The Restaurant Leadership Conference kicks off in Scottsdale

Denny’s CEO John Miller kicked off this year’s Restaurant Leadership Conference with a call on the executives in attendance to suspend competitive considerations and end childhood hunger as an industry.

“You’d be an exception in this audience if you did not already have a cause,” Miller said in a cocktail reception that opened—unofficially—the event. “I’m not asking you to choose, I’m asking you to give us a week in September” to “end an embarrassing American issue that many lesser nations have resolved.”

Miller urged the 1,200 restaurateurs attending this year’s RLC to participate in the Dine Out week of No Kid Hungry, Share Our Strength’s program for ending childhood hunger. Consumers are encouraged to eat in restaurants that agree to donate a portion of their proceeds from the September Dine Out week to combat childhood hunger. 

The RLC officially opens at 4:30 p.m. on March 31. But a number of networking activities are held beforehand, including the early arrivals’ cocktail party that Miller addressed. The former Brinker International and Taco Bueno executive is this year’s co-chair of the RLC’s charitable event.

The RLC extends through April 2, with addresses from such notables as President Bill Clinton; Bernie Marcus, co-founder of The Home Depot; and Marcus Lutrell, the real Lone Survivor. The conference’s 1,800 attendees are also invited to partake of more than 30 breakout sessions and networking activities that range from meal breaks to a visit to a shooting range.

The event is presented by CSP Business Media, the publisher of Restaurant Business and Restaurant Business Online. 

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