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State of the Industry and Understanding Ontario Key Markets

With Covid behind us, the current landscape and the future of the foodservice and accommodation sectors is very different from the past. Hear from leading experts who will share analysis, projections, and recommendations to make strategic planning decisions and considerations for your business going forward. Hear perspectives on specific regional considerations and get answers to your questions to help you make informed planning decisions.

Sponsored By: 


Currently Confirmed Speakers:

Nicole Nguyen - CBRE Limited

Robert Carter - StratonHunter

Shame On Us! Bridging the Gap: Understanding the Industry's Labour Needs and Attracting and Keeping Future Talent in Hospitality

In an era of rapid growth and evolving customer demands, the hospitality industry is facing a critical challenge: attracting, retaining and developing talented individuals to meet growing labour needs. Despite various initiatives to address this issue, there remains a disconnect between the industry's efforts and the aspirations of potential candidates for hospitality careers. It's time to acknowledge this gap and explore how we can bridge it effectively.

"Shame On Us! Bridging the Gap" is a thought-provoking session designed to delve into the heart of the matter. We will examine why the industry's desire to address labour needs may not be resonating with the very individuals we seek to recruit. Through engaging discussions, real-life examples, and expert insights, we will identify the root causes and discuss strategies to attract and nurture future talent in hospitality.

Hear from highly knowledgeable individuals that have studied the issue, including a recent hospitality school graduate that will share key areas of consideration to build and strengthen your team.

Sponsored By: 

Currently Confirmed Speakers: 

Dr. Altaf Sovani - Alzen Inc. 

Mike Jackson - Human Capital Practice and Deloitte Canada

Adrienne Foster - Hotel Association of Canada

Liana Carniello - The Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, Marriott International & Hospitality Human Resources Professional Association

Jessica Carrera - Humber College Hotel & Restaurant Management Student

Maximizing Food and Beverage Profitability in an Era of Rising Costs and Labour Challenges

In the ever-evolving landscape of the hospitality industry, one of the key challenges faced by food and beverage establishments is the ability to maintain profitability in the face of escalating costs and labor-related hurdles. As expenses soar and labor availability becomes more limited, it becomes imperative for industry professionals to strategize and adapt to these pressing challenges.

This conference session is specifically designed to equip attendees with practical insights, innovative approaches, and proven strategies to optimize food and beverage profitability in this age of increasing costs and labor challenges. Led by industry experts and thought leaders, this session aims to delve deep into the intricacies of this complex issue and provide actionable solutions that can be implemented in various hospitality settings.

Key topics in this session include: analyzing the impact of rising costs, labor optimization and workforce management, menu engineering and pricing strategies, streamlining operations and supply chain efficiency, and innovations in revenue management.

Sponsored By: 


Currently Confirmed Speakers:

David Hopkins - The Fifteen Group

Jeff Dover - fsSTRATEGY


Practical Use of Tech and Artificial intelligence in Foodservice and Lodging

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Join us as we explore the cutting-edge applications of technology available to hospitality operators and how understanding their value and costs in terms of investment is critical to businesses in the current evolving environment. Also how artificial intelligence (AI) and Chat GPT are gaining relevance in the realms of foodservice and lodging and are important to understand as they development. This session aims to shed light on how these revolutionary technologies can enhance guest experiences, streamline operations, and elevate the overall quality of service, planning and cost management in the hospitality industry. Hear from leaders in this field how your organization should consider available and emerging technology tools to improve your business and stay competitive.

Sponsored By: 

Currently Confirmed Speakers:

Omar Fares - Ted Roger's School of Management

Antonio Comparelli - Metaguest.AI

Mark Kelly - Maestro

Shilpa Arora - DoorDash

Navigating the Digital Landscape: Mastering Business Promotion and Reputation Management through Online Reviews

In today's interconnected world, online reviews play a pivotal role in shaping the success and reputation of businesses in the hospitality industry. Join us for an enlightening session where industry experts will guide you through the intricacies of managing business promotion and reputation through online reviews.

During this session, we will explore the evolving landscape of online review platforms, understand the influence they wield on consumer decisions, and learn how to harness their power to enhance your business's reputation. We will delve into strategies that will help you make the most of online reviews to effectively promote your hospitality business and maintain a positive brand image.

Key topics in this session include: the importance of online reviews, managing online review platforms, responding to reviews, encouraging positive reviews, dealing with negative reviews, monitoring and analyzing online feedback and reputation management tools and technologies.

