BBI Blog Articles

Flat Sales, Welcome Change for Restaurant Industry in January

The restaurant industry kicked off 2017 in a much more uplifting fashion than it ended 2016. While same-store sales growth was flat (zero percent) in January, it represented a welcome break from the ten consecutive months of negative sales growth experienced by the industry through the end of last year. January’s jump of 4.3 percentage points was the biggest month-to-mon ... [Read more]

Restaurants Winning in the Marketplace Recognized with TDn2K’s Best Practices Awards

TDn2K™ (Transforming Data into Knowledge), parent company of People Report™, Black Box Intelligence™ and White Box Social Intelligence™, announced the winners of the 2017 Best Practices Awards today at the 22nd annual Global Best Practices Conference in Dallas, Texas. The Best Practices Awards are designed to recognize consistently superior performance and results among … [Read more]

End of 2016 Sales Plunge Restaurants to its Weakest Month in Three Years

2016 closed on a sour note as December became the weakest month in over three years for same-store sales growth. The -4.3 percent sales decline for the month shrank the industry’s fourth quarter same-store sales result to -2.4 percent, the worst quarter experienced by restaurants in over five years. This insight comes from data reported by [Read more]

Restaurant Sales Growth Worst Since July; Job Growth Disappears

At -1.3 percent, disappointing restaurant sales growth in November was the ninth consecutive month of negative same-store sales; and the worst sales growth since July. Despite the economy growing at the fastest pace in two years during the second quarter, this growth did not translate into incremental sales for the industry. Same-store sales for third and fourth quarters, ... [Read more]

Thanksgiving, Gratitude, #SBrandCamp and #GivingTuesday

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. Celebrated during my favorite season, it seems to be the one day that we get almost exactly right. It is a time for family and friends. It is a chance to rest, to reflect and to share hospitality. It is a time for tradition: great food, football, Turkey Trots and finding ways to help those with less. Most of all, it is a … [Read more]

Restaurant Industry Limps into Fourth Quarter

As the restaurant industry limps into the fourth and final quarter of 2016, it’s more important than ever for operators to understand what’s coming down the pipeline next. TDn2K™ recently hosted its Q4 Restaurant Industry Update Webinar to address the most pressing issues facing the industry, namely a dismal sales environment and continuously tightening labor market. The … [Read more]

Who is Winning the Restaurant Sales Market Share Battle?

Past versus present For four quarters now, Black Box Intelligence™ has reported that quick service is the best performing segment in the restaurant industry based on same-store sales growth. This is obviously a departure from the story we had been telling until about two years ago. At that time, fast casual was the clear winner of the same-store sales battle. This segment … [Read more]

By Victor Fernandez on October 11, 2016
Also posted inbbi

August Restaurant Sales and Traffic Trend Upward, Still in Negative Territory

At -1.3 percent, disappointing restaurant sales growth in November was the ninth consecutive month of negative same-store sales; and the worst sales growth since July. Despite the economy growing at the fastest pace in two years during the second quarter, this growth did not translate into incremental sales for the industry. Same-store sales for third and fourth quarters, ... [Read more]

Weekly Jobless Claims

IN A NUTSHELL: “Businesses are investing again and given that capital spending was the weakest link in the last GDP report, third quarter growth could be really strong.” WHAT IT MEANS: Another day, another day of pretty good data. Business investment reduced growth in the spring by 1.7 percentage points. Much of that came from a reduction in inventories, but … [Read more]

Workforce Index: Good Restaurant Help Remains Hard to Find

The third quarter 2016 overall Workforce Index reported a score of 72.3, a decrease from 75.9 in the second quarter. This represents the ninth consecutive quarter the overall index has posted a reading over 70, signifying the growing pressures of a tightening labor market. This insight comes from the TDn2K™ Workforce Index produced by People Report™. During the … [Read more]

Negative Sales Streak Spans Two Quarters for First Time in 24 Months Amidst New Labor Challenges

