Partners + Napier to Host Breakout Panel at Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit

Sharon Napier will moderate discussion on what restaurants can learn from the retail industry
February 13, 2020

Representatives of leading restaurant concepts from around the world will gather at the Restaurant Franchising and Innovation Summit in Atlanta March 16-18 to gain insight and inspiration to help them be more progressive in every facet of their business.

At this year’s event, Partners + Napier will host a breakout panel discussion entitled “Connect, Diversify, Differentiate: What Restaurants Can Learn From Retail.” As oversaturation and the onslaught of e-commerce transformed the retail industry, restaurants now face a similar challenge: too many options and not enough customers to go around. Panel attendees will walk away with actionable insights and ideas on how best to position their restaurants for growth in an age of industry disruption.

Partners + Napier Chair & Founder Sharon Napier will moderate the panel, featuring these seasoned voices from across the fast casual industry: Scott Davis of CoreLife Eatery, Paul Damico of Naf Naf Middle Eastern Grill, and James Walker of Nathan’s Famous.

Meet the panelists:

Scott Davis, President, CoreLife Eatery

Scott Davis joined the CoreLife Eatery team in September 2016 to head up menu development and guide strategic brand growth. Scott’s experience during the growth of both Au Bon Pain and Panera Bread make him an invaluable asset to CoreLife Eatery. Scott served as Chief Concept Officer for Panera Bread from the inception of the brand until December 2014, during which time he oversaw menu development, category management, restaurant design, and sustainability efforts. Scott led many key initiatives that drove the long-term success of Panera Bread as it became a leader in the fast casual segment of the restaurant industry.

Paul Damico, CEO, Naf Naf Grill

Paul Damico is Chief Executive Officer of Chicago-based Naf Naf Middle Eastern Grill. Prior to joining Naf Naf, Paul served as President of Focus Brands based in Atlanta, GA, where he oversaw six brands comprising over 5,000 locations for Moe’s Southwest Grill, McAlister’s Deli, Schlotzsky’s Deli, Cinnabon, Carvel, and Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. Prior to this role he was President of Moe’s Southwest Grill. Paul also previously served as Chief Operating Officer for SSP America, a leading airport concessions company based in VA. Prior to SSP, he co-founded FoodBrand, LLC, a company that specialized in the development of restaurants in malls and airports.

James Walker, SVP, Restaurants,
Nathan’s Famous

James Walker, CFE, is a top restaurant industry expert with a specialty in rebranding and repositioning iconic American comfort food brands. James is an industry-leading authority in restaurant technology and delivery channels, and he specializes in mergers & acquisitions, domestic and international development, operations, franchising, and new product development. With more than 30 years of broad-based, senior-level management experience in the hospitality and retail industries, James has served as President, Chief Development Officer, as well as in Senior Operations and New Product Development positions for brands such as Baja Fresh, Cinnabon, Johnny Rockets and Subway.