The 2018 Restaurant Innovation Summit hits Dallas this week, bringing hospitality and food & beverage industry leaders together. With mind-expanding, profit-building insights changing the future of the restaurant industry, the event will offer a chance to network with, learn from, and be inspired by other forward-thinking professionals. The event will take place at the Empire Room in Dallas on Nov. 7 and 8.

Today’s consumers are busier than ever, and where dining out used to be a luxury, it has become the norm for today’s professionals and their families. As a result, restaurant operators, from big chains to Mom & Pop outfits, must be constantly looking to the next generation of business principles, customer service, data management, and technology if they hope to stay relevant.

Last year’s summit was held in Austin, Texas.

“My vision for this year’s Restaurant Innovation Summit was to take our attendees on a journey from the innovations of today through those of tomorrow,” said Laura Chadwick, program director and producer of the Restaurant Innovation Summit.

Wednesday morning, attendees will hit the ground running, literally. With an early morning run/jog/walk along Dallas’s Katy Trail, participants will have the chance to get pumped up for the events of day one, which include valuable presentations on topics including gaming in the industry, digital payment, kiosk design, and more. Wednesday evening’s offerings include a field trip to the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

“On day one, we are focusing on actionable information that restaurants can put to use immediately,” Chadwick stated. “Kiosks are a major area of interest right now in the restaurant industry. At our RIS panel, attendees will hear key insights about designing kiosks around customer experience.  We have put together the most comprehensive panel of experts on this topic yet.”

Thursday morning will also begin with some healthy body movement via sunrise yoga class on the roof of the trendy W Hotel. According to Chadwick, Thursday’s programming “will look to the future. From automation, AI, blockchain, 5G and virtual reality, we have gathered experts from inside and outside the restaurant industry to paint a picture of what’s to come.”

Restaurant owners and operators are motivated by various factors when attending the Restaurant Innovation Summit. Scott Anthony, owner of Punxsy Pizza in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, described what he hopes to gain from participating in RIS 2018:

“Attending the summit is a great opportunity for an independent operator to get on the same platform as industry leaders. Networking with peers forms lifelong relationships with others who are addressing the same issues I do, and together we form a mastermind group. These events keep me relevant with the industry and thus my customers. Being a restaurant operator is a tough job—keeping me from becoming complacent is priceless.”