The bad news continued for the restaurant industry during the second quarter of 2016. Same-store sales growth during the quarter was -0.7 percent, which followed last quarter’s -0.2 percent year-over-year growth rate, becoming the second consecutive quarter in which the industry has failed to produce positive sales growth. The last time the industry experienced two conse ... [Read more]

Top 5 Regions with Highest Restaurant Turnover

Last week, People Report™, a TDn2K™ (Transforming Data into Knowledge) company, released its brand new Regional Turnover and Compensation Report. This quarterly report offers an in-depth analysis of turnover and compensation data for People Report members from the national level all the way down to the unit level. With turnover on the rise and varying greatly by … [Read more]

Complex Labor Challenges and Weak Sales Continue to Plague Restaurant Industry

Despite a slight improvement in May restaurant sales, the industry has still not returned to positive territory. Sales were -0.3 percent a 0.7 percent improvement from April. May was the third consecutive month of declining sales, which have continued to slide since the fourth quarter of 2015. The average growth rate for the last eight months is -0.2 percent, with only thr ... [Read more]

Strategies to Offset Minimum Wage Hikes

TDn2K™ (Transforming Data into Knowledge) recently conducted a poll regarding the minimum wage hikes taking place across the nation. The poll asked restaurant operators to share what strategies their companies are using to combat these wage hikes and subsequent compression issues. Compression issues occur when minimum wage increases for entry-level workers rise to the same … [Read more]

Does Turnover in the Service Sector Scare the Hell Out of You?

It should. The People Report™ 2016 Recruiting and Turnover Report makes me break into a cold sweat. While you're out there doing your best to hire leaders to steer your business in the right direction, about 33% of unit-level managers were terminated within a year of hire. You guys are struggling. The burden to be an owner, operator, line leader and … [Read more]

Restaurant Industry Update: How Best-in-Class Companies Combat Challenges

TDn2K™ (Transforming Data into Knowledge) recently hosted its quarterly State of the Restaurant Industry webinar. This session featured guest speakers Margo Manning, Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Dolf Berle, President and COO from Dave and Buster’s. Dave and Buster’s received the Diamond Catalyst Award this past January at the annual Global Best Practices … [Read more]

Restaurants Experience First Negative Growth Quarter in Two Years after Disappointing March Sales

Chain restaurant same-store sales fell during March, plunging into negative growth territory for the second time in the last three months. At -0.7 percent same-store sales growth, March represented the second worst month since February of 2014. Only January 2016 was slightly weaker at -0.8 percent sales growth. This insight comes from data reported by [Read more]

Don’t Freak Out: 4 Lessons to Overcome Your Recruiting and Retention Challenges

People Report™ recently published its quarterly Workforce Index™. If you work in human resources or recruiting, it's a quick read that will help you understand some of the labor pressures in the service sector. The Workforce Index highlighted a host of recruiting and retention difficulties for hourly and management positions. For example, we learned just how turnover … [Read more]

Restaurant Sales Improved in February but Growth Continues to be Weak

After a disappointing January, the chain restaurant industry was able to reverse course and post positive same-store sales growth in February. However, at an anemic growth rate of 0.4 percent, February’s same-store sales were far from robust and continue to fuel fears that consumer spending in restaurants has slowed to a crawl. The average growth rate reported for the fi ... [Read more]

Restaurant Industry Battles Weather and Economic Uncertainty During January 2016

The restaurant industry experienced a discouraging start to the year as measured by same-store sales growth during January; external factors certainly had an impact. Same-store sales growth during January was -0.8 percent, which is the softest month since the -0.9 percent growth reported for February 2014 and only the second month with negative sales growth in the last 15 ... [Read more]

2016 Restaurant Industry Update: What’s Behind and What’s Next

New year, new trends. This week, TDn2K™ hosted its first Restaurant Industry Update webinar of 2016 to take a look in the rearview mirror at the ups and downs of the final quarter of 2015 as well as predict the coming trends for the new year. The webinar featured veteran speakers Victor Fernandez, Executive Director of Insights and Knowledge at TDn2K, and Joel Naroff, … [Read more]

