October 27 - 28, 2020
Virtual Event

Event Sponsors


Tuesday, 10/27

12:30 PM
Opening Remarks - ALL time EST
Guest Host
Liz Bazner, Director of Digital, A&W Restaurants 
Steve Smith, VP, Editorial Director, Events, MediaPost 
Day 1 - The Way Forward

We open the QSR Brand Summit exploring the next normal. Going forward, how are restaurant brands rethinking the on and off-premise experiences?

12:40 PM
Keynote: The Technology and Poetry of Craveability
Sonic’s “drive-in” quick food experience wasn’t built for a crisis like Covid-19, but clearly it was perfectly positioned for it. The company was living the future of QSR years ago, but not without a fundamental transformation in how technology and messaging worked together to heighten the “craveability” of the Sonic experience. But now, everyone is competing in the pickup/curbside space. What can we learn from the pioneer of this experience and how the Sonic brand will defend its craveability.
Lori Abou Habib, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, SONIC 
Steve Smith, VP, Editorial Director, Events, MediaPost 
1:05 PM
Panel: Marketing to the New Experiences

Every QSR had to make a quick pivot this year. From on-premise to delivery. From food messaging to safety info. Suddenly the Drive-Thru, mobile app and payment and web site experience became critical. But what worked? Our panel of dining marketers share their new best practices for 2021.

Lisa Singer, Event Editorial Manager, MediaPost 
Liz Bazner, Director of Digital, A&W Restaurants 
Jodie Conrad, Chief Marketing Officer, Fazoli's 
Andy Rooks, CMO, Just Salad 
1:30 PM
Sponsor Spotlight Presentation - "Why Now Is The Time to Innovate"
1:40 PM
Case Study: Virtualizing Promotion

The Covid crisis took off the table live promotions and creative approaches to driving foot traffic to QSR and fast casual dining. Pancheros shares how it took a traditional in-person model online. Does this approach have a future in a post-Covid world of hybrid on/off-premise sales?

Ryan Murrin, Chief Marketing Officer, Pancheros Mexican Grill 
2:10 PM
Roundtable: Franchise Management
The COVID crisis made national brands and their local franchisees into closer coordination than ever before. Everyone had to balance "getting on the same page" with the disparate needs of localities. Messaging, assets, social media presence, policy development all needed management and synchronization. What worked and didn't work well in orchestrating these relationships in real time in a moment of constant flux?
Mitch Baker, VP of Marketing, Robeks Fresh Juices 
2:10 PM
Roundtable: Media Planning Going Forward
As messaging and mission changed radically for most brands, how has media spend and placement adjusted? Which channels proved most effective and efficient in a pinch? When new messaging needed to reach new and old customer bases, where did planners lean? TV, OTT, Search, Social, Email? How was the marketing mix stress tested, and what were the results?
Adam Gagliardo, Head of Media and Digital Experience, Carl's/Hardees 

Wednesday, 10/28

Day 2 - The New Path to Purchase

As delivery, safety and trust become the touchstones of the new brand building, we explore on Day 2 how consumers are finding and believing in their dining choices.

12:30 PM
Welcome Back - ALL times EST
Steve Smith, VP, Editorial Director, Events, MediaPost 
12:40 PM
Keynote Q&A: Dunkin’s Loyalty/Delivery Partnership
While Dunkin outlets have remained open for business throughout the pandemic, their relationship with customers old and new changed. A brand identified with quick pickup now cultivated delivery. But how did this new model typically aimed at customer acquisition through third parties link into Dunkin’s famously popular loyalty program? The heads of Dunkin loyalty program and emerging delivery service join us to discuss how they worked together to reposition the Dunkin experience.
Brandy Blackwell, Director New Business, Delivery & Catering, Dunkin’ Brands 
Joanna Bonder, Director, Loyalty Marketing and Strategy, Dunkin’ Brands 
Steve Smith, VP, Editorial Director, Events, MediaPost 
1:05 PM
Sponsor Spotlight Presentation - "Pinterest for Restaurants: It Pays to be Positive"
1:15 PM
Panel: Engage, Engage, Engage

It's the relationship, stupid. In times of stress, consumers look to known quantities, including favorite brands. Loyalty, communication, engagement is a two-way street, however. We ask loyalty and CRM specialists to share what they learned about their customer needs and wants, how they kept communications open, and what new  will inform a post-crisis relationship with customers.

Tanya Gazdik, Senior Editor, Automotive, MediaPost 
Erin Everhart, Director Digital Marketing, Arby's 
Shannon Murphy, Director of Digital Guest Experience, Jack in the Box 
1:45 PM
Trivia Break
1:55 PM
Keynote Q&A: Keeping Focus
With brands like Aunt Annie’s, Jamba Juice, Moe’s and Cinnabon in its portfolio, Focus Brands had an equally diverse set of challenges this year. We explore what the company learned about leveraging its centralized resources to respond to mall shutdowns, a patchwork of regional Covid responses, franchisee inputs, the third part delivery channel, and more.
Dan Gertsacov, Chief Commercial Officer, Focus Brands 
Lisa Singer, Event Editorial Manager, MediaPost 
2:15 PM
Roundtable: Brand Building, Brand Discovery and the New Customer Experience
New consumer expectations, generational shifts, food trends, complex, digital-first paths to purchase - building brand identity, loyalty, and value have never been more complex. And yet the opportunities for new dining brands has never been greater. How are marketers breaking through, differentiating, developing new products and finding their target diner?
Lynn Blashford, Chief Marketing Officer, White Castle 
Nasli Heeramaneck, Director of brand Marketing, Firehouse Subs 
Mark Mears, CMO, SaladWorks 

Contact Us

Speaker Consideration

For speaker consideration please complete the speaker proposal form. Due to the high volume of speaker proposals that we receive we will only be able to notify those whose proposals have been selected. All proposals must go through this form, no exceptions. Do not contact other MediaPost representatives regarding speaker opportunities.


For questions regarding sponsorship of this event please contact Jon Whitfield, VP, Event Sales at jon@mediapost.com.


For press inquiries, please contact Ken Fadner at ken@mediapost.com.


For general summit inquiries please contact Maya Abulashvili, Coordinator of Events and Conferences at maya@mediapost.com.

VIP Program

For questions about or to apply to the VIP Program please contact Kevin Massa, Manager of Brand & Agency Relations at massa@mediapost.com.

Quality Pledge

MediaPost strives for excellence in its coverage of media, marketing and advertising. Our mission is to critically engage key questions for brand marketers, media buyers, sellers and emerging platforms. We choose speakers exclusively for their ability to bring perspective and insight to our stage. All conferences are programmed by proven, expert, unbiased journalists. MediaPost has never and will never engage in "pay to play" conferencing.