Wray Newsletter Masthead
Big News
My Fit Foods abruptly shutters all stores
My Fit Foods, an Austin based healthy prepared meals company that had seen some setbacks while rolling out locations in other cities and battling another local competitor for market share, has closed all of its locations. In a tersely worded notice on the company's website posted over the weekend, the company thanked its customers. "Since 2006 My Fit Foods has been on a mission to make healthy eating easy and accessible for everyone... it is with a heavy heart that we announce the closure of all our stores," the notice said.
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Executive Movements
Capriotti's Taps Franchise Growth Executive David Bloom as Chief Development Officerr.
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David Hasler Named Chief Financial Officer for Fazoli's.
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Le Duff America Inc. Names Olivier Poirot As New CEO.
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Captain D's Names Bob Kraut Chief Marketing Officer.     Full Article »

Christina Bell Vaughan Appointed President of Sonic Restaurants, Inc.
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Papa John's International names Mike Nettles SVP, Chief Information and Digital Officer.
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Church's Chicken Names Pete Servold Executive Vice President of U.S. Operations.
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More Executive Movements  »

Financial Overview

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2016 Results-Net Income falls 95%.
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Starbucks Reports Record Holiday and Record Q1 FY17 Results.
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Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. Announces Fourth Quarter Earnings per Share of $0.87. Net earnings decreased 38.2%.
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MclDonald's Fourth Quarter Gobal Comparable Sales Increased 2.7%.
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Noodles & Company will close 55 underperforming restaurants - more than 10 percent of its 528 locations.
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Pie Five comp sales down 17.4%.
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Pollo Campero Grows 8% in Comparable Sales and 24% in Total Sales in 2016.
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Brinker's total revenues in the second quarter of fiscal 2017 decreased 2.2 percent.
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Leadership and Management - Not the Same
by Bob Gershberg, CEO/Managing Partner Wray Executive Search
Bob Gershberg

Strong leadership without good management or conversely good management without strong leadership can be disastrous. It is important to note the distinction between the two and recognize the necessity of both in order to attain success in any organization. Leadership is about vision, setting direction, change and motivation. Management plans, budgets, organizes, provides control and solves problems.

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"It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure."
--Bill Gates

Restaurants: Repeating Errors Seen
by John A. Gordon, principal and founder of Pacific Management Consulting Group

John Gordon
Just about everyone reading this newsletter either knows the restaurant business or want to know a lot more about it. Many of us love the space, hence why we are still engaged in it via differing roles over the decades. The industry is stressed right now, for all kinds of reasons. We know there are many factors that affect the business that we can't control, and just must do the best we can to react and see around the problems; but we have to admit there are other factors we can control, we can fix.

Here are four situations, seen so frequently so that they can be labeled as repeating errors. Something can be done about these. 

Executive Chat
Featuring Leo Kremer, Co-CEO of Dos Toros Taqueriay
by Rebecca Patt, SVP Development, Wray Executive Search

Rebecca Patt
Leo Kremer is the co-CEO and co-founder of Dos Toros Taqueria, a growing fast-casual concept with 12 locations in the NYC area. Kremer transitioned into the restaurant business in 2009 after a stint playing bass with the rock band Third Eye Blind. He and his brother and business partner Oliver modeled Dos Toros after the beloved taquerias they frequented in their native Bay Area, with their own fresh twist.

What are you working on right now at Dos Toros?

Right now, we're really focused on our training and teaching systems. We're doing a lot of video and we're trying to make the content as compelling and as useful as possible for our team. 

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Financial Edge
Encouraging Bump up in January
by David Ulrich, EVP Wray Executive Search

David Ulrich
Uncertainty is the bane of any executive's existence, and there has been a fair amount of it both on the political front and the financial front. Politically, Trump will be Trump, so that uncertainty will exist, and is beyond anyone's true control. On the financial front, though geo-political events can have an effect, the restaurant business seem to have turned the corner in 2017 with an impressive jump in same-store-sales (SSS) of 4.3 percentage points; the biggest month-to-month improvement in close to four years according to a recent release from TDn2K http://tdn2k.com/snapshot/2017-01/.
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Culture Matters
5 Things You Should Never Say When Announcing a Merger Deal
by Tom Rollert, Vice President of Culture Integration, Wray Executive Search

Tom Rollert
1. "We don't anticipate making any changes." Why wouldn't you? During a merger or acquisition, people are primed for change. They expect it. So, you should use this window of opportunity to make needed changes. No company is perfect. Take advantage of the situation and seize the opportunity to make improvements. Besides, over the weeks and months to come, something is bound to change. It may have nothing at all to do with the merger per se, but that doesn't matter-the merger will be the convenient whipping boy. With the merger in the forefront of people's minds, that's where they'll lay the blame.
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What's New?
Restaurants Re-Defined
by Kevin Stockslager, Associate Vice President at Wray Executive Search

Kevin Stockslager
According to the most recent Restaurant Performance Index, by the National Restaurant Association, industry optimism is high for 2017. Apparently the weak same-store sales and traffic at the close of 2016 did not result in a significant slowing in restaurant expansion. While several factors are likely contributing to this increased optimism for the new year, the results from last November's Presidential Election are certainly a major reason.
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