by Bob Gershberg, CEO/Managing Partner, Wray Executive Search
Creating a culture of engagement is critical to leading a company to success. Engagement happens when employees are expected to give their ultimate best and know exactly what they are held accountable for. They need to have something to believe in and feel a part of something worthy. Engagement happens when the team feels informed, involved and able to openly discuss their thoughts. People need to feel they matter, and they are valued in an organization.
Engagement starts with rigorous recruiting. Identifying the right leaders is paramount to creating a culture of engagement. Hire those who are likely to be engaged from day one. Focus on what inspires a person. Spend time on the mission and determine if their career trajectory will intersect with the company’s path to fruition. Understand what motivates them.
by Kevin Stockslager, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Wray Executive Search
Restaurant industry sales continued to cool down towards the latter part of 2019, with same-store sales dropping -2.1% during he month of December, the lowest mark in two plus years. Traffic also took a hit in December 2019, dropping -5.7%. The continued decline in traffic over the past few years has been of great concern and not likely a trend that will be reversing course anytime soon. The restaurant industry is changing and must continue to be nimble to meet the needs of its various consumer base. Several of the trends in 2019 will stay true in 2020, including the increased focus on hiring and retaining talented employees, implementation of technology, and building off-premise sales.
Featuring Beth Dela Cruz, President of Jollibee Foods Corporation North America
by Rebecca Patt, Senior Vice President of Development, Wray Executive Search
Beth Dela Cruz started with Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC) as a shift manager in a restaurant in the Philippines and today is the president of JFC Philippine Brands North America. Manila-based JFC is one of the fastest growing restaurant companies in the world, and Beth is at the helm of bringing their signature brands to North America, celebrating several recent grand openings with huge fanfare.
In the last two weeks of December 2019 alone, she helped open three new Jollibee restaurants in Canada where excited customers have camped out for hours in the cold to be first in line, bringing the total of Jollibee restaurants in North America to around 50 and growing. The company also celebrated the opening of a new headquarters office in West Covina, CA, in November 2019, home to over 100 employees.
by John Gordon, Principal & Founder, Pacific Management Consulting Group
The calendar now says that is it 2020, and too many of us remember 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010. One of the nice things about being a veteran of any line of business, like restaurants, is that your perspective deepens with the additional years. We know what we know now. Sometimes it prohibits expensive mistakes later.
The need to take down competitors to build sales
In the case of 2020, all of the restaurant space’s issues from the 2010 decade have rolled over. Nothing has changed. Exactly the same issues to start the year. That leads to the first restaurant observation noted once again at the 2020 ICR Exchange Conference that just concluded this week where a good number of public and smaller restaurant chains who hope to be public chains one day come to present.
For leaders, it pays to be confident. Spend a few minutes on the internet and you’ll find that confidence is viewed as the cornerstone of leadership and a leader’s best friend. There is plenty of information on the secrets of confident leaders from history and in business, and lots of tips for being a confident leader. And if you’ve got money to spend, there’s no shortage of ‘experts’ who’ll show you the path to greater confidence.
Perhaps this focus on confidence should not be too surprising. According to research, we tend to give an ear to and trust more fully those who project confidence and sound more authoritative. Whether you’re establishing your own expertise, spearheading a political campaign, or leading a company, speaking and acting with confidence has undeniable benefits.
by Tom Rollert, Vice President, Wray Executive Search
Merger & Acquisition is often cited by business as an important and strategic growth strategy. In our current high flying business environment, more companies are looking at available opportunities to acquire and the level of M&A activity is increasing. Key reasons for restaurant and retail M&A include geographic or customer market extension, enhancing business capacity through increased distribution, extending the value chain by acquiring suppliers or distributors, or acquiring technical and product knowledge that would take too long to develop in-house.
Unfortunately, M&A strategy is not risk free, and in fact research consistently shows that results are often less than anticipated.
75 percent of M&A’s fail or turn out to be disappointments,
50 percent of M&A’s lead to lower productivity during the first 4-8 months,
Almost 50 percent of key people in target companies leave within the first 12 months.