experiences: the last best experience they had is the minimum for what they want everywhere else. Applied to the restaurant industry, where resources are limited, how can IT leaders deliver on great digital guest experiences? Speakers from Bottle Rocket -- a trust partner of a number of national restaurant brands -- will provide key insights and strategies on low cost, high impact steps restaurant IT leaders can take to meet customer expectations. 
Speakers: Peter Klayman and Monte Masters, Bottle Rocket
6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.: Operator-Only Dinner
Join the IT Executive Study Group's annual operator-only dinner at a local Dallas restaurant -- for not only a good meal, but a terrific opportunity to build or broaden your relationship with other restaurant IT leaders as well. 
Wednesday, September 11
8 a.m.: Breakfast

9 a.m.: Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in Action: Implementation Case Studies and Results
Many national restaurant brands have begun to incorporate robotic process automation (RPA) to eliminate tedious tasks and free corporate staff to focus on higher value work. To realize the benefits though, RPA needs proper design, implementation and governance. Ryan Nowlin will walk attendees through the Fiesta Restaurant Group's recent work to incorporate RPA. After presenting his case study, he will lead a group discussion focused on best practices on RPA implementations. 
Speaker: Ryan Nowlin, Chief Information Officer, Fiesta Restaurant Group

10 a.m.: Recruiting and Retaining IT Talent at National Restaurant Brands: Strategies for Success
Recruiting and retaining talent is not only an issue for restaurant front-line staff, but for restaurant IT departments as well. The speakers will discuss their brands' efforts to engage IT staff. 
11 a.m.: Special Session and Speaker To Be Announced Soon 
12 p.m.: Lunch and IT Executive Study Group Planning Meeting
1:30 p.m.: National Restaurant Association Legislative Update
Hear the latest about what the U.S. Congress and Trump Administration are pursuing in the areas of data security, privacy and patent trolls, and how it will impact your work in restaurant IT. Michael O'Neill will give an update about other National Restaurant Association government affairs initiatives as well. 
Speaker: Michael O'Neill, Director, Technology & Innovation Policy, Government Affairs, National Restaurant Association
2 p.m.: IT Trench Talks: Implementing Cubbies, Beacon-Enabled Curbside & Table Delivery, and Kiosks
Divided into three 15 minute sessions, restaurant IT leaders will in rapid-fire succession give an overview of recent implementations and lessons learned along the way. 
2:45 p.m.: Closing Session



National Restaurant Association Member* $499          
National Restaurant Association Non-Member $799
*Not sure if you're on the company roster? Contact to ensure your name and email address is tied to your company roster to receive the member rate.

Operator cancellation policy: Cancellations received by July 17, 2019 will be fully refunded. Requests received between July 18 and August 14, 2019 will receive a 50% refund. No refunds will be granted after August 14, 2019.

Meeting Hotel

The IT Executive Study Group is utilizing the FSTEC room block at the Hilton Anatole to simplify hotel reservations for both events. IT Executive Study Group attendees not wishing to attend FSTEC may still use this block for their hotel reservations.

The meeting is being held at:

Hilton Anatole
2201 N Stemmons Fwy
Dallas, TX 75207 
(214) 748-1200 
Room rate: $229/night + tax
Room block closes: August 20, 2019 (6 p.m. ET)

Registration for the meeting does not guarantee you a room reservation; you are still required to make your own reservation via your registration confirmation email. Please register for the meeting before you make your room reservation.


If you are a product or service provider, you must sponsor the meeting in order to attend. For available sponsorship opportunities, contact Deb Sas, vice president, sponsorship and engagement.