Education Sessions Schedule

The Not-So-Lazy Dog: Chris Simms Keynote

As other casual dining restaurants experience a slowdown, it's full speed ahead for California-based Lazy Dog, which operates 30+ locations across the US. Their remarkable growth is no accident—CEO Chris Simms deliberately build a hand-crafted food concept with a rich, people-focused culture. Learn more about his keys to growth and how to leverage his cultural philosophy, bold innovation, and authenticity in your own business. 


Sunday, July 14, 2019


1:00pm - 2:00pm


Big Bend Big Ideas Stage


Chris Simms, Lazy Dog
David Cantu, HotSchedules


Chris Simms

Chris Simms

Chris Simms has been involved in restaurants all of his life. While attending Cornell University and spending summers in Jackson Hole, WY, Chris worked his way up the ladders of various restaurants and began his career with P.F. Chang’s China Bistro.

A few years later, Chris began work on his own restaurant concept and the first Lazy Dog was born in Huntington Beach, CA in 2003.

As a casual dining concept for the next generation, Lazy Dog serves handcrafted American food and drink with a creative twist. Guests get the taste of life in a small mountain town from the warm, genuine service and the rustic social setting.

As CEO, Chris keeps a close eye on concept innovation and site development. With plans for 6 more restaurants in 2019 in markets across the country, Lazy Dog will have 36 restaurants with the first in Houston later this summer.

david cantu

David Cantu

David Cantu is responsible for building and maintaining strong relationships with customers by engaging with them at all levels to collect and disseminate customer feedback throughout the company. Mr. Cantu's 17+ years of restaurant operations experience have contributed to HotSchedules' product development and innovative solutions to improve restaurant operations scheduling efficiencies, labor management, and increased employee engagement.