Chris The, founder of Black Star Pastry, will take the stage at Hospitality magazine’s Restaurant Leaders Summit, sharing insights into the business’ growth and plans for the future.

Taking place at The Grand Ballroom at Randwick Racecourse, this year’s Restaurant Leaders Summit will be held on 31 July and will once again be broken up into a series of panel discussions, presentations and Q&A sessions. There’ll also be a mini-expo attached to the conference, where attendees can learn about some of the latest products, technologies and services that can cut costs, drive efficiency and boost sales.


The conference is focused on business best practice, with topics including, but not limited to:

  • Moving out of the Big Smoke – the Case for Regional Openings
  • Solving the Staffing Saga
  • Running a Tight Ship – Proven Strategies for Keeping Costs In-Check
  • Are you China-Ready? and;
  • How, When and Why to Franchise

The Restaurant Leaders Summit’s MCs for the day, Profitable Hospitality’s Ken Burgin and Alex Herbert, consultant and chef/owner at Bird Cow Fish (which closed in 2012), will facilitate three Q&A sessions with industry leaders throughout the day.

Short and sharp in format, these discussions will get to the point quickly, extracting information from leading operators on how they’ve created success and are working to overcome the key challenges experienced throughout the sector.

Taking the stage will be Palisa Anderson, founder of Chat Thai, which has a cult-like following amongst Sydney’s diners and chefs alike; Josh Niland, owner of Saint Peter and frequently referred to as ‘the one to watch’ by industry veterans; and Chris The, founder of the incredible success story that is Black Star Pastry.

Black Star was founded in 2008 and now boasts four outlets and sells Australia’s most photographed cake, the Strawberry Watermelon cake.

Throughout the Q&As, operators will discuss how they’ve planned and managed their business’ growth, discussing hits and misses and how (if at all) they’ve adapted their model to cater for fickle diners and industry trends.

Other industry leaders speaking at the Restaurant Leaders Summit include:

  • Natalie James, Fair Work Ombudsman
  • Alex Hawke, assistant minister for Immigration and Border Protection
  • Tony Panetta, executive chef, ICC Sydney
  • Clovis Young, founder, Mad Mex
  • Terry Higgins, director of food and beverage, fast casual, Rockpool Dining Group
  • Matt Fickling, general manager, Huxtaburger
  • Tara Sullivan, director of operations, Lotus Dining
  • Justine Baker, chief operating officer, Solotel
  • And plenty more!

Early bird ticket sales end soon, so head to to get your tickets!

The Restaurant Leaders Summit wouldn’t be possible without the support of its sponsors: Comcater, RATIONAL, Scotchmans Hill Wine, H&L, FLAT, Conga Foods, Intrust Super, Liven, OpenTable and Oracle Hospitality.

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Dan Shipley at or on (02) 8586 6163.

Image: VIVE Cooking School

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