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Marriott Executive to Share Insights On Growth of Hotel Chain’s Innovative Fast Casual Restaurant Concept

May 8, 2014 Food & Beverage No Comments Email Email

Lon Southerland, senior director, global food and beverage for Marriott International, will keynote the ninth annual Fast Casual Executive Summit, Oct. 12-14 in Denver.

During his keynote, he will describe how and why he chose to break from the standard hotel buffet options to create The Bistro, a fast casual concept

Lon Southerland, senior director, global food and beverage for Marriott International, will keynote the ninth annual Fast Casual Executive Summit, Oct. 12-14 in Denver

Lon Southerland, senior director, global food and beverage for Marriott International, will keynote the ninth annual Fast Casual Executive Summit, Oct. 12-14 in Denver

inside Marriott lobbies that serve more than 50,000 guests a day, while maintaining its reputation as a sustainable brand with healthy menu items.

“The Bistro’s success demonstrates just how much fast casual restaurants resonate with consumers,” said Cherryh Butler, senior editor of FastCasual.com, the publication hosting the Summit. “At first, it was fast casual brands trying their best to compete with longstanding quick-service restaurants and casual dining chains, but now those brands — and even hotels — are rebranding in order to keep up with fast casuals.”

“We’ve seen locals swing through on the way to work for crafted Starbucks espresso beverages and grab-and-go items as they often feel it’s a faster and more convenient option,” Southerland said. “Locals coming in to pick up a guest for a business meeting notice the lobby space and Bistro and decide, ‘Why don’t we just stay here for dinner?’”

Southerland will speak about the strategies he’s used to grow the concept to 750 units in just a few years and will share his expertise on transforming menus, launching food-and-beverage promos and creating partnerships to help grow brands.

The two-and-a-half day event also features a fast casual restaurant food tour, other keynote and breakout educational sessions, sponsor demonstrations of the latest products, and a dinner party at Coors Field, home of Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies.

This Summit has been created specifically for C-level executives, VPs, and directors for restaurant operators in the fast casual and QSR segments.

Registration is now open at fastcasualsummit.com, and early-bird pricing is in effect.

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