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October 4-6, 2021
Sheraton Denver DowntownDenver, CO

CREATE 2021 Program Highlights

October 4th Keynote

Widening the Talent Pipeline: Positioning Brands for the Future

Executives from three leading foodservice companies come together to lead an important conversation on the importance of building a diverse workforce, and how widening the talent pipeline is essential for positioning brands for the future. Learn how to build stronger, more engaged teams and effect positive change within your own organization.

October 5th Keynote

Love is Free. Guac is Extra: How to Empower Employees & Build a Connected Culture

Author, filmmaker, leadership expert and former co-CEO of Chipotle Mexican Grill Monty Moran, who shepherded the brand through a period of dramatic growth, shares how a strong company culture is essential for success. Learn firsthand how to build effective, empowered teams — at a time when recruiting and retaining talent has never been more critical.

October 6th Keynote

State of the Restaurant Industry: Where do we go from here?

Today’s restaurant operators face an unprecedented mix of challenges: extreme need for constant innovation, a blizzard of new technologies, new operational complexities and a tight labor market. If one thing is certain, it’s that nothing is as it used to be and that means the metrics we once used to identify best-in-class performance have changed.

The key to success is a clear understanding of where the industry is — and where it’s headed. In this CREATE keynote, Black Box Intelligence Chief Revenue Officer, Greg Kingen will cover third-party delivery, industry sales/traffic, restaurant workforce and guest sentiment fueled by unparalleled workforce, financial and guest data. Walk away with the performance benchmarking formula that will be pivotal to success in 2022 and beyond.

Hot Concepts Panel

These emerging growth chains are growing fast with on-trend menus, new business models, social purpose missions and new segment approaches. Tap in the minds of some of the most innovative restaurant industry leaders who are poised to become the next big chain!

The CREATORS

Nation’s Restaurant News will be celebrating six restaurant leaders that best embodied a spirit of innovation this past year chosen based on innovation, creativity, scale and impact on their restaurant businesses.   The CREATORS will be celebrated at CREATE on October 5th culminating with the first CREATOR of the Year being announced live.   An in-depth panel discussion to follow on October 6th.

Session formats to fit a changing landscape

Ask the Experts Sessions

These 30 minute Q&A sessions feature relevant and timely questions and instant takeaways for restaurant operators from industry experts.

Fireside Chats

Get up close and personal with some of the biggest names in the foodservice industry during this moderated discussion. 

Lightning Keynotes

A fast-paced, forward thinking, solution-based, no fluff “TED style” presentation focused on data, customer case studies or the benefits of a partner solution.

Raising the Bar

A master-class focused on the future of the bar from both a beverage and food perspective.  Sip and taste the trends during this interactive program held in the brand new Bezel Veiled Bar at the Sheraton Denver Downtown.

Pop Up Festival

Sample new menu items at the Pop-Up Food Festival! This new feature allows you to explore what our partners have to offer.

Industry Celebration

Join us as we reunite as an industry to celebrate as we rise and rebuild and look forward into 2022.

Raising the Bar: The latest in Beverage and Bar Bites

October 4th 1:30pm - 3:00pm

Join us for this informative trends presentation from Datassential.  Sip and taste the trends, sponsored by Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin during this interactive program held in the new Bezel Veiled Bar at the Sheraton Denver Downtown. (Limited seats available)

Texas Pete® Kitchen Hero Cook-Off

Chefs from four top restaurant brands will compete this fall at the inaugural CREATE in Denver, during the 8th annual Texas Pete® Kitchen Hero Cook-Off. These accomplished chefs will square off in a fast-paced competition to create the best dish using a mystery basket of products.


The event, which is sponsored by Texas Pete®, benefits Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry with a $10,000 donation. The winner will be selected by a panel of expert judges and announced live on the morning of Oct. 5. CREATE attendees will get a chance to taste the winning dish at that evening’s celebration.

Meet Up Dinners

Meet Up with other attendees for a casual dinner at one of Denver’s best restaurants.  This is a great opportunity to meet new people and enjoy a delicious dinner compliments of Red Bull and CREATE.  We have reserved a table of 10 at five different restaurants in downtown Denver.  Seating is limited and advance registration is required.  (This event is open to restaurant operators only.)

Sponsored by Red Bull