At this year’s Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show, leading industry experts, handpicked by Ferdinand Metz, Master Chef and head of the Culinary Institute of America for more than 20 years, will be among the keynote speakers at the second annual Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum. There will be Fast and Furious 30-minute sessions to provide restaurant owners the keys to building a successful foodservice business by boosting revenues, growing margins, building loyalty, minimizing risk, and staying healthy in this challenging economy.

During the course of the three-day event, there will be five featured Keynote Presentations in addition to the full conference program. The five keynote presenters include:

* George McKerrow, owner of Ted’s Montana Grill will present 10 Ways to Go Green in Florida. During this dynamic presentation, McKerrow will share his insights on the impact of the industry and will talk about how now is the time to make environmentally responsible choices in the operation of our nation’s restaurants. Friday, September 5, 2008 – 2:00 – 3:00 pm.

* The Green Restaurant Association will offer the Sustainable Education Series, which will be kicked off by a keynote address by Michael Oshman, Executive Director who will talk about The Environmentally Sustainable Restaurant. Other topics in the series during the three-day event will include Water, Sustainable Food, Recycling, Composting, and Sustainable Packaging and Chemicals. Friday, September 5, 2008 – 12:00 – 1:00 pm.

* Dick Rivera, President & CEO of Rubicon Enterprises will discuss From Corporate to Entrepreneur Transition. Rivera has served as president and chief operating officer over companies such as Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, and Seasons 52. He is a veteran in the restaurant industry who is responsible for the day-to-day operations at the world’s largest casual dining company. Rubicon Enterprises is a restaurant management and development company focused on their two brands: TGI Friday’s and Marlow’s Tavern. Saturday, September 6, 2008 – 11:00 am – 12:00 pm.

* Steve Zipkoff, President and CEO of Zipkoff Solutions will present Serving Customer Delight – Establishing, Supporting, and Accelerating Revenue Growth. Zipkoff will talk about the simplistic method to maximize business potential by creating an atmosphere of delight so unique that customers will want to come back again an again, and employees will want to remain employees. Saturday, September 6, 2008 – 12:30 – 1:30 pm

* Ferdinand Metz will discuss Food Sense during his keynote presentation on Saturday afternoon, where he will examine and highlight the things that restaurateurs do every day that don’t make any sense. Saturday, September 6, 2008 – 2:30 – 3:00 pm

In addition to the keynote speakers, there will be more than 30 world-class sessions offering foodservice business education and insight into trends and best practices. Topics include recession proofing, sustaining drinkable water, signature drinks, restaurant revenue, full service restaurant trends, marketing, beverages, franchising, innovative restaurant marketing ideas, better hiring practices, the road to operational excellence, the latest food trends, simple menu enhancements, practical paths to improve the environment, and legal strategies.

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