Sales Growth in Q4 Not Enough to Dismiss Potential Challenges in 2016

The good news is 2015 was a much better year than 2014 for the restaurant industry; the bad news is same-store sales growth continued to decelerate during Q4. Same-store sales growth for all of 2015 was 1.6 percent, a 1.0 percent jump from the growth rate reported for 2014 and a 2.3 percent improvement compared with 2013’s results. However, the industry seems to have cra ... [Read more]

Key Competencies in Management Roles

In case you missed it: Are your managers really ready to lead? Early this week, TDn2K™ (Transforming Data into Knowledge) partnered with Assess Systems to explore this question in a special webinar session focused on management and leadership in the restaurant industry. The webinar featured guest speaker Bill Streitberger, Chief People Officer at American Blue Ribbon … [Read more]

Winning in the Workplace Just Got Tougher

Finally, a monthly employment report that says we are “officially” out of the economic woods. Likewise, the data says that we have officially returned to an employee market. The following recap from TDn2K™-retained economist Joel Naroff, together with just released People Report™ monthly data and the 4th quarter People Report Workforce Index, confirm what recruiters have … [Read more]

Superior Restaurant Workplaces to be Recognized at TDn2K’s Global Best Practices Conference

December 2, 2015 — Dallas, Texas: TDn2K™ (Transforming Data Into Knowledge) has announced the finalists for the 2016 Best Practices awards. These awards recognize consistently superior workforce results among members of People Report™, a TDn2K company. Winners will be honored January 19th at the annual Global Best Practices Conference in Dallas, Texas. Awards are given … [Read more]

Revised 3rd Quarter GDP, Housing Prices, Consumer Confidence and Philadelphia Fed NonManufacturing Index

KEY DATA: GDP: 2.1% (up from 1.5%)/ S&P Home Prices (Year-over-Year): 4.9%/ Confidence: -8.7 points/ Philadelphia Fed: up 8.8 points IN A NUTSHELL: “The economy is growing at its potential and home prices are accelerating, so why all the long faces?” WHAT IT MEANS: With terror being on everyone’s minds, it is hard to focus strictly on the economic data, but we must … [Read more]

By Joel Naroff on November 25, 2015
Also posted inbbi

September Job Openings, Hires, Layoffs and Weekly Jobless Claims

KEY DATA: Openings: +149,000; Hires: -32,000; Layoffs: -47,000; Quits: -51,000/ Claims: unchanged IN A NUTSHELL: “Firms are still willing to look for people but unwilling to hire them.” WHAT IT MEANS: Last week’s strong employment report put to rest the idea that the job market was softening. The three-month average may be below the 2014 average, but it is similar … [Read more]

Highlights and Hurdles for the End of 2015

In TDn2K’s™ (Transforming Data into Knowledge) quarterly State of the Restaurant Industry series, the team was delighted to welcome back seasoned presenters Joel Naroff, Victor Fernandez and Bob Rycroft. The October presentation and conversations were about market performance and labor trends from the third quarter of the year and a look at what to expect in the fourth … [Read more]

2016 TDn2K Workplace Legacy Award to Honor Buffalo Wild Wings’ CEO Sally Smith; Celebrating Commitment to Balancing People and Profits

October 28, 2015 – Dallas, Texas: With great respect and excitement, TDn2K™ (Transforming Data into Knowledge) will honor Sally Smith, President and CEO of Buffalo Wild Wings with the 2016 Workplace Legacy Award. The award will be presented at the annual Global Best Practices Conference produced by TDn2K (parent company of People Report™, Black Box Intelligence™ and White … [Read more]

Trifecta Management

Dr. Jac Fitz-enz

By its nature management is a holistic process. That is, we must not manage only one part of an organization. Yet, the growth of industrial enterprises necessitated division of labor. Companies split responsibilities among sales, engineering, finance and labor. As they grew the gaps between each discipline expanded until, in some cases, communication broke down. Then, top … [Read more]

