After steering McDonald’s through a key period in its domestic development, Ed Rensi is building a next-generation burger chain that’s widely hailed as a concept to watch. He’ll draw on both aspects of his career for a candid look at how the strategies for chain success have changed, a rare appearance slated for the 2012 Restaurant Leadership Conference.
“Updating the Special Sauce” will be a keynote address at the top-to-top meeting, which is scheduled for March 25-28 in Scottsdale, AZ. Rensi will play off the conference’s theme, “Winning in a Changed World,” with a discussion of how the challenges he faces in his new venture, the upstart Tom & Eddie’s burger chain, differ from those he addressed during the 13 years he led McDonald’s USA, first as president/COO and later as CEO. During that time, McDonald’s U.S. sales more than doubled, topping $16 billion annually. Rensi retired from the corporation in 1997.
Rensi has promised to sprinkle his presentation with some of what he learned during the 31 years he spent in total at McDonald’s, starting as a grill man in 1966.
He will also speak about Tom & Eddie’s, the fast-casual burger concept he’s launched with another McDonald’s alumnus, former executive vice president Tom Dentice. Four units, all in Illinois, are currently open.
The Restaurant Leadership Conference, a sister venture of Monkeydish.com and Restaurant Business magazine, is an invitation-only event that brings together the leaders of the chain-restaurant business. More than 1,400 franchisees, franchisors and suppliers attended last year’s conference.