by Bob Gershberg, CEO/Managing Partner, Wray Executive Search
In the Executive Search world, we often say there is an art and a science to executive recruitment. Matching skill sets and competencies is the science side and clearly the easier task. Finding the right cultural fit and matching chemistry is the art side and substantively more complex. Great hires can be game changers and are vital to the ultimate success of any organization. Conversely, bad hires can be costly and disastrous to any team.
A culture lens is essential in effective hiring and needs to be front and center during the interview process. Focus on what motivates the candidate and determine how well that aligns with the success factors current superstars possess. Good chemistry elevates everybody’s game. Poor chemistry diminishes unity and creates the dreaded toxic work environment.
Hiring for talent continues to be a worthy endeavor but hiring the right attitude, personality and work habit tendencies are not to be underrated. Great hires often have a solid dose of intellectual curiosity. They ask good questions during the process. The drive to succeed and passion for the industry, segment or brand are supremely important. Folks who are driven to work harder, smarter, or both, love what they do, and are determined to help an organization succeed are likely to bring great value.
by Rebecca Patt, Senior Vice President of Development, Wray Executive Search
Greg Sausaman is the co-founder and CEO of Topper’s Craft Creamery, a complementary brand featuring a turnkey, soft-serve, frozen custard. He got his start in complementary branding working with Allied Domecq and the Dunkin’ Donuts brand.
What is complementary branding?
Complementary branding is adding a daypart option that you don’t already have. I just wrote a book about this called
Inside the Box: The Power of Complementary Branding. The guy who wrote the forward for the book was Ed Ramsey. I tracked him down because he was the CEO for McDonald’s when McDonald’s added soft serve to their menu back in 1995. In McDonald’s case in 1995, they were looking to add to the traffic with senior citizens and with kids to have something to upsell with the Happy Meal.
Another complementary brand is Starbucks. They started the “We Proudly Brew” back in the 90s. They went to healthcare, military bases, university campuses and said, “you don’t have to drink the generic coffee, we can provide you with a branded product.” They give you turnkey operations with all the training, operations, and support on how to execute the brand, and that’s exactly what we do.
“Acquiring the right talent is the most important key to growth. Hiring was - and still is - the most important thing we do.”
Marc Bennioff, Founder, Chairman and co-CEO of Salesforce
Is there really free lunch?
How to think about TI (Tenant Improvement) Funds
by John Gordon, Principal & Founder of Pacific Management Consulting Group
In the numbers intense restaurant business, we are pushed to converse in financial phrases that don’t really convey what we mean. One of course is the use of the infamous of earnings before interest, taxes depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) as a financial and debt stress metric. EBITDA came into vogue in the 1980s and 1990s with the entry of US leveraged buy outs, corporate raiders and then big mergers and acquisitions entering the restaurant space. The problem is, as Warren Buffet says, is EBITDA is “profit before everything”. Many charges and outlays are missing or have to be inserted after the EBITDA number; I insert G&A, maintenance CAPEX and debt service to the analysis I do for clients.
Another form of questionable shorthand exists with the common narrative pattern and analysis of landlord tenant improvement funds. Some discussion will be helpful.
What is TI?
Tenant Improvements (TI) is often expressed initially in a lease letter of intent and must be negotiated and finalized in the lease itself. It is an inducement to sign you, as the landlord offers to offset a part of the buildout of your restaurant. It is typically expressed as a dollar per square foot, or a fixed dollar amount. Tis for chain restaurants might run $50,000 to as high as $700,000 for one very expensive casual diner I saw documented.
By Neil Culbertson, Founder and President, Growth Partners LLC
It wasn’t all that long ago that Value was defined as quality, service and atmosphere relative to the price paid. Value was essentially formulaic. Under this scenario, QSR’s benefited from their strength on ease and convenience, and consumers were willing to trade-off food quality; conversely, Full Service offered higher perceived food quality and ambiance, giving it the advantage for less time-pressured occasions.
But, due to three major events (the economic recession of 2008, the emergence of Fast Casual and the coming-of-age of Millennials), value has become much more complicated today. Take a look at the brands that are winning today – they all have strong value propositions.
Recently, I heard the CEOs of Darden and BJ’s Brewhouse each describe the different ways their brands try to offer value to their guests. Yes, McDonald’s has their $1 $2 $3 value menu, but they have gone well beyond this through offering fresh beef Quarter Pounders, all-day Breakfast, and improved access via Uber Eats.