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Research over the past year has shown that restaurants serving innovative desserts and beverages are seeing increased traffic and check spend. That trend has inspired this year's Fast Casual Executive Summit to open the event with "New Menu Stars: Beverages and Desserts," a special session to teach attendees how to create, market and launch specialty menu items, said Cherryh Butler, editor of FastCasual.com and hostess of the Summit set for Oct. 13-15 in New Orleans.
"We've been tracking this trend and restaurants serving unique desserts and beverages are ahead of the game," she said. "Whether it's shakes, smoothies, slushy drinks, coffee-infused or adult beverages, this trend is only going to grow."
The panel features several industry experts who have been key players in launching successful dessert and beverages programs, including:
Moderating the panel is Rolie Zagnoli, managing director of Zagnoli Trading Company, which specializes in helping restaurants create beverage programs. Clients have included McDonald's, Au Bon Pain and Dunkin' Brands.
The panel, Zagnoli said, will help restaurant operators tackle every aspect of creating, launching and marketing dessert and beverages, including:
Registration for the 8th annual Fast Casual Executive Summit is now open at FastCasualSummit.com.
Photo: Courtesy of cutefoodforkids.com.