Join us for this engaging session where you will gain practical tips, actionable strategies, and real-world examples to navigate the digital landscape of online reviews. Take control of your business's online reputation and use it to elevate your brand presence, enhance customer trust, and drive growth in the ever-evolving hospitality industry.

Sponsored By: 

Currently Confirmed Speakers:

Sara Wilde – Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Vanessa Henderson - OpenTable

Bonnie Vesterfelt - Expedia Group 

Alli Schmoker - TripAdvisor

Employment Law for Hospitality Operators: A Crash Course in Employment Law and What Every Operator and Manager Should Know and Be Prepared For

The session is focused on the evolving legal landscape and its impact on the hospitality industry. It is aimed to equip attendees with practical knowledge, insights, and strategies to effectively navigate complex employment law issues. One of the two renowned legal experts is a seasoned human resources veteran who will discuss the various aspects of hospitality employment law, including compliance, workplace culture, diversity, and emerging challenges.

Gain a comprehensive understanding of current trends, best practices, and legal considerations in managing employment law matters within your organizations. By incorporating the key takeaways, attendees are better equipped to navigate complex employment law issues, ensure compliance, and foster a positive and legally sound work environment within the hospitality sector.

Key topics included in this session include changes and recent issues arising related to elements of employment law in Ontario, workplace diversity and Inclusion, managing employee classification, emerging legal challenges, and technology and data privacy.

Hospitality employers must remain abreast of evolving employment laws and regulations to ensure compliance and avoid legal pitfalls. Creating an inclusive workplace culture promotes employee engagement, reduces legal risks, and enhances organizational performance. Understanding the legal distinctions between employees and contractors is crucial for compliance and mitigating misclassification risks.

Proactive Risk Mitigation: Implementing policies, training programs, and preventive measures helps address emerging challenges and legal issues, such as harassment, safety, and privacy concerns.

Technology and Data Protection: Hospitality organizations must balance the use of technology with employee privacy rights, adopting robust data protection measures and clear social media policies.

Sponsored By: 


Currently Confirmed Speakers:

Donna D'Andrea - Hicks Morley

Hospitality Leadership: Resiliency and Momentum in Uncertain Times

Our industry has gone through extreme challenges and change over the last few years, but nothing has changed more than the expectations and demands on leaders and leadership teams. In order for high performing teams and operations to achieve the results they want and deserve, they will need to evolve, no matter how successful the leader or team has been in the past. In this session, we will cover the proven patterns that top performing leaders are focusing on to avoid overwhelm and burnout, how to create clarity and focus in the direction of their goals, and how to use your culture to drive attraction and retention of both your employees and your guests.


Key topics in this session include:

  • Success is in your routine - proven practices to avoid burnout and find joy and success in what you do.

  • Clear is kind - Your team's expectations around communication have changed. How do we embrace this change to drive engagement, retention, and results.

  • Building a recognition focused culture - how to identify and leverage positive patterns to improve company culture through positive recognition.

Sponsored By:

Currently Confirmed Speakers:

Matt Rolfe - Westshore Hospitality Group

David Bird - Verve Senior Living & Delta Hotels

Jane Yrenaya - FranklinCovey

Dan Morrow - Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE)


Tipping: Ontario's Hospitality Industry and the Tipping Culture 

Tipping culture has growingly become a topic of significant discussion and debate. We will delve into the legal and cost implications surrounding tipping in Ontario, and explore the ever-evolving consumer sentiment towards it. We will hear from one operator that opted do away with the practice and what the impact of has been on the business, staff and customers.

In recent years, the tipping culture has become a topic of significant discussion and debate. Understanding the legal aspects governing gratuities is crucial for both employers and employees in the hospitality industry. This session aims to shed some light on the complexities of tipping regulations, providing valuable insights and guidance for industry professionals. They will delve into important topics, such as minimum wage laws, tip pooling, tip distribution practices, and compliance requirements, offering clarity on legal obligations for businesses in the province.

Furthermore, we will explore the shifting consumer sentiment towards the tipping culture and some of the excesses in expectation and consumer sentiment that continues to grow. With the emergence of alternative models, such as service-inclusive pricing and no-tipping policies in certain establishments, it is vital for hospitality businesses to understand the changing expectations and preferences of their customers. Our panelists will share valuable strategies and considerations for adapting to evolving consumer demands.


Sponsored By: 

Currently Confirmed Speakers:

Corey Mintz - Food Reporter & Consultant

James Rhodes - Taxation Lawyers

Carl Heinrich - Richmond Station 

Francis Léonard - Tip & Go

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