RTS partners have spoken at over 100 conferences, including both keynotes and panel participation. With decades of experience in all facets of restaurant operations, finance and marketing, we possess a deep knowledge of the industry. We remain current on all critical issues and can provide rich content for a successful event.
RTS is also available to assist with event planning via content development and recommendation of participants as well as panel organization and direction.
The RTS team is a group of hospitality specialists, each with 25 to 45 years of real world experience running businesses – in the trenches. We are CEOs, CPAs, CTOs, CCOs, analysts, chefs, strategists, planners, organizers, communicators, researchers, branders, trainers, marketers, and leadership builders.
It’s not our job to make suggestions and wish you luck. We join your team, involve you in assessing your business and uncovering paths to improvement. From what we learn together, we help you devise and execute tactics to optimize every facet of your organization.
Our Public Speaking & Event Planning Solutions
Chaos Strategist & Founding Partner
Fred is the managing partner and co-founder of Results Thru Strategy. His expertise in strategic planning, leadership development, and business development has assisted numerous companies in increasing sales and profits.
His areas of expertise include strategic planning, organizational development, executive coaching, performance management, marketing strategy, and the enhancement of technology-based systems. Fred’s four decades in the hospitality industry include stints as COO, CEO board member, and President of a number of hospitality and technology brands, including Flat Rock Grille, Ruby’s Diner, Fishbowl Marketing, and Louise’s Trattoria. Inc. Magazine featured his admirable turnaround for Louise’s, which included design, concept development, food production, IT systems, and operational executions.
Social Media & Storytelling Strategist
David Farkas has covered the restaurant industry for nearly 30 years as a food writer and reporter. He has published hundreds of trend stories, profiles, and case histories about independent and chain restaurants in a variety of consumer and trade publications.
Farkas leads social media efforts at Results thru Strategy, which includes the consortium’s strategic communications on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other digital outlets. David now works as a freelance writer specializing in food and restaurants. His background includes 12 years as Senior Editor at Chain Leader and 10 years as features editor for Restaurant Hospitality; during this time he was a freelance restaurant critic and features writer for The [Cleveland] Plain Dealer, Ohio’s largest daily newspaper. Farkas has won nine writing awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE).
Operations & Concept Development
Len Ghilani’s experience includes designing, developing, opening, and operating new restaurants and hotels. He has also developed management systems for operations, finance, and F&B.
Ghilani has opened and operated more than 275 restaurants nationwide — in both public and private arenas, and in regional, corporate and franchise environments. As V.P., restaurant division, for Morrissey Hospitality Companies and as V.P. of operation services for Parasole Restaurant Holdings, Ghilani improved financials and operations of managed restaurant concepts and developed new restaurants and F&B venues in hotels, resorts and family entertainment complexes. Len was chief operating officer of Buca Inc., an Italian casual-dining chain, opening 48 Buca di Beppo restaurants while overseeing a 400 percent growth in staff. He has also held executive positions with Einstein Noah Bagel Corp. and Chi-Chi’s Mexican Restaurants.
Jessica is a financial specialist with nearly two decades worth of private equity and senior-level operating and management experience in restaurants and retail. Prior to joining Results Thru Strategy, she co-founded Rellevant, a boutique private equity firm she and a partner currently operate, and was a Partner in TriSpan’s Rising Stars fund, which is dedicated to restaurants.
Earlier, she served as CFO/COO and later CEO of Eddie Borgo, a luxury accessories brand. She has also been chief financial officer for Folica, an online-consumer products retailer. Before earning her MBA at Harvard Business School, she worked for L Catterton and for Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (later Credit Suisse First Boston). Jessica is also a graduate of McGill University, where she earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree with Great Distinction.
Kevin Kulikowski is a veteran human resources executive with more than 25 years in the field. His interest in HR began “organically” while a Taco Bell multi-unit manager in Central Florida.
Since then, he has consulted both emerging brands and large companies, including Hard Rock Café, PepsiCo, Universal Studios, Walt Disney World, Darden Restaurants, Puff ‘n Stuff Catering, and 4Rivers Smokehouse.
His hands-on approach often means spending time onsite assisting frontline leaders and owners with critical human resources based initiative. His wide range of experience — in performance management, compensation plan design, development and implementation of policies and procedures, and workplace safety — enables him to provide broad support.
Kevin holds an MBA from the University of Central Florida and undergraduate degrees from Niagara University and SUNY Cobleskill.
