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    Master Chef Rick Bayless to Headline Convenience Foodservice Exchange

    New event features fireside chat with Phil Lempert.

    By Don Longo, Convenience Store News
    Chef Rick Bayless hosts a dinner at his Chicago restaurant Topolobampo for a dozen leading convenience foodservice executives.

    SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — Celebrity chef Rick Bayless, known for winning Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” competition with his authentic Mexican cuisine, will sit down with food trends expert and Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert for an entertaining and wide-ranging discussion about how convenience store operators can utilize learnings from the restaurant and grocery channels to win a much larger share of all grazing and meal occasions.

    This “fireside chat” between Bayless and Lempert will be just one of many content highlights at the new Convenience Foodservice Exchange, an exclusive, live event aimed at foodservice in convenience stores. Hosted by Convenience Store News, the Convenience Foodservice Exchange will provide a forum for retailers and their supplier and distributor partners to exchange actionable information, insights and data that will lead to increased sales and shopper engagement.

    The invitation-only event is scheduled for Sept. 15-16 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center hotel in Schaumburg, Ill.

    With a focus on the convenience store consumer, the event will explore such important issues as why consumers choose one channel over another when purchasing food and beverages; what attributes of the foodservice experience are most important to consumers; and how c-stores can improve in order to gain a bigger share of the foodservice pie.

    Bayless thrilled an audience of convenience store foodservice executives last year when he led the Taste of Chicago Tour at the 2015 CSNews Foodservice Summit, sponsored by Tyson Convenience. The tour featured stops at six local eateries — all providing ideas and innovative lessons for the convenience foodservice executives in attendance.

    Bayless has authored eight cookbooks and operates several award-winning restaurants in Chicago, including the casual Frontera Grill, the four-star Toplobampo, the fast-casual Xoco, and the quick-service Tortas Frontera that has changed the face of foodservice at O’Hare International Airport.

    On the Convenience Foodservice Exchange stage, Bayless and Lempert will discuss:

    • Food trends across the country, including the popularity of local, fresh ingredients, the importance of being authentic, and the opportunity to make food “be theater.”
    • Dining on the go, such as at airports and other nontraditional venues.
    • Recruiting, hiring, training and retention of good service employees.
    • Using social media effectively.
    • Lessons for convenience foodservice operators.

    For more information on the Convenience Foodservice Exchange or to request an invitation, contact Larry Miller at [email protected] or Don Longo at [email protected]. Travel assistance is available.

    Sponsorships are available for this exclusive, exciting event. For more information on sponsorships, contact Ron Lowy at [email protected] or (330) 840-9557.

    By Don Longo, Convenience Store News
    • About Don Longo Don Longo is editorial director of Stagnito Business Information's Convenience Store News, Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner and Hispanic Retail 360 media brands. He has covered retailing for more than 30 years as a reporter, editor and publisher. Previously, he spearheaded the editorial efforts at a variety of business publications focused on mass, drug, grocery and specialty store retailing. Convenience Store News won American Business Media’s Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Issue of the Year in 2008 and 2012. Longo has won numerous other editorial awards over his career and is frequently quoted in the national and local news media on the subjects of retailing and consumer trends.

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