Celebrates 30th Anniversary of the Restaurant Trade Program
American Express (NYSE: AXP) is proud to present its 30th annual Restaurant Trade Program at the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, CO from Thursday, June 13 to Saturday, June 15. Developed for the professionals who shape the world of dining, the American Express Restaurant Trade Program hosts chefs, restauranteurs, and leading industry professionals for a three-day program featuring networking events and dynamic panel discussions with some of the industry’s leading voices.
“Restaurants are a large and important part of our American Express Merchant family and we are committed to backing growth and innovation within the industry,” said Gunther Bright, executive vice president, Merchant Services – U.S., American Express. “The American Express Restaurant Trade Program is core to that backing, acting as a platform for chefs and restaurateurs to connect and discuss the most important and relevant topics in the dining industry today.”
The community of American Express accepting restaurants continues to grow. In fact, more than 114,000 more U.S. restaurant locations began accepting American Express Cards in 2018. 1
This growth in acceptance is important to American Express Card Members as dining out is an integral part of their daily lives. According to a recent study 2, American Express Card Members who had made purchases at restaurants in the prior three months reported they:
- Spent an average of 90% more at restaurants than Non-Card Members. 2
- Dined an average of 20% more times than Non-Card Members. 2
Additionally, 63% of Card Members report that when thinking specifically about paying for restaurant purchases with American Express, they agree they are more likely to return to a restaurant when they know it accepts American Express. 2
At this year’s Aspen FOOD & WINE Classic, American Express will bring iconic industry leaders together on panels to discuss how to find long-term success in the industry. Panel discussions will include some of the most pressing challenges facing the industry, such as increasing diversity and incorporating new technologies that are redefining the dining experience.
The schedule for the 30th annual American Express Restaurant Trade Program is as follows:
THURSDAY, JUNE 13
3:30pm to 5:30pm – Kick-off Party
- About the Event: The Restaurant Trade Program experience starts with a kick-off party at the base of Ajax Mountain featuring drinks and food from acclaimed chef Cheetie Kumar with collaborations from pastry chef and author Lisa Donovan and chef Matt Kelly.
- Location: Ajax Tavern at The Little Nell.
- Chefs: Cheetie Kumar (Owner/Chef – Garland, Neptunes Parlour, Kings) with Lisa Donovan (Pastry Chef, James Beard Award winning writer) and Matt Kelly (Owner/Chef – Mateo Bar de Tapas).
FRIDAY, JUNE 14
9:15am to 10:30am – T100: Legacy: Meet the Masters
- Moderated by: Carla Hall (Chef, Author and Television Personality).
- Panelists: Ashley Christensen (Chef/Proprietor, Ashley Christensen Restaurants), Steve Palmer (Managing Partner, The Indigo Road Hospitality Group), Will Guidara (Restaurateur/Co-Owner, Make it Nice: Eleven Madison Park, The NoMad and Made Nice), and Ellen Yin (Founder/Co-Owner, High Street Hospitality Group).
- Topic: Iconic industry legends and long-term American Express dining partners share their stories and perspectives of how to find long-term success in the industry.
1:30pm to 2:35pm – T200: Inclusion: Hospitality’s Moment to Lead
- Moderated by: Kat Kinsman (Senior Editor, Food & Wine).
- Panelists: Nina Compton (Chef/Owner, Compère Lapin, By Water American Bistro), Traci Des Jardins (Chef/Owner, Mijita Cocina Mexicana; Chef/Partner, The Commissary, Arguello, Transit, Public House, School Night), Cheetie Kumar (Chef/Owner, Garland, Neptunes Parlour, Kings), Marcus Samuelsson (Chef/Owner, Marcus Samuelsson Group).
- Topic: A diverse group of chefs and restaurant owners will explore equality and diversity, specifically the ways in which the hospitality industry can proactively drive positive change within the four walls of a restaurant, and within the community it serves.
2:45pm to 4:15pm – Afternoon Social
- About the Event: The Afternoon Social will feature a collaborative menu from La Cocina chefs Traci Des Jardins, Rosa Martinez and Heena Patel celebrating the unique flavors of Latin American, Oaxacan and West Indian flavors.
- Location: Newly renovated Hotel Jerome Garden Terrace.
- Chefs: Traci Des Jardins (Chef/Owner, Mijita Cocina Mexicana; Chef/Partner, The Commissary, Arguello, Transit, Public House, School Night), Rosa Martinez (Chef/Owner, Origen), and Heena Patel (Chef/Owner, Besharam).
SATURDAY, JUNE 15
9:15am to 10:30am – T300: Innovation: The Future of the Restaurant Industry
- Moderated by: Andrew Zimmern (Chef, Author and TV Personality).
- Panelists: Michael Farid (Co-Founder & CEO, Spyce), Jay Livingston (CMO, Shake Shack), Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez (Managing Director, Daily Provisions; Founder, Hot Bread Kitchen), and Christina Tosi (Chef/Founder/Owner, Milk Bar).
- Topics: This business and tech discussion examines how new technologies and forward-thinking concepts are reshaping the restaurant industry. Panel will also forecast future innovations and technologies within the hospitality sector.
To learn more about the 2019 American Express Restaurant Trade at the Aspen FOOD & WINE Classic, and how you can attend, please visit: https://classic.foodandwine.com/
1 Based on internal comparison of American Express small merchant locations in December 2017 to American Express small merchant locations in December 2018.
2 American Express commissioned Internet panel survey conducted in November – December 2018 based on purchases made from restaurants in the three months prior to the survey. Definition of American Express® Card Members: Respondents who reported that they have an American Express Card and that they used that card to make purchases from restaurants in the prior three months. Definition of non-Card Members: Respondents who reported that they do not have any type of American Express Card and that they used other cards and/or cash to make purchases from restaurants in the prior three months.
The study that provided the dining data was conducted by The Analytics Practice within Kantar (Kantar), and is based on a survey of 802 online interviews geographically dispersed across the U.S. with respondents who have made dining purchases in the prior three months of the conducted interview. 400 American Express Card Members (Consumer, Business and Corporate) who have used American Express to make purchases from restaurants in the three months prior to the survey were interviewed. 402 non-Card Members who do not have an American Express Card and used other cards and/or cash to make purchases from restaurants in the three months prior to the survey were also interviewed. All survey responses were gathered in late November and December 2018. Kantar estimates the survey to be approximately at a 95% level of confidence.