September 27, 2018

Restaurant Innovation Summit speakers announced

Video game designer Jane McGonigal will deliver the keynote address.

Washington, D.C. — The National Restaurant Association today announced speakers at the Restaurant Innovation Summit taking place in Dallas, Texas, November 7-8, 2018. 

RIS is a two-day interactive event that explores how technology, disruption, and innovation affect the business of running a restaurant.  The conference brings together restaurant operators and innovators from inside and outside the food service industry.

Jane McGonigal, video game designer and advocate, will deliver the keynote address presented by American Express.  McGonigal will highlight the gamification trends taking shape in the restaurant industry, from loyalty apps for customers, tableside tech, and employee-engagement programs.  She will share how the restaurant industry can look to the gaming industry to inspire new ideas.   

“Innovative approaches to growth are critically important for the restaurant industry.  McGonigal’s insights into how gamification trends affect loyalty, technology, and employees will inspire fresh thinking,” said Perry Quinn, Senior Vice President, Business Innovation Development at the National Restaurant Association

On day two, Restaurant Innovation Summit attendees will hear from Darrell West, author of The Future of Work, in a fireside chat about the implications of robots, AI, and automation on American society, its workforce, and the restaurant industry.  Jinsoo An, founder of Project Nourished, will close the Summit with a presentation on his work to recreate the dining experience using virtual, augmented, and mixed reality technologies.

Programming at the 2018 Restaurant Innovation Summit begins with “Innovations of Today” to give restaurants practical, actionable information to apply their businesses.  Sessions on day one include digital and peer-to-peer payments trends, designing kiosks with the customer experience in mind, and empowering restaurants on third-party delivery.  On day two, the conference explores the “Innovations of Tomorrow” with sessions on blockchain technology and its application within restaurants, Generation Z, and alternative proteins, among others.

“We are bringing innovative ideas to the stage at RIS and throughout the conference itself to maximize the experience of attending,” said Laura Chadwick, program director and producer for the Restaurant Innovation Summit.

To register and view the full schedule of events, visit the Restaurant Innovation Summit website.  Rooms at the W Dallas Victory hotel are available at a special rate until Friday, October 12, and online registration ends on Friday, October 19.

About the National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises more than 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 15.5 million employees. Together with 52 State Associations, we are a network of professional organizations dedicated to serving every restaurant through advocacy, education, and food safety. We sponsor the industry's largest trade show (National Restaurant Association Show); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart). For more information, visit and find @WeRRestaurants on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.