The 13th annual Canadian Restaurant Investment & Leadership Summits are almost here! We will be in Toronto on Thursday November 2nd, 2023 at The Second Floor Events and in Vancouver on Thursday November 9th, 2023 at The Fairmont Vancouver.
As always, we are very grateful to all our speakers, sponsors and delegates for their contributions over the years. Without all your support, we could not make the Summit such a great success!
We have curated a wonderful agenda with our three keynote panels and expert speakers to ensure you are learning and networking with some of the best thought leaders from our industry!
Schedule at A Glance!
Welcome & Registration | Sponsor Showcase
Opening Remarks | State of the Industry
Networking Break | Sponsor Showcase
CEO Panel Discussion
The F-WORD Panel
Sponsor Showcase | Cocktail Reception
What we are planning
Canadian Restaurant Investment & Leadership Summit 2023!
On November 2nd in Toronto and on November 9th in Vancouver, we will be hosting the 13th annual Restaurant Summit that focuses on delivering thought leadership around the industry's most topical issues. CEOs and executives from leading brands along with industry experts, will share their perspectives on the future of the foodservice industry in Canada.
Session # 1
The Foodservice State of the Nation
The restaurant industry is always evolving, and it has certainly weathered some crazy storms over the past few years. Experience, inside and outside the restaurant, has become top of mind, and innovation is a dominating trend here to stay in 2023.
For the ninth consecutive year, Circana and CWB Franchise Finance will explore consumer, economic and financial trends. They will take a deep dive into how restaurants have to look at strategies and concepts like neve before as they navigate changing consumer dining preferences and economic conditions.
Join us as we kick-off the 13th annual Canadian Restaurant Investment & Leadership Summit with the Foodservice State of the Nation presentation. We will discuss the change happening in our industry, what might be here to stay and what might be gone for good!
AVP Restaurants & Breweries, CWB Franchise Finance
Vince Sgabellone, Circana
Vince has worked in many different roles across the food and foodservice industry. From sales to marketing, distribution to product development, from manufacturers to operators. All of this has served him well since entering the research industry with The NPD Group more than a decade ago. In his role Vince combines his analytic abilities and natural curiosity with his expertise in the industry. He helps his clients to understand the market, the competition, and the consumer.
Session # 2
The CEO Panel
Join us for a conversation with restaurant and franchise CEOs from across Canada, discussing the evolution of the restaurant industry. They will discuss what trends they think are leading the charge in 2023, what role the unstable economy is playing in their businesses, and how the entire restaurant experience has been reimagined from just three years ago.
Michael Harbinson, Boston Pizza
As Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Boston Pizza International Inc. (BPI) and Boston Pizza, GP Inc. (BPGP) (the managing general partner of the Boston Pizza Royalties Income Fund), Michael Harbinson oversees the financial planning, financial accounting, internal audit, payroll, treasury and investor relations functions for both companies.
Ritou Maloni, Pür & Simple
Ritou Maloni is the Co-Founder, President and COO of Pür & Simple, a proudly Canadian-owned breakfast and lunch franchise. Originally founded in Quebec in 2016, Pür & Simple has become one of Canada’s fastest growing breakfast chains with more than 30 locations from the Maritimes to British Columbia. Ritou is driven by a passion for hospitality that has allowed her and her team to successfully reinvent breakfast, bringing affordable luxury to diners from coast to coast.
Hadi Chahin, MBI Brands
Hadi Chahin is the CEO for MBI brands which includes Mary Brown’s Chicken and Fat Bastard Burrito. Hadi holds a Master’s degree in Restaurant and Hotel Management. He started his career in the USA working for Marriott hotels before he moved to Canada where he held many leadership positions with Sodexo Canada and Compass Group Canada. Hadi joined MBI brands in 2017 as President and COO for Mary Brown’s and he assumed the CEO role after the acquisition of Fat Bastard Burritos.
Dustin May, Fox & Crane
Dustin May is the President and CEO of Fox and Crane Restaurant Group a leading Canadian franchisor of premium fast causal restaurants. The current portfolio of brands includes Noodlebox, Meat & Bread and Good Taco. Dustin is a values driven leader that is passionate about driving business growth through aligning people and priorities. He has over 20 years experience with multi unit leadership and brand development in the apparel and food service industries.
