Thanks for stopping by our booth at the Restaurant Finance and Development Conference. Always great to catch up with friends old and new.
Here's to a strong close to 2019 and roaring start to the new year.
Leadership and Management – Not the Same
by Bob Gershberg, CEO/Managing Partner, Wray Executive Search
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.
At a glance it appears many companies are over-managed and under led. Managers drive people to do their routine tasks on a regular basis. Leaders dig deeper and touch the emotional triggers to create a sense of belonging. Managers match skill sets to fit the person to the task. Leaders align people with the vision. A leader sets direction. A manger designs a plan.
Change is the function of leadership and motivating to overcome the obstacles of change is paramount for success. Managerial processes have less risk. They are routine by design and require closely adhered to systems.
Dispatches from 2019 Restaurant Finance and Development Conference
by John Gordon, Principal & Founder, Pacific Management Consulting Group
Many of us are now back from the massive Restaurant Finance and Development Conference last week in Las Vegas. This was my 15th straight conference, and it has always been a place of learning new things and meeting new people. Hats off to founder John Hamburger who began the conference with ten people in the late 1980s and has grown it this year to over 3000 attendees. All of the following issues got much discussion there:
M&A………I was fortunate to guide a panel on franchise M&A with four great panel members: Alan Gallup (National Franchise Sales), Chad Spaulding (Capital Spring), Stuart Adair (City National) and Carty Davis (C2 Advisory). So, adequate lender funds for restaurants are still available, but underwriting terms are a bit more tough. Franchisee to franchisee, refranchising, private equity and family office transactions are all taking place. But franchisor signoff of the transaction is taking longer and is more involved. It is very clear in many brands franchisee percentage profit margins are challenged by rising labor and rents, and in some, by CAPEX requirements for remodels. The panel members stressed the need for prudent debt management…. watching especially the debt to long term EBITDA ratios. Plainly spoken, this means there has to be a debt repayment plan actuality in pace that works. Underwriting factors excluded, interest rates are expected to be flat in 2020. FYI, the banks do not yet know what the key replacement for the LIBOR rate index will be.
by Tom Rollert, Vice President, Wray Executive Search
Even the best organizations want to improve employee productivity in order to grow overall business performance and corporate value. But the tool most often used to evaluate and improve performance—the performance review—really isn‘t capable of helping organizations reach their overall goal.
The biggest strike against performance reviews is that they are the equivalent of looking in the rearview mirror to see where the employee has been—and perhaps failed. Why not look ahead to see where the employee can successfully go? Additionally, since performance reviews occur once a year, if at all, they require us to look back over a long period of time. They make the manager look petty (―Let‘s talk about your performance on that project nine months ago…‖), and even if viewed positively, any corrective solutions are generally too late to do any good.
Here‘s a helpful idea: Coach early and often. Early, to catch potential problems before they happen. Often, because the continuous interest shown in, and feedback given to, employees through coaching guarantees better performance. Coaching provides counsel in real time and clearly identifies goals in the context of the employee’s job. Good coaches understand the current reality of the employee’s world, and are aware of issues that might prevent a worker from reaching his or her goals. Good coaching provides the right environment to development strategies that allow an employee to achieve his or her goals.
Featuring Tamala Fowler, CEO of Belief Brand Partners, the franchisor of This is It! Southern Kitchen
by Rebecca Patt, Senior Vice President of Development, Wray Executive Search
In 1983, Butch Anthony and his wife founded This Is It! BBQ & Seafood in Atlanta. In 2016, Belief Brands Partners, LLC was formed to be the franchisor of This Is It! under a renewing 50-year licensing agreement. The fast-casual Southern kitchen concept has 11 locations and growing. Tamala has an executive background focused operations and franchising with over 20 years at Olive Garden, Friday’s, Dickey’s, and Gigi’s Cupcakes. She joined This is It in September 2019.
What inspired you to join This Is It?
Meeting the founder. Mr. Anthony is a dedicated professional just like his parents before him. His mother and father worked together, owning and operating a successful diner in Tampa, Florida in the 1950’s- a time when there were not many Black owned businesses in the area. When he then opened his own restaurants in Atlanta over 35 years ago, he was following in their footsteps and in everything he did, he did the very best he could- to honor them. The first time we met he told me his dream was to see his restaurants grow outside of Atlanta and let people from all over the country experience his food. I couldn’t resist. I want more than anything to help him make that dream come true.