It is with great regret that Winsight LLC, the parent company of Restaurant Business, announces the unavoidable cancellation of this year’s Restaurant Leadership Conference, scheduled for March 22-25 in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Given that this event draws more than 2,000 of the most progressive and influential professionals in the restaurant industry every year, Winsight explored numerous options to keep it on schedule and understands the disappointment of sponsors and operators who had spent months planning to attend.
Yet there were three overriding concerns that have mandated this result:
First, amid the uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic, Winsight feels that the safety of staff and attendees is paramount. Everybody must be kept safe.
Second, an increasing number of government and public health officials have called for banning events with more than 1,000 people, and more than 250 in some states. Arizona has declared a state of emergency, and every professional and major college sports program has been forced to suspend events. It is clear that the officials responsible for maintaining public health are moving in only one direction.
Third, Restaurant Leadership’s sponsors and partners support the conference at considerable expense and are entitled to a high return on investment, which has become impossible based on the current and growing pace of attendee cancellations.
“We are so thankful for the support that has already been shown to us,” said Kurt Reisenberg, president of Winsight LLC. “Many of our sponsors and attendees rightly see themselves as friends and members of the extended Winsight/RLC family. This is precisely why we consulted transparently with our stakeholders and took every step possible to keep this event going. In the end, the health and well-being of our community requires that RLC not go forward at this time. We thank you for your patience and understanding as we all work through this difficult time together.”