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Opal Group’s Hospitality & Restaurant Facilities Summit 2023

Opal Group hosted its highly anticipated Hospitality & Restaurant Facilities Summit 2023, where the creme de la creme of the hospitality and restaurant industry in America gathered for three days of networking, learning, and sharing ideas. The picturesque Chateau Elan Winery & Resort, Braselton, GA, April 23rd -25th, provided the perfect setting for such an esteemed event. Executives from some of the largest and most successful companies came together to exchange insights and discuss the future of their industry. The 2023 summit was an unparalleled opportunity to learn from some of the business’s best minds and forge vital connections.

The hospitality & Restaurant industries have significantly transformed in recent years as demanding consumers increasingly seek out unique and purposeful experiences. In response, brands have been exploring new ways to test the boundaries and create activated spaces that maximize consumer engagement. Design plays a vital role in this process, allowing brands to connect with consumers emotionally and drive revenue. As a result, we are seeing a proliferation of innovative solutions that integrate automation and robotics to provide consumers with a convenient and seamless experience. In today’s competitive marketplace, it’s clear that forward-thinking brands need to stay at the forefront of this ever-evolving landscape to succeed.

This Summit brought together professionals from the industry to engage in dialogue and share knowledge on how to create cutting-edge designs and services. The rapidly changing consumer landscape demands innovation, and attendees discussed ways to revolutionize projects with fresh concepts. Roundtable talks allowed for deeper insights and collaboration, leading to innovative strategies that set businesses apart. By focusing on the latest trends in design and services, attendees can offer customers an exceptional experience that leaves a lasting impression.

The Hospitality & Restaurant Facilities Summit commenced with a Wine Tasting & Food Pairing experience at the elegant Chateau Elan Winery & Resort. The stunning scenery and delectable offerings set the stage for informative discussions and networking opportunities to follow; There, professionals in the hospitality and restaurant industries were able to engage with one another and gain valuable insights into the latest trends and innovations.

Federico Moreno-Nickerson, Vice President of the LatAm Inclusive Collection for Hyatt and Apple Leisure Group/AMR Collection, started with his presentation on customer needs in all-inclusive luxury services. Subsequent captivating presentations for the Hospitality portion of the event explored topics such as “The Economy Hotel Concept: Sexy Balance Sheet vs. Sexy Asset” by Ali Jamal, Chief Executive Officer Stablegold Hospitality, and Nishant Chaudhary, Director of Operations Chateau Elan Winery & Resort, whose presentation highlighted unique dining experiences. An inspiring event was offered to Hospitality professionals through an eclectic lineup of presentations, panels, and discussions, from which insights were gained that will undoubtedly shape this vital industry’s future.

The restaurant presentations of the Summit were met with enthusiasm when Aaron Harris, Senior Vice President of Development for Dutch Bros Coffee, kicked off the presentations with “Dutch Bros’ Race from 275 to 800 in 5 Years.” some of the other topics included revolutionary insights and strategies on energy efficiency presented by Matthew Nemerson, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships & Robert Simons, Chief Sales Officer at Budderfly, as well as Dana Hathaitham, VP of Business Development at Ghost Kitchen Brands, who offered a thought-provoking discussion about social media and its ability to connect traditional marketing avenues with millennial audiences. These key panels extended knowledge within a vital industry that left attendees both informed and inspired.

Closing the Hospitality & Restaurant Facilities Summit 2023 was no small task, but Gurinder Kehr from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf stepped up to be moderator alongside a panel of esteemed experts: Jessica Aleman from Benihana, RA Sushi; Michelle Jensen Session, Co-Founder, and Chief Business Development Officer at Aquarius Hospitality Solutions; Ron Wichowski, Vice President of Operations for Dimension Hospitality. This powerhouse team discussed “Future Trends in Design and Development,” which created the spark that inspired conversations around innovative approaches that can revolutionize restaurant design and development.

Are you looking to stay ahead of the curve in Facilities Management? Look no further than Opal Group’s Facilities summits! Join industry leaders nationwide to discuss current trends, innovative technologies, and best practices and debate the Facilities Management industry’s challenges.

Are you interested in learning more? Visit to explore related summits, and register today to secure your spot!



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