Building a High-Performance Culture is More Important Than Ever
by Bob Gershberg, CEO/Managing Partner, Wray Executive Search
It is the mission of most leaders to build a high-performance culture, particularly when teeing up for substantive challenge or growth. The long revered strategic plan may forge a path, but truth be told, its course loses direction when the need to scramble rears its head. A strong and focused talent strategy is paramount in creating a high-performance culture. People policies drive strategy. Leaders must own employee engagement.
Instilling an unwavering sense of pride, having a concrete mission along with clear guiding principles will help ensure high performance. Winning organizations are typically performance oriented, purpose driven, and principles led. Talent needs to be sourced, engaged and developed to execute vision and business strategy. A collaborative culture is engaging and energizing but let your eagles soar.
by Kevin Stockslager, EVP & Partner, Wray Executive Search
While it sometimes seems like a lifetime ago, the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted the restaurant industry, amongst many others, and we are still feeling the effects years later. However, as the world gradually returns to normalcy, the industry is expected to continue to rebound in 2023. Recently, President Biden’s administration announced that after May 11th, COVID-19 will no longer be considered a public health emergency. Despite proclamations from our government leaders, the lingering effects of the pandemic remain and new subvariants continue to emerge, keeping transmission rates relatively high. As we move further and further away from the early days of the pandemic, the restaurant industry looks to have a strong year in 2023.
With dining restrictions well behind us, it is expected that there will be a continued increase in demand for restaurant services. Nation’s Restaurant News recently forecasted foodservice sales to approach $997 billion in 2023!! Customers have been and will continue to be eager to eat out and socialize, and restaurants will need to be prepared to meet this demand. Restaurant owners should ensure that they have enough staff, inventory, and seating capacity to cater to the surge in demand. The tightening labor force within the industry has remained one of the biggest challenges throughout the COVID pandemic. In good news, the industry has continued to add to the workforce. The National Restaurant Association posted that the industry added almost 100,000 jobs in January, bringing the industry to within 166,000 jobs of the pre-pandemic numbers.
Restaurants: Trying to See Properly in a House of Mirrors
by John A. Gordon, Principal and Founder, Pacific Management Consulting Group
Notable Anniversary Upon Us: By the time the Executive Connection is published, we will have hit the 3rd anniversary of COVID hitting the world and rendering such death, destruction, and disruption. Our world, our business, a social business of serving people, was brutally impacted with effects still being felt today and accrued in the outyears. If you didn’t have a drive-thru, unit revenues typically fell 90 to 95%. Some brands were temporarily caught without enough cash or credit-Cheesecake Factory example. And we had to lay off staff. Some did it smartly—Darden as an example. Others did not, and we now have a generation of ex-restaurant employees that wouldn’t come back to work for us ever again.
This was a true “black swan” event, an unforeseen unfavorable event that causes changes in your life and business. 9-11 was another one. The problem is, black swan events seem to be more frequent. The 2022 war in Ukraine is another. It affected our industry directly via spikes in food item inflation (oils, grains), and eventually gasoline price spikes affecting our consumers.