by Bob Gershberg, CEO/Managing Partner, Wray Executive Search
Most of us are not as good at turnaround as we’d like to think we are. I learned this myself during my operating years. I have since had the honor to work with and observe leaders who were nothing short of masterful at structuring and executing on exceedingly successful turnaround plans. There are common elements that merit study, reverence and application, if required.
There’s an old saying: “When you find yourself in a hole, the first step is to stop digging.” Taking the time to honestly and accurately assess your business, financing and resources can give you the perspective you need to decide if a turnaround is the right choice for your company. If your core business is viable, conduct a breakeven analysis using activity-based costing. Move to items or activities with measurable positive margin. Perform a four-wall analysis to determine which underperforming units or segments need to close or need immediate adjustment to remain open.
Thinking More About Restaurant Sales, Ticket, Traffic and Transactions
by John Gordon, Principal & Founder, Pacific Management Consulting Group
The discussion dejour in restaurants—actually of the last several years-- is why can’t the industry drive “positive traffic” despite a really good consumer economy. On the positive side, restaurant food away from home outlays have now exceeded food at home outlays, continuing a long positive trend line. On the negative side, growth of the number of restaurants has exceeded population growth for years. The National Restaurant Association Counts about 1,050,000 foodservice venues.
For a restaurant industry awash in numbers and analysis, the following actual Twitter thread among several
long-time restaurant analysts and observers from last week is telling in terms of the state of the industry right now:
Twitter Observer One: In the first half of the year, estimated McDonald’s AUVs are up about $140,000 per unit, while Burger King, Wendy’s, Jack in the Box were up about $20,000 AUV per unit.
Twitter Observer Two: Wow! McDonald’s Customer traffic had to be down as a result?
Twitter Observer One: Yes, negative traffic.
Twitter Observer Three: Do you think McDonald’s franchisees are taking too much price?
Twitter Observer Four: Certainly, check is up, but there are many influences, like delivery.
Twitter Observer One: Like kiosks, like fresh Quarters, also. Mix.
Twitter Observer Four: check is the sum of price and mix
The Future of Talent Management: More People, Less Process
by Steve T. Hunt, Ph.D., Chief Expert, Work & Technology, SAP Innovation Office
Every year there is talk about getting rid of talent management methods. Articles with titles like “kill your performance management process” or “why companies must eliminate pay for performance” point out what is wrong with existing methods but are often light on what to do instead. Rather than focusing on what’s wrong with current processes, here are thoughts about how I expect talent management to evolve over the coming years.
Companies will always need talent management
Talent management involves actions to place and retain people in job roles, focus them on the right things, ensure they do things in the right way, and provide development to perform current roles and transition to support future business needs. Every company has to do these things regardless of whether it has formal talent processes. The alternative to a defined talent management approach is what I call the “hire, pay and pray” strategy. It is a risky proposition to assume employees will do what you want them to do without having methods to guide, support and measure talent effectiveness. Such an informal approach might work in very small companies, but it is detrimental in large organizations.
by Kevin Stockslager, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Wray Executive Search
A tough summer for restaurant industry sales continued this month, as same store sales dropped 0.7% during the month of August, following a decline of 1.0% in July, according to the Black Box Intelligence Index by TDn2K. The restaurant industry has not experienced two consecutive months of negative same store sales since early 2018, during a period of terrible winter weather across much of the country. On a positive note, even with the recent same store sales declines, August’s sales were actually up 1.2% compared to August 2017. Of course, traffic continues to be a concern. Traffic declined 4.0% in July and 3.9% in August, restaurants have continued to rely on increased average guest checks to try and keep pace with sales, but are wary of the long term stability of that model.
Featuring Mijo Alanis, Founder and CEO of Beyond Juice
by Rebecca Patt, Senior Vice President of Development, Wray Executive Search
Beyond Juice is a healthy fast-casual restaurant company based in Detroit, MI, specializing in fresh juice, smoothies, bowls, salads, and wraps. Mijo Alanis is the founder and CEO of this fast-growing concept.
What inspired you to start Beyond Juice?
I’ve been in the restaurant business for over 35 years, and I could always gauge what customers liked or disliked by what was left over in the bus tubs. I began seeing hamburger buns and French fries being tossed out or subbed for salads in 2003. Then on my way home, I realized there wasn’t a place to even buy a banana other than a grocery store — the idea was born.
What are the growth plans for Beyond Juice?
We plan on opening 20 stores in 2019, which will bring us to 35, then 25 more stores in 2020. Who knows after that!