This week I am tweeting and blogging for the Restaurant Leadership Conference being held in Scottsdale, Arizona. This is a terrific event that has grown steadily over the years for many reasons: an extremely attractive late winter destination (especially this winter!); the relationships built over two decades between franchisors, franchisees, lenders, solutions providers, operators and industry experts; significant thought leadership that this year includes real life heroes, CEO’s, and a US President. As they say, it’s all good.
RLC always adds another very special dimension to that mix; it’s own CARRE Foundation. Paying it forward, and serving the community beyond these four days is just part of their DNA. This year the Westin Keirland seems to have turned orange, raising awareness and support for #NoKidHungry, Share Our Strength’s platform to end childhood hunger in the US. The facts are pretty straightforward. There are 16 million kids in this country who do not always have enough to eat; especially in the summer, or when school is closed. Hungry kids don’t learn, get sick, drop out of school, and potentially end up being a drain on our society and our businesses.
Some of the leading executives in the industry including John Miller, CEO of Denny’s; George McKerrow, CEO of Ted’s Montana Grill; Jim Vinz, Co-CEO of LeDuff, Dawn Sweeney, CEO of the National Restaurant Association, Diana Hovey, CMO of Corner Bakery, Rob Taylor, Founder of Splickit and so many others are here to share their experiences supporting #NoKidHungry. In a nutshell, they will tell you that it is possible to do well while we are doing good. No kid should worry about their next meal. These are our future employees and guests. Thank you CARRE and #NoKidHungry for giving us a chance to be leaders who are making a difference.