by Bob Gershberg, CEO/Managing Partner Wray Executive Search
A great management team will generate exponential impact in leading and rallying the troops around a clear strategic vision. They are fully aligned and acutely aware of the skills and capabilities across the team. They are well positioned to maintain a broad read on the true state of the organization. To function as a high performing team, they must be aligned on strategy and be relentless in the drive for excellence.
There is no way to succeed without appreciating your team members’ unique strengths. Teams are made of individuals with contrasting temperaments, talents, and skills. Building a successful team is about balancing people’s tendencies toward autonomy and social connection. Doing so successfully allows for creative tension, unlocks motivation, and promotes teams which adapt creatively to new challenges. Capitalize on qualities employees value the most—trust, freedom, and play—in order to build a high-performing and innovative organization.
Seek out potential stars in your organization that have high standards and want to contribute where they can have real impact. Look for those who embrace debate. When handled civilly, disagreements can bring cohesion to teams. Concentrate on those who are not afraid to contribute to a conversation, but also possess good listening skills. When assembling a team, look for those with high EQ - emotional intelligence. A person who can perceive, control, evaluate, and express emotions brings volumes to the party.
Featuring Sanjiv Razdan, President of Americas & India at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and founder, chairman, and CEO of GLEAM Network
by Rebecca Patt, SVP Development at Wray Executive Search
Sanjiv Razdan is a global restaurant and hospitality industry leader and innovator and a passionate champion for helping others grow and advance in the industry. He joined The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf this past spring, and he continues to lead the GLEAM Network, a non-profit organization he founded in 2020 to promote leadership development for underserved restaurant and foodservice industry professionals through mentorship and other learning and development programs. The GLEAM programs offer support to those at every level of their career, from hospitality and culinary students to emerging leaders and executives. Sanjiv’s executive background in the restaurant business includes roles at Sweetgreen, Applebee’s, and Yum! Brands, in the US, Europe, and India. He graduated from the University of Mumbai with a degree in Physics and started his career in restaurant management in India with ITC Hotels.
How’s your new job as president going at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf?
The new job is incredible. I have always been excited about the coffee space from the outside. I’ve been a student of Howard Schultz and read his books and been fascinated by what he created at Starbucks, so the opportunity enter the coffee industry with an iconic brand like The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has just been perfect for me. We have investors that are backing the brand to create the foundation for growth. We’ve not even scratched the surface, but knock-on wood, it’s off to a great start for the last five months, and I am loving the opportunity.
"There is nothing like a concrete life plan to weigh you down. Because if you always have one eye on some future goal, you stop paying attention to the job at hand, miss opportunities that might arise, and stay fixedly on one path, even when a better, newer course might have opened up"
Indra K. Nooyi, former CEO, PepsiCo
Check out the July 2021 Restaurant Industry Snapshot from Compass Restaurant Research & Consulting
by John A. Gordon, Principal and Founder, Pacific Management Consulting Group
The COVID Movie, Take III
By now that very old and tiring plotline that we have seen before is sadly reemerging: the excellent momentum we had this spring and summer in the sit-down segment is lately weakening due to another COVID wave.  The actuality of new COVID cases and the drumbeat of bad news has driven confidence to dine out worse again. I can see this in the national pollsters that I track that comment on such matters as well as in Restaurant Research’s future dine-out visitation index, Traffic Cast, as below:
Recall from the initial Covid wave in 2020 that smart operators were watching the news and hospitalization and infection rates. One of the problems in the current Delta wave is that Texas and Florida are both relative hotspots and are heavy casual dining states. The sequential sales weakening pattern brings up the next point.
The difficulty of getting useful signals from quarterly earnings calls
I work complex earnings call disclosure issues with clients. One certain thing is that the reporting company is mostly focused on talking about the past, not the future. There are many reasons for that. The result is that the focus of the analyst attention and press analysis is often on data that is 6 to 8 weeks old. The analysts are busy keeping up with the calendar of publicly-traded company earnings releases and other special projects in between and figuring out what they have been told. Occasionally, they can get a CEO to speak at their annual investor conference. In July, I watched an interview with Chris K, the McDonald’s CEO with a very good analyst. Chris must have been on a teleprompter script written by their media relations staff. It was the most torturous, boring, useless conversation, ever. It is not what the analyst intended.
Yum! Brands Reports Second-Quarter Results; Record 603 Net-New Units; Digital System Sales of Over $5 Billion; Same-Store Sales Growth of 23%; Reinstates Long-Term Growth Algorithm with Raised Unit Guidance