Marketing Communications Strategist
Meg helps leaders deliver a brand experience through a fully integrated marketing and communications approach during times of change. Her collaboration enables companies to ‘brand from the inside out,’ so that everyone in the organization can express and demonstrate a shared vision in a single voice.
Meg’s project work includes creating a global communications strategy for an award-winning hospitality learning and development platform, global change management plans for meeting & events technology launch and a company-wide rebrand of a multimillion-dollar wholesale bakery.
Prior to joining RTS, Meg led the national marketing teams at MetLife and MassMutual.
Meg holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Development from Suffolk University in Boston and lives in Charlotte, N.C.
Data Scientist and Analytics Guru
Mike Lukianoff is an expert in data science and predictive analytics in the industry. Many of his patented inventions, processes and methods have become industry standards particularly related to pricing, menu management and site forecasting.
As founder of predictive analytics firm Czar Metrics, he blended econometrics, consumer research, big data, social media and predictive analytics to change how the industry captures and analyzes data. In 2015 Czar Metrics was acquired by Fishbowl, where he served as Chief Analytics Officer until June 2019. He and his companies have advised many of the industry’s largest and most innovative companies including 6 of the top 10 restaurant brands. Mike is also on the board of Bite Kiosk, a leader in self-ordering touchscreen kiosks with facial recognition.
Mike is an active Alumnus of the Cornell Hotel School, where he is a frequent guest lecturer. He is also a Fellow of the Culinary Institute of America and advisory board member of the Financial Leadership Exchange. He also sits on several private advisory boards.
Financial & Informational Systems Architect
James McGehee is responsible for the Financial Services practice of RTS. He specializes in the creation and implementation of scalable, non-proprietary financial and information technology systems that align with each client’s specific needs.
McGehee’s project work includes arranging a private placement for a small, fast-casual chain seeking a financial sponsor. James has held positions from Senior Financial Analyst to Vice President of Finance to CFO, and has worked for a broad spectrum of hospitality brands, including Hamburger Hamlet, El Gallo Giro, Ruby’s Diner, Pasta Pomodoro, Una Mas Restaurants and Chevy’s Mexican Restaurants. Among McGehee’s talents are strategic planning, financial controls, cash flow management, accounting processes, financial analysis, and insurance and payroll systems. His strengths lie in integrating systems, streamlining operations and eliminating wasteful overhead.
Lynette McKee, CFE, includes executive positions with Dunkin’ Brands, Burger King, Denny’s, and Metromedia Restaurant Group, and prior to forming McKeeCo Services, was the Executive Director of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. She is considered an industry expert in franchising and is a frequent guest speaker at industry events.
She was a member of the Strategic Advisory Board of Nova Southeastern University’s International Institute for Franchise Education and an instructor for the Fast Track MBA program for franchise executives at the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University. Ms. McKee was also a founding board member of both the Women’s Franchise and Distribution Forum and the Women’s Venture Program, a program to assist women with a desire to enter the franchising industry as an owner of a small business.
Executive Technology Strategist
Christopher Sebes provides technology strategy to operators, private equity owners and technology companies. He was most recently President of Xenial (formerly called Heartland Commerce), a major player in restaurant and retail management technology.
Prior to his role at Heartland Commerce, Christopher founded XPIENT, which was sold to Heartland Payment Systems in 2014. Christopher was also the co-creator of Twenty20 Visual Systems, the first Microsoft Windows point-of-sale company.
He received a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management in England and has managed hotels and restaurants in Europe and the U.S.
Frank Steed began his industry career as the doorman at the second T.G.I. Friday’s unit and proceeded to rise to Executive VP. Today, he is a leading expert at developing and rolling out domestic and international franchise programs.
Steed is currently helping a Dallas-based RTS client organize its franchise business, the fastest-growing in the Southwest. Before joining RTS, Steed was CEO of Romacorp., franchisor of Tony Roma’s. Although the chain already had a base of domestic company and franchised units, Steed signed agreements for more than 60 new international restaurants in South America, Europe, and the Middle East. As President of the Bonanza and Ponderosa Restaurants for Metromedia Group, Steed created a centralized franchise system including Bennigan’s, which was not then franchised. Within three years, Bennigan’s was 50 percent franchised through seed market programs and new area growth. Steed has also been CEO of 300-unit Country Kitchen, where he repositioned the coffee shop chain to family casual-dining by overhauling building, décor, uniforms, and menu.
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Multiple hours purchased are discounted for your benefit.
Multiple hours purchased are discounted for your benefit.