RESTAURANT INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

Restaurant Management

How to Plan with Purpose

Many restaurant executive teams are still planning with post-it notes and ballpoint pens while their competitors are harnessing theories, tools, and techniques that sound like science fiction — big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, behavioral economics, neuromarketing — to create strategy and allocate budgets. For far too long, planning has

4 Ways Restaurants Can Curb Food Waste

Because food costs consume between 25% and 35% of a restaurant operation’s revenue, management teams make great efforts to avoid waste. In fact, only about 4% of food in American restaurants goes to waste — much better than in household consumption, where an estimated 40% of groceries are thrown away.

10 New Questions for the Sleepless Restaurant CEO

Many public company restaurant CEOs have been called on recently to answer for their sluggish responses to the emerging challenges that characterize the modern foodservice era. Oftentimes, their responsibly-worded reply is an acknowledgment that the world was changing outside their business faster than it was improving inside their business. Rising

3 Reasons to Invest in CAPEX — Plus 1 Reason to Be Cautious

Restaurant executives have to decide whether they want to be a tortoise or a hare. In the age-old fable, the tortoise moves ploddingly down the race course — slow and steady — eventually surpassing the hare, whose off-the-blocks speed can’t make up for his overconfident blundering. In Aesop, the choice

Refined Focus & Franchising Help Build Operating Margins

It’s no secret that the operating margin is thinner in foodservice than almost anywhere else, owing to the fierce competition in the industry. However, some chains have achieved impressive results. Companies with a defined focus that differentiates them from other operations have better operating margins than those organizations that try

Restaurant Margins are Shrinking in the Middle East. Here’s How to Respond.

The foodservice industry is a game of inches. With average restaurant margins falling between 3% and 5% profitability, chain leaders face incredible pressure to increase revenue, optimize costs, and make their operations more efficient. This is a skill GCC foodservice companies will soon have to master. Even though these foodservice

Restaurants Are Investing Less in CAPEX

Two of the more important metrics in understanding how a restaurant operation functions are the CAPEX-to-revenue and CAPEX-to-operating cash flow (Op.CF) ratios. These figures allow us to compare companies regardless of size, determine their long-term growth potential, and recognize their spending priorities. Capital expenditures, which describe any one-time cost, from property

Foodservice Companies Prioritizing Stock Buybacks Over CAPEX Investments

Ten years after the global financial crisis, America’s restaurant companies continue to sit on large sums of cash. In the U.S., companies have allocated $5.1 trillion to buybacks from 2008–2018, with 2018 being a record year for stock repurchases (authorizations reached $1.1 trillion, with some of those announcements being for

How Multi-Brand Portfolios Compare to Single-Concept Companies

One of the easiest ways for foodservice groups to increase revenue is to make new acquisitions, but our analysis shows that restaurant portfolios with fewer than four brands tend to reach higher total sales growth than those with four or more. Data for the top 100 foodservice groups in the

Stunning Examples of Restaurant Enterprise Value Enhancements

Restaurant enterprise value (EV) is easy to calculate: market cap + debt – cash.  It’s much harder to understand what causes EV to rise and fall. To help unravel this mystery, we examined EV enhancements among publicly traded restaurants over the past 20 years, looking for trends that produced long-