Heating Labor Market Requires Best in Class Research and People Practices

It is no longer “if” but “when” staffing crunches will impact service sector operators in significant ways. The nation’s unemployment rate is steadily decreasing, and its effect on restaurant staffing levels is here to stay. Skyrocketing turnover rates along with minimum wage increases, increased regulations, and worker activism are forcing hiring managers into a tight … [Read more]

Q&A with White Castle’s CPO & VP of Marketing: John Kelley & Kim Bartley

Last week we sat down with industry leaders & TDn2K friends John Kelley, CPO and Kim Bartley VP of Marketing at White Castle, on our quarterly webinar series. Our time together tackled the current landscape, challenges and the new cycle of growth and opportunity being experienced by the industry. We reflected on Q1 results and shared a few expectations for Q2. John & Kim … [Read more]

Connected Data Drives Best in Class Performance

At TDn2K, as we study the state of the industry, our observation is that we’ve entered a new cycle, a cycle of opportunity. Sales are up, the job market is accelerating and online opportunities to connect with employees and consumers continue to emerge. How can restaurants best take advantage of this new cycle? One of the ways is to learn how to leverage data and insights; … [Read more]

What The Bosses Are Saying About Summer Brand Camp

If you are in the foodservice or hospitality industry, whatever your role, Summer Brand Camp is the place to be! Summer Brand Camp isn't just about the tactics. It's about developing and executing the strategies that make our industry and our planet a better place to be. Bosses around the industry are raving about brand camp and are encouraging other bosses to send their … [Read more]

The Rising Tide Will Not Lift All Brands

TDn2K’s Restaurant Industry Snapshot has reported the strongest comp. sales (+6.1%) and traffic growth(+2.4%) in 6 years. This feels great to report and much different than a year ago reporting on a dreadful January 2014 of ( -1.8%) comp.sales and (-3.7%) in comp. traffic. Our data suggests we are benefiting from a milder winter and the improving economy. So are we out of … [Read more]

By on February 5, 2015
Also posted inbbi

4 Economic Forces That Have a Profound Impact on Your Business

Written by Liz D’Aloia During the 2015 Global Best Practices meeting we learned a lot about emerging trends from economist Joel Naroff. Joel’s presented a session entitled “It’s the Economy, and You’re Not Stupid”. As Joel noted, there are major economic forces at work that may have a profound impact on your business. Joel kicked off the session by reminding us … [Read more]

Get Ready to Pay in 2015

Written by Liz D’Aloia During the 2015 Global Best Practices we heard about the political and economic trends that are impacting the restaurant industry. Here’s a summary of how these predictions may impact your labor budget. Wages stagnated during the recession and subsequent weak recovery. Economist Joel Narnoff explained that wage pressure on employers is like a … [Read more]

The “Good News, Bad News” for the 2015 Economy

Written by Jessica Hatcher-Scantlin Spoiler alert: I’m a total data geek. I LOVE to analyze and dig into data, learning what drives people and how it all ties together. So it’s no surprise that I was on the edge of my seat when Wally Doolin and Joel Naroff kicked off the 20th Global Best Practices Conference by sharing data and expert analysis on where the restaurant … [Read more]

Game On!!

At TDn2K (Transforming Data into Knowledge) we just released “The Restaurant Industry Snapshot” for December 2014. I have to say I remained on the fence about the economy and the effect it will have on our industry, even taking into account the improving same store sales and traffic results in Q2 and Q3 of last year. We all know that the year started out in a hole; Q4 2013 … [Read more]

By on January 8, 2015
Also posted inbbi

It’s Giving Tuesday, Let’s Raise 50K for #NoKidHungry!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are behind us. In good tradition, they've save the best for last. December 2nd is #GivingTuesday and that means it’s time for the annual No Kid Hungry Give-a-Thon. Please join us, and millions of people around the world, in this day of giving. $1 will connect hungry kids to ten meals. We have two days focused on getting deals. We have one … [Read more]

