Day 1002: Savory Fund Restaurantology Conference
Our oldest is a freshman at University of Utah, so when the opportunity to attend Savory Fund’s annual event in Salt Lake City landed in my inbox, I jumped on it.
The dinner and gelato with Tibby was the highlight, but the gathering of up-and-coming restaurant concepts from around the country did not disappoint. I found myself taking copious notes, paying careful attention to the speakers, submitting questions in almost every session, and reminding myself that younger, less experienced entrepreneurs have so much to offer despite, or maybe because of, their youth.
For years I’ve dreaded restaurant conferences because too many times I boarded my flight home entirely uninspired. The industry was so straightforward in its collective desire to maximize profit in nearly any way possible.
Today I heard different narratives. In some ways it felt more like a B Corporation or Conscious Capitalism conference than a restaurant conference. Caring for and listening to people, developing people to lead better lives and futures, consideration for making employees’ lives at work easier as opposed to just saying “yes” to guests… all discussion points rarely heard in the standard conferences I’ve attended since the late 90’s.
The Savory Fund team was incredibly impressive… and nice to boot. Maybe its good old Salt Lake City – or Utah – hospitality.Whatever it was, I have to hope that the future of restaurants – which I’ve been fairly pessimistic about for some time – is looking brighter.