Are you looking to expand your new(ish) fast casual concept? If so, we want to hear all about it at this year's Fast Casual Executive Summit, Oct. 22-24 in Nashville.
We are now accepting entries for our third annual competition, The Perfect Pitch — what we like to describe as a friendlier version of "Shark Tank." It's aimed at owners of new fast casual concepts looking to pitch their brands to a room of potential investors and franchisees at the summit.
To enter restaurant concepts must meet three guidelines:
Entries are being accepted through June 2. Three finalists will be selected by Aug. 8 to make their five-minute pitch on Oct. 24 at the summit. At the conclusion of the session, attendees will vote on the concept they believe is most likely to succeed in its expansion plans.
What do I win?
All finalists will receive free advice from industry experts and two complementary passes to attend this year's summit, but must cover their own travel and accommodations. The winner will receive bragging rights and hotel and registration for FCES 2018 for one.
Last year's winner was Rockfire Grill based in California, a two-unit brand built around the idea that fresh-baked bread straight out of the oven is hard to beat.
The father-and-son team of Raj and Neil Syal won over the crowd at last year's summit.
"Nothing compares to hot fresh bread right out of the oven," the elder Syal told the audience. "In India, we have a term for this that means 'hot and fresh, straight from the fire.'"
Raj Syal said participating in The Perfect Pitch gave him a better perspective on how financing works and helped him hold off on his growth strategy of franchising too soon.
"Instead, (the event and panel of experts) directed us into planning a flagship model first," he said.
That unit will open later this year.
Click here to nominate your brand for this year's Perfect Pitch. Nominations close June. 2.
The 2015 winner was Pincho Factory.
Cover photo: Rockfire Grill co-owner Neil Syal makes his pitch at the 2016 Fast Casual Executive Summit.
Topics: Franchising & Growth