GE Capital Restaurant Summit Posts Impressive Results

MONTREAL, May 6 /CNW Telbec/ - GE Capital's second annual Canadian Restaurant Investment Summit, held April 13 and 14 at the Ritz-Carlton Toronto, closed on a high note, with enthusiastic reviews from the event's international audience.

Well-known speakers from across the restaurant industry as well as professionals from the finance, legal and franchising sectors came together to present on a range of current issues, from increases in regulatory challenges, food and commodity prices to corporate social responsibility, providing  insight as to what industry and individual operators can do to respond. "First and foremost, an event like this allows you to network with people who are in the same boat," comments Peter Fowler, CEO of SIR Corp, one of Canada's most successful restaurant companies. "We share the same concerns and deal with the same issues, no matter what size operation we are. It's a chance to rekindle relationships and simply share ideas but as well, at any one of the sessions, there's always something new or a fresh idea that triggers you to remember a solution you can put to work. The information we can pick up at the Summit is invaluable."

After establishing a solid reputation in its inaugural year, the Canadian Restaurant Investment Summit presented an even stronger line up of topics and presentations for 2011, successfully attracting attendees from across Canada and into the US. While many were senior-level executives from top Canadian franchisors, multi-unit operators and popular Canadian brands, the event also attracted independent restaurateurs who came seeking answers, feedback and information.

"Several of our individual franchisees attended the Summit", says Mike Cordoba, Partner at Empresario Capital Partners, based in British Columbia. "For them, this event delivers a huge number of benefits. They get a handle on the entire foodservice landscape - not only from a macro standpoint in terms of global and national terms, but what's happening province-to-province and brand-to-brand. Moreover, they can network with other franchisees and talk about shared experiences and ask questions. And finally, they make some excellent supplier connections that will benefit them in future."

"This year's event showcased some of the best minds in the industry," notes Ed Khediguian, Senior Vice President of Franchise Finance, Canada, GE Capital.  "They came equipped to discuss the toughest issues, the latest trends and the best solutions for today's social and economic climate. What they delivered had real meaning for attendees."

"Overall, the Restaurant Investment Summit is an invaluable business forum for opinion, issues, information and sharing," continues GE Capital's Khediguian. "There really isn't anything quite like it in the industry."

Organizers of the event, Big Picture Conferences Inc. and GE Capital are currently assessing comments from attendees in order to tailor new content for the 3rd annual event scheduled for mid-April 2012 in Toronto.

For further information on the 2012 Canadian Restaurant Investment Summit:
Ms. Orie Berlasso, Director, Big Picture Conferences Inc., 416 924 6002,
orieberlasso@bigpictureconferences.ca

About GE Capital:
With more than 20 offices throughout Canada and headquartered in Montreal, GE Capital (gecapital.ca) offers a wide variety of financial products and services to address commercial financing and fleet management needs in all phases of a business' lifecycle. From equipment finance to working capital and growth financing to large asset-based and restructuring loans, we apply our wealth of industry expertise and develop custom solutions for your company. Some of the industry sectors we specialize in include transportation, construction, healthcare, forestry, manufacturing, oil & gas, wholesale & retail, restaurant and hotel franchise. For more information, visit gecapital.com or follow company news via Twitter (@GECapitalNews). For more information on GE Capital in the Americas, visit gecapital.com/americas. GE (NYSE: GE) is Imagination at Work - a diversified technology, media and financial services company focused on solving some of the world's toughest problems. Visit ge.com

SOURCE GE Capital Canada

For further information:

Marina Brzeski, Communications Leader, Canada,
GE Capital, (514) 713-5321, marina.brzeski@ge.com

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