The Employer Market is Already Over; Really

By TDn2K economist, Joel Naroff, President & Chief Economist Naroff Economic Advisors The People Report Workforce Index, published at the end of September indicated that employment pressures are already at a pre-recession high, not reported since late 2007. Yet many employers remain skeptical about any impending shortages, or the need to re-examine … [Read more]

2015 Workplace Legacy Award Goes To…

An important part of every Global Best Practices conference is celebrating the elite companies and leaders who are making a difference in our industry. We honor the ones who get it, who connect people, profits and planet and are leaving their businesses, communities and workplaces better than they found them. The TDn2K Workplace Legacy Award was created and presented … [Read more]

From Blogging to the Boardroom

It’s been six years since the world of work and business, as we knew it came crashing down. September 15th, 2008, Lehman filed bankruptcy and the insanity called the Great Recession began. Before the month was over, budgets were being slashed, travel was being cancelled, the layoffs started, and the newsfeeds from New York and Washington were scary. In retrospect we know … [Read more]

Help Us Celebrate 20 Years of Balancing People & Profits

Visit globalbpc.net

20 years is a big milestone no matter how you measure it. We are humbled by the restaurant leaders and partners who have been part of this journey and supported us along the way. Next January, we will come together to celebrate our industry, its trailblazers and the amazing community that has grown during 20 years of Best Practices Conferences. This celebration simply … [Read more]

Riddle: What can’t you force, can’t let happen by itself, and absolutely need for your brand? Answer: Your employees on social!

Employee brand advocacy. Internal social media. Brand ambassadorship. Workforce Marketing. If you were with us for Summer Brand Camp you heard a lot about these topics. Whatever the current vernacular, the challenge is the same: how do you get employees to say what you want them to say, when you can’t control what they say? (Hint: The experts are laughing that the word … [Read more]

Surf’s Up…and it’s Not a Hurricane!

Don’t go out and buy a new surfboard, but use the one you have and enjoy the ride! August 2014 same store sales results for the Black Box Intelligence Industry Index, as reported in TDn2K’s “The Restaurant Industry Snapshot”, are the best results since February 2012. The Black Box Intelligence Index with more than 19,000 units reporting in all five segments recorded a … [Read more]

August 2014 Experiences Best Month for Restaurants in Over Two Years

The restaurant industry significantly accelerated its sales growth in August. Same-store sales growth was 2.1% in August, a very robust 1.6% improvement from the growth rate reported for July. It was the best month for the industry in terms of sales growth since February of 2012. With these latest results, the industry seems poised to achieve two consecutive quarters of … [Read more]

Memories, Milestones & Cathedrals – The road to our 20th Global Best Practices Conference

Almost 20 years ago we founded People Report™, a venture devoted to serving as a catalyst for companies that wanted to “balance people and profits”. A few brave and innovative chain foodservice executives entered the mostly uncharted waters of collaborating in order to become better competitors. It was a strange and uncomfortable concept then, and for many it still is; … [Read more]

[Part 2] Tips from the Top: A Conversation with Economic Expert Joel Naroff

TDn2K’s “State of the Industry” quarterly member webinars feature a special industry guest to share their insights and prediction about the restaurant industry. Today, our Q2 webinar, we were lucky to have economic expert Joel Naroff share his insights. Joel L. Naroff is President and Chief Economist at Naroff Economic Advisors; a strategic economic consulting firm that … [Read more]

Ides of July 2014; Surviving or Thriving?

