Food Safety Summit May 6-9, 2025
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Food Safety SummitIngredients

Up in smoke (CBD) and experiential food trends

The restaurant industry is perpetually brainstorming new methods and novel items to disrupt and innovate their highly competitive landscape so they may create unique cuisine opportunities and potential new markets for experiential dining occasions.

Betsy Craig and Doug Davis continue to be at the forefront of the Cannabinoid (CBD) restaurant revolution. As the CEO and founder of MenuTrinfo LLC, Betsy has a unique position in the food service marketplace as thousands of restaurants turn to her company, for nutritional information, ingredient statements, and identifying allergens. She was a trailblazer in the foodservice allergen training space with AllerTrain which was released in 2011. Betsy was also called upon by her biggest competitor, the National Restaurant Association and was instrumental in developing their allergen training program.

As senior director for global food safety, Doug Davis oversees the active food safety management of over thirty (30) hotel brands for Marriott International that includes well over ten thousand restaurants. His team is responsible for maintaining the company’s food safety culture and the training for thousands of Food and Beverage employees. Marriott’s position on novel ingredients such as cannabidiol is researched, vetted and communicated through corporate food safety. The pulse of all forms of experiential dining is in Doug’s wheelhouse and the CBD explosion is no exception.  

Selling CBD products at retail and in foodservice present new challenges for the industry. Such as:

  • Should restaurants identify (CBD) on the ingredient statement?
  • Should the menu even call out CBD?
  • Should the menu call out the actual percentage of CBD in the menu item?
  • Should the CBD be a simple but powerful additive?
  • Will your local or state agency weigh in on your CBD menu item?
  • Should industry treat CBD as an allergen?

Other areas to consider are the ramifications of public health in terms of dosage and cumulative or the “entourage” effect of multiple sources of cannabidiol.

These are the burning questions of the future for novel ingredients that continue to proliferate in the minds of restaurant entrepreneurs.

Industry data is clear that trust must be establish between the customer and restaurants that serve CBD products. Currently there is questionable integrity among CBD manufacturer’s labels and testing methods. Consumers will demand educated operators and responsible restaurant owners will mandate training for those producing and serving CBD. Properly trained employees will be the key to the successful implementation of CBD food items. 

The message is to never take the latest trend and turn it into the biggest nightmare. Food safety must always be on the menu. The right recipe will turn your customers into regulars, grow your business and every goes home at the end of the day.

Session information during the Food Safety Summit:

S22: Up in Smoke (CBD) and Experiencial Food Trends

  • Identify hot trends in experiencial foods, including CBD on the menu, plant-based foods, successful delivery, lifestyle diets, and more!
  • Join a lively discussion regarding the crossroads of consumer demand and responsible implementation of food safety best practices.
  • Discover the top five tips for safe delivery from restaurant to residence.
  • Review the current patchwork of CBD legality.

Betsy Craig, Founder and CEO, MenuTrinfo, LLC
Doug Davis, Sr. Director Global Food Safety, Marriott International

Date/time TBA. More information can be found here.

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