2016 RLPSA Conference: Day One


The mission of the 2016 Restaurant Loss Prevention and Security Association (RLPSA) annual conference—“Transforming Our Industry, Together”—was in evidence as day one of the event got underway yesterday at the La Cantera Hill Resort in San Antonio, Texas.

Restaurant industry leaders gathered first thing in the morning to hear a keynote address from Blaine Hurst, executive vice president and chief transformation and growth officer for Panera Bread. Hurst did an admirable job of sharing inspiring ideas about innovating in your own business. “Take what you do well and extend it,” he urged attendees, explaining that it’s not about the technology you use, but the integration of technology into the guest experience at your restaurant. Hurst also reminded attendees not to “boil the ocean” straightaway; in other words, keep your steps small and actionable. If your end goal is to boil the ocean, start small with a cup of tea.

After Hurst’s keynote, Chalmers Brothers, the founder of New Possibilities Coaching, LLC and former TEDx speaker, discussed “Leadership, Conversations, and Results” in his morning session.

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Mark McKinney, vice president of Orion Technology Services, wrapped up the morning by sharing valuable thoughts on cybersecurity issues in a final session. McKinney emphasized the cybersecurity risks faced by restaurants, which some criminals consider lucrative areas for attack based on the increased value of stolen personal and financial data on the black market.

Following a “Power Lunch,” during which attendees were able to chat with RLPSA members about restaurant challenges and solutions, the exhibit hall opened for business. Attendees and solution providers had two hours to network and discuss both established and emerging technologies.

The breakout sessions in the afternoon kicked off with a conversation led by Chris Manning, director of loss prevention for Wendy’s, and Basia Pietrawska, vice president of crime intelligent analysis for CAP Index. In “Mitigating Risk through Proactive Compliance,” the Wendy’s team shared insights and success stories to help RLPSA attendees deal with robberies, burglaries and aggravated assaults through risk management best practices. Such practices include keeping low funds in registers, proper placement of public view monitors, and more. The talk was a popular one with standing room only (see image).

Other breakout sessions included “POWER Play Series: Safety Tools,” a panel moderated by Mike Keeler of Bloomin’ Brands; “Evolving Your Mindset: Workers’ Compensation Fraud Resolution” with Kurt Leisure, vice president of risk services with the Cheesecake Factory, Inc.; and “5 Actionable Tips to Avoiding Employee Lawsuits” with Joel J. Greenwald, Esq., managing partner at Greenwald Doherty LLP. The busy day concluded with a reception in the exhibit hall.

Read the Day One recap of last year’s RLPSA conference.

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