Hard to believe, but 2014 is officially half over. Whether you are dusting off your New Year’s resolutions or your business plan, it’s time to take one last glance in the rear view mirror and focus on the windshield. Our hot off the press Restaurant Industry Snapshot™ rolls up to year to date results that were officially deemed “lackluster”; positive 0.06% same store … [Read more]

By on July 15, 2014
Also posted inbbipr

Tips from the Top: A Conversation with Economic Expert Joel Naroff

TDn2K’s “State of the Industry” quarterly member webinars feature a special industry guest to share their insights and prediction about the restaurant industry. On July 16th our Q2 webinar will be joined by Joel L. Naroff, President and Chief Economist at Naroff Economic Advisors; a strategic economic consulting firm that advises corporations and financial institutions on … [Read more]

Connect Social to Strategy, Not Just Sales

Written by Chelsea Hickey | Marketing Manager at WOMMA during Summer Brand Camp What do you get when human resources, marketing and operations don’t use data? Ads and content that are not relevant to the consumer. Does your brand portray the image customers see when they think about you, or what your exec team wants people to see? Sure, United would like us to … [Read more]

Super Bowl: Touchdown for Restaurants in Host Cities?

When it comes analyzing the effect of the Super Bowl on the restaurant industry, usually the discussion centers on the boon experienced by those concepts that deliver pizza or where people can go pick up their chicken wings before heading home to watch the big game. But what about the effect on restaurants operating in the event’s host city? “The effect of the Super Bowl … [Read more]

Maximizing 2014: The Top 10 Trends for HR

What does the future hold for HR? Glad you asked. We don’t use on our crystal ball to find the answer, instead we looked at the cold hard stats, trend growth and insights from HR managers. The answer is good news – it’s “opportunity”! There are 10 big trends affecting HR in 2014 – all of which provide the perfect opportunity for business growth if you know how leverage … [Read more]

It’s a New Year… Thank Goodness!

I don’t know about you, but 2013 was a confusing year in our business. We had record gains by public restaurant company stocks during one of the most challenging years of sales and traffic (Black Box Intelligence -.01% & -2.1% respectively). Aren’t we in the fifth year of what is typically an eighteen to thirty six month recovery? And the weather gods are punishing us, as … [Read more]

By on January 14, 2014
Also posted inbbipr

Cheesecake Factory to be Honored with 1st Ever Diamond Catalyst Award

Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) October 16, 2013 The coveted Best Practices Awards given out each fall by People Report and Black Box Intelligence acknowledge best overall performance among members of the People Report Community based on restaurant management retention, hourly employee retention, composite diversity, year over year improvement and community involvement. This … [Read more]

Q3 Restaurant Industry Sales and Traffic Mirror Economic Uncertainty

Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) October 11, 2013 Despite the improvement during September, restaurant same-store sales for the third quarter again fell into negative territory, evidencing the industry is far from sustained, healthy growth. The industry saw a slight improvement in its same-store sales during September; though this small growth in sales will likely be short lived … [Read more]

Consistency: Last Refuge of the Unimaginative?

Oscar Wilde once said that consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. I’m pretty sure he never ran a restaurant. I suppose it’s true that consistency is sometimes associated with being conservative or lacking flair. With thousands of messages vying for our attention, we’re usually drawn to whatever is new or trending. It’s tough to make headlines without making … [Read more]

Brighter Outlook for Restaurant Salaries and Benefits Packages in 2014

This week, People Report launched the sale of its 2013 Corporate Compensation and Benefits Survey (CCBS). Results of this annual survey answer the key questions: Are restaurant employees’ compensation and benefits package competitive? Do restaurants offer hourly restaurant workers as well as corporate employees fair wages? “With so few compensation data sources in our … [Read more]

Restaurant Industry Sales Stall in June Slowing Down Sales Growth for Second Quarter

Black Box Intelligence and People Report released the Restaurant Industry Snapshot for June this week, reporting flat sales during the month; a disappointment after three straight months of positive sales. Same-store sales were 0.0 percent in June, a decrease from +0.8 percent in May and +0.4 percent in April. Same-store traffic results declined 2.5 percent, also a … [Read more]

Employment, Turnover and Starting Salaries on the Rise for the Restaurant Industry

Q1 numbers published by Black Box Intelligence and People Report show the restaurant industry experienced continued job growth, rising turnover for both management and hourly employees and an increase in starting salaries for unit level managers. At the end of the first quarter of 2013, the restaurant industry experienced continued job growth, rising turnover for both … [Read more]

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