By Saper Law | May 2, 2012
New Panelists Confirmed for The May 16 Food Business Seminar at Saper Law!
Our panelists will discuss several aspects of the food industry, sharing their knowledge on everything from fast food to fine food and from distribution to franchising. Daliah Saper will serve as the moderator.
Our panelists, (read their bios below), will generally speak on the following topics:
- R.J. Melman will discuss the buzz building process for a new restaurant concept;
- Matt Matros and Florian Pfahler will discuss the trials and triumphs of starting up a new fast food business;
- Matt Grove and Rakesh Patel will outline the complicated world of distribution;
- David Grossman will share his wisdom about franchising and securing the right location for a new business.
Ample time for questions.
R.J. Melman is a corporate partner of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (Hub 51, M Street Kitchen, Stella Rossa Pizza Bar, Paris Club and RPM Italian) with extensive experience in the restaurant industry. In the past, he has consulted on numerous restaurant projects, and served in management roles for a number of Lettuce Entertain You properties, including R.J. Grunts in Lincoln Park.
Matt Matros is the owner and creator of Protein Bar. In 2009, Matt was inspired to create a healthy alternative to the chain fast food outlets clogging the loop. During the past three years, Matt has grown the Protein Bar brand to great effect: it is now one of the most popular downtown lunch destinations, and the business continues to expand to new locations.
Rakesh Patel is the president of Raja Foods. He has made it his mission to bring the flavor and tradition of India into American households. He and his brother, Swetal Patel, have grown what started as the procurement division of a chain of Indian groceries into a $30 million dollar business in its own right, with its brand of Swad packaged foods appearing at stores such as Meijer, K-mart, and Dominick’s, as well as several specialty retailers and wholesalers.
Florian Pfahler is the founder of Hannah’s Bretzel. In 2004, Florian stepped into Whole Foods Market for the first time and was instantly struck by the store’s emphasis on healthier eating and environmental awareness. This led Florian, then a marketing director at Leo Burnett Advertising, to open up Hannah’s Bretzel, a casual sandwich shop catering to Chicagoans who want to eat well without harming their health or the environment. Business has been booming ever since.
Matt Grove is the managing partner and president of Katama Company. Under Matt’s guidance, Katama has become the largest organic beef company in the United States, selling products throughout North America and Europe. He has played a significant role in transforming organic beef from a niche market product to a grocery store staple and has worked hard to bring all manner of organic and sustainable food products to the public: during the last decade, Matt raised over $35 million dollars in private investment for like-minded companies. His current projects include Affordable Organics, a program that has successfully brought organic products to bargain retailers such as Grocery Outlet.
David Grossman is the master franchisee of Freshii restaurants in Chicago. An industry expert, David previously worked for Subway as director of real estate, opening over 100 locations in Chicago. He then went on to work with General Growth Properties, leasing spaces to a myriad of different high-profile brands, including Corner Bakery, McDonald’s, and Panera Bread. David’s latest project is Freshii, a quick service chain devoted to healthy eating and green living. He has opened six locations already and is well on his way to fulfilling his goal of opening forty locations within the next ten years.
Space is limited. Sign up today.Details:
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Saper Law Offices, LLC
630 North State Street, Second Floor
Chicago, IL 60654
Time: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Cost $15 with online registration, $25 at the door.
Register here: http://maysaperseminar.eventbrite.com/
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