Executive Movements

Inspire Brands Names New President of Buffalo Wild Wings

Kona Grill Announces Jim Kuhn promoted to President and CEO and Berke Bakay appointed as Executive Chairman

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Announces Change in Operations Leadership

Rick Van Warner Named CEO of Tijuana Flats
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Friendly's and Johnny Rockets CEO John Maguire Steps Down.
George Michel to be interim CEO at Friendly's and Mike Nolan Named CEO at Johnny Rockets

Paris Baguette Appoints Jack F. Moran As New Chief Operating Officer

Golden Corral Exec Chris Keuhn Named CMO at Captain D's

Financial Overview

Ruby's Diner, Inc. Enters into Plan Support Agreement to be Effectuated via In-Court Reorganization; Independent Franchises Not Included in Proceedings
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Sonic Reports Solid Same-Store Sales Momentum in the Fourth Fiscal Quarter of 2018
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Zoe's Kitchen, Inc. to Be Acquired by CAVA Group, Inc.
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Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Reports Results for the Fiscal Second Quarter Ended July 15, 2018
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The Wendy's Company Sells Ownership Interest in Inspire Brands for $450 Million
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Ruth's Hospitality Group, Inc. Reports Second Quarter 2018 Financial Results
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Jack in the Box Inc. Reports Third Quarter FY2018 Earnings
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Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. Reports Second Quarter 2018 Results
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Post-Merger Success: Increasing the Odds

by Bob Gershberg, CEO & Managing Partner, Wray Search

Bob Gershberg
With Merger & Acquisition activity in the industry continuing at a heated pace, it is time to revisit the importance of cultural integration. M&A due diligence should go way further than a perfunctory view of the balance sheets, company records and competitive set. In fact, a whole host of business, legal and human capital considerations ought to be enmeshed. Conflicting company cultures is one of the biggest reasons for failed mergers. According to a report by the Hay Group, an astounding 91 percent of mergers fail because of culture shock.

Once asked if the ill-fated AOL Time Warner merger was a success, Steve Case, the architect of the deal joked, "Of course it was. We could never have lost that much money on our own." "Culture clash" is the oft mentioned culprit.  In this era of mergers, private equity acquisitions or change in ownership, so much time is spent on financial due diligence, pre-closing, but so dreadfully little on post-acquisition strategy. So much time spent on studying the existing state with so little focus on innovative assessment of how to improve and change the existing state. So much time spent on financial capital but so little on the human capital side.

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Executive Chat with Alan Cichon
President of U.S. Operations for Flight Club and AceBounce

by Rebecca Patt, SVP Development, Wray Executive Search

Rebecca Patt
In this month's Executive Chat, Rebecca features Alan Cichon. Alan heads up the U.S. operations in Chicago for Flight Club, an innovative, new restaurant and bar concept featuring "Social Darts," high-tech dartboards designed for a fun, social group playing. He also runs AceBounce, a ping-pong focused concept. The brands are owned by London-based Social Entertainment Ventures.

"Sweat equity is the most valuable equity there is. Know your business and industry better than anyone else in the world. Love what you do or don't do it. "  

~ Mark Cuban 
Businessman, Investor & Philanthropist
5 Leadership Strategies That Cultivate Cognitive Diversity

by Julie Winkle Giulioni, Respected Speaker & Best-Selling Author

Julie Winkle Giulioni
Diversity is among the most critical issues and opportunities we face today. Conscious efforts abound, both in business settings and the world as a whole, to combat prejudice and improve inclusion. 

The focus has been, to date, on such factors as race, gender, age and religion, all of which are important. But what about different perspectives, information-processing styles and ideas? Cognitive diversity is one factor that has been largely overlooked in our effort to honor differences.

Certainly, one reason that cognitive diversity might not get the attention it deserves is that, whereas other differences are generally obvious to the naked eye, how someone thinks or approaches a problem is virtually invisible. The issue also meshes seamlessly into and around people's communication styles, further disguising it. 

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Why Is Capital Spending Assistance to Restaurant Franchisees on the Upswing?

by John A. Gordon, Principal and Founder of Pacific Management Consulting Group

John A. Gordon
John A. Gordon
Some interesting developments in restaurant franchising that is becoming a reality even in the "asset light "restaurant space. It turns out that it does take money to make money in the future.

The requirement for franchisee capital spending (CAPEX)-the big-ticket construction, equipment and information technology outlays is often underestimated and almost always under-reported. These outlays traditionally have been the franchisee's responsibility. A few chains, like McDonald's and Tim Horton's Canada kept real estate and construction in-house and initially corporately funded it, with franchisor cost recovery occurring over time by the franchisee paying at or above market rents. Later, the McDonald's franchisee had to pay for remodels, and /or scrape and rebuilds totally out of hide.  But this is relatively rare, mostly the franchisee funded the capital spending via friends and family, bank debt, partners and injected cash. That was doable by some especially after the Great Recession as interest rates remained very low.