By Bob Gershberg, CEO/Managing Partner, Wray Executive Search
It is safe to say our generation has not experienced a crisis of this magnitude and severity. The breadth and depth of coronavirus and its effects is such that winning the battle will require tremendous individual and collective efforts. Superb leadership has never been so very important. Leading with agility, compassion, humility and balance will prove essential. Let your emotional intelligence guide your decisions. Compassion is extremely important currently. We may rise to the occasion if we are fortunate to have a good team around us, but there are many people in our organizations who are depending upon us, who are not necessarily that resilient.
Executives must provide quick, clear, transparent communication to all stakeholders to stay ahead of potential issues. Countering misinformation is a far more formidable task. The content of your communication must remain focused on the positive. Adversity provides opportunity to build trust with your team. Take the time to inquire about their feelings, their health and that of their families. Admit the existence of problems and delve into their challenges both professional and personal.
Interview with Meredith Sandland, Author & Advisor, Deliver the Dish
By Rebecca Patt, SVP Development, Wray Executive Search
Meredith Sandland recently founded a knowledge platform, DelivertheDish.com, and she is the co-author of the forthcoming book Delivering: The Digital Restaurant. The platform provides tools and resources to help food and beverage executives better understand off-premise food optimization. Meredith is an expert in restaurant business models, restaurant development, and the creation of new sales channels. She recently served as COO of ghost kitchen start-up Kitchen United and CDO of Taco Bell, following over a decade consulting consumer and technology businesses for Bain & Company.
What got you interested in the business of food delivery and ghost kitchens?
I was the chief Development Officer at Taco Bell, where my team built over 1000 Taco Bells. About halfway through that journey, I started wondering “if all the malls are shutting down, why are we building Taco Bells next to malls?”
Then, at the tail end of that growth spurt, we were trying to figure out a more urban model. At the time we had really none to speak of, although there are probably now more than 50 of them out there. But early on, we were trying to figure out how do you make urban work when the brand is so traditionally suburban and so reliant on the drive thru? My Head of Architecture and I looked at each other and we said, “this is so silly,” going to Manhattan, the world’s most expensive real estate, trying to develop retail space when no one is calling us from Manhattan saying, I want to hang out in a Taco Bell. They are calling us and saying I want to eat tacos, which is a totally different statement. Especially in Manhattan, where delivery is part of the daily living fabric, a restaurant seems unnecessary.
by John A. Gordon, Principal and Founder, Pacific Management Consulting Group
Now six months into COVID-19, the diversity of the restaurant industry shows clearly. Some restaurant brands, mainly some chicken and pizza QSR brands have stronger sales trends today than they were before March 12, due to menu and to their operating model strengths. Others, in the sit-down segments such as chain casual diners and fine diners, are working greatly, some doing well, others doing their best, and building for tomorrow. Many independents have been swamped and are down, with the National Restaurant Association reporting this week $165 billion in sales loss March through July 2020, with 100,000 restaurants, potentially closing this year.
Chains have generally done an excellent job of reacting in the short term. However, there are longer-term deferred needs and now emergent required investments, some of which that affected the industry for years before 2020, have to be worked over time, to build a solid foundation for growth. after the initial COVID wave hits.
"The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders and continually develops them."
~ John Maxwell
Check out Steve Crichlow's August 2020 Restaurant Industry Snapshot
Thinking of Upgrading Talent by Hiring a Superstar?
by Tom Rollert, Vice President of Development, Wray Executive Search
The COVD19 pandemic has placed us in a challenging situation with some organizations literally struggling to survive. But it is not all gloom and doom. The truth is that today’s less than robust economy actually gives smart companies a chance to upgrade their talent.
The supply of talented individuals, many of whom were cultivated and trained by some of the world’s most innovative and productive companies, has never been so plentiful or affordable. A number of our clients are seizing this opportunity to bring superstars on board. Throughout the last 35 years we have learned from our clients’ experiences, and we have summarized five key lessons to help optimize the upgrading process:
Identify your current and future internal stars first.
Align your hiring decisions with your need for current and future talent.
Temper your expectations; high performance isn’t always portable.
Don’t let eagerness short circuit your selection process.