Ben Osmow, Osmow's
Ben Osmow doesn’t wait on the sidelines for his moment to make an impact, he’s already making changes with his strategic business plan to expand Osmow’s footprint across North America. Overseeing a number of depts. Including Operations, Finance, Legal, Procurement, Project Management, Real Estate & Franchising. He’s a skilled leader with a MBA & a demonstrated history of success in the industry. This success has led Osmow’s to be awarded the Deloitte Best Managed Company for 3 years running.
Axel Schwan, Tim Hortons
Axel Schwan was appointed as President, Tim Hortons Canada & US in October 2019 after serving as Global Chief Marketing Officer for Tim Hortons since October 2017. Mr. Schwan first joined RBI as Marketing Director, Germany, Austria and Switzerland in 2011 and was then appointed as Vice President, Marketing and Communications, EMEA for Burger King before advancing to the role of Global Chief Marketing Officer for the brand in January 2014.
Jacque Lefebvre, Dairy Farmers of Canada
Jacques Lefebvre is a seasoned leader with over 20 years of experience in senior management teams. In his current role, as CEO, he has, among other things, led the team responsible for negotiations with the federal government to compensate dairy farmers for the impacts of successive trade agreements. These negotiations resulted in the industry receiving some $3 billion in compensation.
Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada
Session # 3
The F-WORD Panel
The past few years have been tumultuous for our industry. We have overused words like COVID and PIVOT. The F-WORD Panel will take time to talk about everyone’s favourite word, the F-WORD: Food, Franchise, Finance, Future and the actual F-WORD.
Let’s hear from experts as they discuss what’s trending with all our favourite
F-WORDS and what is actually making them say ‘F’ in the industry today!
Lee Jackson, JLL
Lee's diverse background in food & beverage operations, commercial real estate and technology has organically led him to his position today as a founding business line advisor for JLL Digital Solutions Advisory where his team assess 1000’s of technology solutions. He is a consultant and a connector for the commercial real estate, venture capital, property technology, retail, and food + beverage industries.
Jordan Huck, Notch Financial
Jordan Huck is an accomplished entrepreneur and business executive with a proven track record in building successful businesses. From 2007 to 2018, he played pivotal roles at Veritaaq, as owner, COO, and ultimately as the CEO. Under Jordan's guidance, Veritaaq experienced remarkable growth, with its revenue skyrocketing from $20 million to over $240 million by 2019. As CEO, Jordan demonstrated exceptional leadership, more than doubling the company's enterprise value between 2016 and 2018.
Sam Sokoloff, Cassels
Sam Sokoloff is a lawyer at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP who specializes in franchising and intellectual property related matters. Sam’s practice involves assisting clients with drafting and negotiating franchise and licensing agreements, as well as the protection, enforcement, and licensing of intellectual property rights, and compliance with Canadian franchise legislation.
Naira Saeed, Tim Hortons
Naira Saeed oversees Finance for the North American, Supply Chain and CPG businesses as well as restaurant profitability at Tim Hortons. Over her five and a half years with RBI, she has held numerous roles at Tims including VP of Franchising, General Manager for Ontario East and Canada Finance. Prior to joining RBI, Ms. Saeed spent several years in the finance sector with a focus on mergers and acquisitions and she also worked at the Canadian Central Bank.
Ted Fleming, Partake Brewing
Partake makes award-winning non-alcoholic brews for people who dive into all life’s pursuits and passions. Our refreshing, 10-30 calorie craft beverages don’t skimp on flavor either. Whether you’re moving and shaking, creating or musing, Partake is the perfect complement to all that fuels you.
Matt Lattanzio is a revenue leader with over 13 years of experience in the hospitality and software space. Currently VP of Marketing at Notch, Matt oversees demand generation, content marketing and the business development team. Formerly Director of Marketing at 7shifts and VP of Marketing at Hero Certified Burgers, Matt's passion and understanding of this space has led to repeatable growth in revenue.
Ian Milford, JROSS Hospitality
CWB Franchise Finance has been hosting the Canadian Restaurant Investment & Leadership Summit since 2010 and is honoured to continue to bring the industry together with this conference.
The members of the CWB Franchise Finance team are experts in providing both corporate franchisor and franchisee-level financing for prominent restaurant brands and leading hotel owners in Canada. We believe in getting to know the operations, opportunities, and challenges of each of our clients so we are able to provide them with customized, flexible financing solutions that will help them achieve their business goals. CWB Franchise Finance is a division of Canadian Western Bank.