Foodie Frenzy: How Restaurants, Food and Beverage Brands are pivoting to deliver in the state of COVID-19

May 19 · Online
Since the pandemic began, the film and entertainment industry has been finding new ways to evolve and accommodate a new, ever-changing world of digital consumption. Social media has played a huge role in this evolution, and while some companies are running full-speed ahead and adapting, others are pulling back and stopping advertising altogether.

Our panelists will dive into the changes they’ve made and the challenges they’re facing in the new world of entertainment and film. They’ve been pivoting and accommodating new releases and clients, and they’ll be sharing their stories and current projects with us. Hear what it’s like and learn what’s going on in the front lines of their industry.

What lessons can we learn from the exponential lift in streaming content? So many more people are consuming content online than ever before, so how are they taking advantage of that now?

Our panelists have a range of backgrounds including; public relations, film distribution, film making, and entertainment consulting.

Adam Bell of dataTV

Our Moderator

Adam Bell run the independent design studio, dataTV out of Sherman Oaks and has been producing websites and social media programs for a wide variety of food and beverage clients all over the country. Previously, Adam has worked with such legendary businesses such as Acme Oyster House, Aunt Sally’s Creole Pralines, Melinda’s Hot Sauce, Tender Greens, California Monster Salads, Truman House Tavern and many more. In addition, he’s also designed for such Celebrity Chefs including Emeril Lagassse and Jet TIla. Currently, Adam recently designed projects for Cafe du Monde, Cajun Land Seasonings, Mongibello Blood Orange Juice and Tattoo Tequila. He is currently working on the web designs for the Big Island Chocolate Company. Prior to the pandemic, you’d find Adam at all sorts of restaurant and foodie events covering them for the SoCal Restaurant Show on KLAA AM830.

Kristi Fanning of Coolhaus

Kristi Fanning

Kristi Fanning is the marketing and innovation manager for Coolhaus Awesome Ice Cream. She has been in this role for over 1 year. Previously, she worked at Danone North America on Silk, So Delicious, and International Delight Coffee Creamer. Kristi has over 12 years of marketing experience working on both the agency side and as a brand steward. 


Sara Dunaj of High Wide and Handsome

Sara Dunaj

As Director of Brand Engagement at LA-based creative agency High Wide & Handsome, Sara Dunaj oversees social media, experiential marketing and partnerships for food and beverage brands like Cup Noodles, Dean’s Dip, Top Ramen, and Ready Pac Foods. Prior to joining HWH, she spent more than a decade developing digital communications strategies for leading travel, hospitality & food brands, including Air New Zealand, Princess Cruises, Avocados from Mexico, and the City of Angels itself. In her spare time, she bakes birthday treats for children in the foster care system through For Goodness Cakes.


Chef Andrew Gruel

Andrew Gruel

Andrew Gruel , a graduate of Johnson & Wales University, is currently the CEO and Founder of Slapfish Restaurant Group (25 locations), the award-winning food truck turned international brick and mortar, based out of Huntington Beach, CA and Founder of Butterleaf Restaurant and Two Birds Chicken (two concepts in Irvine, CA).

Andrew has appeared on multiple television series including his most recent role as a judge on Food Network’s “Chopped Junior”. He was recently the Host of FYI Series “Say It To My Face”, as well as a judge on Food Network’s “Food Truck Face Off.” He has made appearances on the TODAY show, PBS, Cooking Channel, and has been featured in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Men’s Health, Food & Wine magazine, USA Today, Entrepreneur and Nation’s Restaurant News. In 2016 and 2017, he was named Top 25 Business Executives for Fast Casual magazine as well as featured in Nation’s Restaurant News’ 2017 Power List. In 2013 he was named top 40 under 40 entrepreneurs in Orange County. He is currently the Co-Host of the SoCal Restaurant Show on AM 830.

In 2009, After 10 years working in fine dining and upscale hotels, Gruel’s love of the ocean drove him to direct a non-profit project at The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA called “Seafood for the Future”. In this role, he worked with hundreds of chefs, fisherman and like-minded organizations establishing a national culinary awareness for the sustainable seafood movement. This was the foundation of Slapfish, which currently has eight locations open and over 100 in development both domestically and internationally. In 2017 he opened two new concepts: Butterleaf – vegetarian foods for non-vegetarians – and Two Birds – a fast casual concept using farm-fresh, free-range Jidori chicken.