by Rebecca Patt, Senior Vice President of Development, Wray Executive Search
For candidates who haven’t been on the job market in a while, it can be confusing as to how to approach an interview. You may be unsure what to talk about and come across as less polished than you could be. If you are feeling disappointed and at a loss because of circumstances with your most recent job, the challenges of getting in a winning mindset for an interview are intensified. Even candidates who are at the top of their game and the hottest thing walking at their current company may not be prepared to ace an interview when a great new opportunity arises.
A couple of simple hints to keep in mind: focus on your achievements and your attitude.
Achievements: Take the time to write down your professional achievements, focusing on the issues that are key to the position you are interviewing for. Don’t make it hard for the interviewer to draw it out of you. Typical issues to consider:
How did you make your company money?
How did you save your company money?
How did you lead others and build successful teams?
“Leadership consists of nothing but taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong and giving your subordinates credit for everything that goes well.”
~ Dwight D. Eisenhower, former U.S. President
Restaurant Potpourri: Issues of the Day
by John Gordon, Principal & Founder of Pacific Management Consulting Group
From a lot of restaurant conferences and conversations of late, the following restaurant issues keep being discussed and worth some comment:
What do same store sales (SSS) really represent? The ever popular all around restaurant health and vitality, pass/fail bumper sticker is getting some new attention. Some restaurant investors, operators and other observers asks
if the same store sales number in the prior year history changes if there are units opened, closed, refranchised (sold) or defranchised (acquired) in the current year? The answer is: it depends. Changes in the units open base will change the AUV’s, which can optically affect SSS higher or lower For example, if a chain buys back all of the franchisees in its high volume/high profit Hawaii market we can expect that AUVs(and SSS) might eventually optically rise, partially or wholly due to the inclusion of the new units. Some companies and a few sell side analysts call out that numbers effect. Many companies define same store sales to be of those units open over the last 13/18/24 months, typically. Practically, however, since companies do not restate and publish a whole string of year’s prior same store sales history ever quarter/year, it is very likely the SSS history retained by the analytical community will be not on an “apples to apples” basis as a result. The prior year data would be somewhat “off”. Fixing that and tabulating that data would be a massive task for an industry trying to explain “what happened yesterday”.
by Kevin Stockslager, Vice President, Wray Executive Search
The restaurant industry continued to show strong signs of growth heading into 2019. For the 8
th consecutive month, overall restaurant same store sales increased, up 2% for the month of January. The 2% growth in same store sales in December 2018 and January 2019 marked the highest increases within the industry since 2015. Of note, same store sales increased across all segments within the industry for the month of January. Similar to previous months, the growth in same store sales was related to increased guest check, as traffic continued to decline, down 0.7% for the month. Consumer spending continues to grow, which bodes well for the restaurant industry in 2019.
Last year, the focus on staffing challenges was a big concern within the industry. Darden CEO Gene Lee cited “the war for talent” as the biggest challenge facing the restaurant industry today, a sentiment that still holds true today. Restaurants have continued to identify staffing issues, including turnover, keeping restaurants fully staffed, and poor retention rates, as one of the primary worries. High turnover and retention have resulted in situations where staff may not have completed training and lack engagement in their role, leading to operators having difficulty providing the level of customer service needed to drive customer satisfaction and increase repeat traffic. In the coming year, restaurant companies will look to increase compensation, provide increased training opportunities, and drive employee engagement to reduce turnover in this tight labor market.
“A leader. . .is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.”
~ Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa
How to Engage Your Hires Before They Start
by Stuart Hearn, CEO & Founder, Clear Review
In the HR and management world, we often discuss employee engagement — how to improve it, the detriments of low employee engagement levels and the difference an engaged workforce can have on a business’ bottom line. This is all important information we need to know, but an often overlooked (but nevertheless critical) part of the process is how we can actually engage employees before their very first day on the job. This is particularly important when you consider employee turnover — it’s not uncommon to see a 22% new employee attrition rate within the first 45 days. Engaging your employees before day one will go a long way to reducing your voluntary turnover.
So how do you encourage your top new recruits to retain their level of excitement following a job offer? This can be particularly difficult if the notice period is long. If there is little to no communication between your company and your new recruit, it’s very possible their enthusiasm will start to dwindle and disappear altogether.