Education Sessions Schedule

Our Favorite Restaurant Disruptions

Kiosks, contactless payment, cashless restaurants, robotics, and other emerging technologies are already changing the foodservice industry. Is your restaurant business ready for the future?

Join our panelists as they lead you through their top 10 technology trends that will disrupt the restaurant industry. They'll tell you who the players are, what segment will be impacted first, and how to take advantage of all these great new tools to increase your guest count and bottom line.


Sunday, July 15, 2018


2:00pm - 2:45pm


Silicon Hills Tech Stage


Robert Hale, Texas Beef Council
Thomas Nguyen, Peli Peli Restaurant Group
Anna Tauzin Rice, Texas Restaurant Association
Chris Tripoli, A’ La Carte Foodservice Consulting Group

robert hale

Robert Hale

Robert C Hale is the Foodservice & Culinary Marketing Manager with the Texas Beef Council. He has spent most of his life in the restaurant business and calls the back of the house home. He now works to strengthen the demand for Beef in Texas with many different restaurant groups, independent chefs, high school/post-secondary culinary students and educators along with chef and restaurant associations across the state of Texas. For the past 10 years he has been the Emcee and “Voice of the Texas ProStart High School Culinary Competitions.” Robert is due complete the American Culinary Federation Culinary Certification in May of this year.

thomas nguyen

Thomas Nguyen

Thomas Nguyen is a co-founder/CEO of Peli Peli, a South African fine-dining concept currently ranked in the top 10 in Houston on both Tripadvisor and Yelp, and Peli Peli Kitchen, a South African fast casual concept that was featured on CNBC's Restaurant Startup.

An alum of the University of Texas at Austin and University of Texas School of Law, Thomas practiced for three years as a commercial and civil litigation attorney.

Thomas is a 2015 Houston Business Journal 40 Under 40 recipient, 2016 Houston Asian Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year and 2017 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist. Thomas is also a freelance food writer for the Houston Press.

anna tauzin rice

Anna Tauzin Rice

At TRA, Anna leads the evolution of the Association’s sponsorship and marketing strategies, focusing on membership and partner products to improve member value and Association revenue. Additionally, she is driven to bring more restaurant technology to the state of Texas with unique partnerships and innovative programming. 

Anna is a frequent speaker and serves on multiple boards for startups and industry events, including SXSW Interactive. 

Previous to coming to TRA, she headed up innovation for the National Restaurant Association in Washington, D.C. 

She has worked in several restaurants during her career, including BOH and FOH. Her favorite job was as a Denny's waitress on the graveyard shift. She could tell you some stories.

chris tripoli

Chris Tripoli

Chris Tripoli has over 35 years of service in the Hospitality Industry as a designer, developer, owner and operator. He founded and is the President of A’ La Carte Foodservice Consulting Group.

A’ La Carte is an international restaurant consulting group based in Houston, Texas. A’ La Carte provides concept development, operations assistance, and growth planning services. Chris has developed award winning restaurants and provided assistance to many restaurants, cafeterias, hotels, country clubs, airports, parks and convention centers.

Before forming A’ La Carte Foodservice Consulting Group, he developed Truluck’s Steak and Stone Crab Restaurant.

Chris regularly contributes to Restaurant Startup & Growth Magazine, My Table Magazine, and FCSI Foodservice Consultant and and Co-Authored the Book “So, You’re Thinking About Owning, Operating or Investing in a Restaurant.” First Edition, December 2015 by RS&G, LLC. Chris developed a curriculum entitled “So You Want to Open a Restaurant” and currently teaches at The Small Business Development Center at the University of Houston. He is a guest speaker for a variety of hospitality meetings, seminars and as a participant in Industry Workshops.

Chris remains active in the Foodservice Consultant Society International, The Texas Restaurant Association, and serves on the advisory board of The University of Houston Small Business Development Center.