US Foods Holding Corp. announced that its popular panel discussion series, Talk Shop Live!, is returning this fall. The series is designed to help restaurant operators “Make It” by bringing together a diverse group of experts to share honest thoughts on culinary, social, cultural and economic factors in the food industry. This year, award-winning chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson will host the four-city tour that addresses timely topics such as the skilled labor shortage, food waste and attracting customers in competitive environments.

The tour will kick-off on September 11 in Denver, and continue in Detroit; Austin, Texas; and Raleigh, North Carolina. Throughout the tour, hundreds of local restaurant owners and operators will engage directly with local panelists, have open conversations about the issues they face and take away actionable insights and solutions for their business. The tour will wrap-up with key highlights showcased during the company’s Food Fanatics Live event in New York on October 24.

“I’m looking forward to teaming up with US Foods to host these conversations, discover new ways to help operators stay on top of important issues and ultimately help chefs and restaurant owners be successful,” says Chef Samuelsson. “While building my career as a chef and restaurant owner, I’ve learned that the best way to face challenges in this industry is with honest conversation.”

Chef Samuelsson will moderate each of the four Talk Shop Live! events and will be joined by local chefs, restaurant owners and industry experts. Each event will focus on one of the following topics:

Skilled Labor Shortage: As the restaurant industry continues to surge, with a forecast of 1.7 million new restaurant positions by 20251, there is an overwhelming need for trained and dedicated staff. These discussions will focus on identifying solutions for finding skilled labor in foodservice now, including the most effective and profitable ways to schedule and train staff.

Food Waste: About 11.4 million tons of food is wasted annually by the U.S. restaurant industry, which costs about $25 billion per year2. Waste is a costly part of running a restaurant, but it can be reduced with effective solutions. Talk Shop Live! will explore how chefs and operators can reduce over-ordered, over-prepped and over-portioned food in their restaurants by streamlining ordering and inventory and using leftovers in creative ways.

Attracting Customers in Competitive Environments: According to the National Restaurant Association’s research and knowledge group, there are more than one million restaurants in the U.S. and about 10,000 units are added each year3. In order to succeed, having a steady stream of customers is a non-negotiable. And in today’s digital world, that means making sure your online presence drives customers through your doors. This discussion will focus on what information and tools restaurants need to be competitive and drive diners from the web into restaurants.

Below are the stops and dates for the 2018 Talk Shop Live! tour:

  • Denver, Colo., Tuesday, Sept. 11 (Skilled Labor Shortage)
  • Detroit, Mich., Tuesday, Sept. 25 (Skilled Labor Shortage)
  • Austin, Texas, Monday, Oct. 1 (Food Waste)
  • Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, Oct. 16 (Driving Traffic)

“Talk Shop Live! is a key example of our collaborative approach to being a partner and trusted resource independent restaurants can depend on for innovative business solutions,” says Diane Hund, senior vice president of marketing, US Foods. “The panels are addressing complicated and timely issues facing the industry. As part of our ‘Great Food. Made Easy’ strategy, it’s our mission to bring operators across the country actionable insights and solutions to these pain points.”

To learn more about Talk Shop Live! events, get information on featured panelists and watch the live streams of the events, please visit

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