WBSI Blog Articles

Restaurant Guest Satisfaction Snapshot to Reveal Online Brand Health of Chain Restaurants

May 24, 2017 | Dallas, TX - White Box Social Intelligence™, a TDn2K™ company, has launched the “Restaurant Guest Satisfaction Snapshot,” revealing insights on consumer feedback and guest satisfaction on over 193,000 units and 620 brands in the restaurant industry. View the latest edition, "Value Reigns in the Eyes of Restaurant Consumers," here. “We are excited to … [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]

Not Just an HR Conference: Marketing Summit at Global Best Practices Conference

Local is the new black. The local movement is becoming stronger and more prevalent, even for global brands. The marketers who are able to dissect authentic connections to guests in a local voice will continue to thrive. Think about the successful global brand of Starbucks, striking the balance of a unified message, yet acting very locally. As the restaurant industry … [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]

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

The downturn in restaurant sales continued during August as the industry faced its third consecutive month of negative same-store sales growth and the sixth month since the beginning of the year with declining year-over-year sales. Despite the -0.6 percent same-store sales growth posted during August, there was some good news in the fact that this result represented an imp ... [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]

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]

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]

White Box Social Quarterly Report & New Features Now Available!

What can Google tell you about employee turnover? Is Yelp really moving the needle when it comes to same-store restaurant sales growth? What about ambiance? Do low scores on Ambiance predict poor sales performance? White Box Social Intelligence members are finding out! Today we published the second White Box Social Quarterly Report. This Q3 report is a member only … [Read more]

By Kat Sherrie on November 16, 2015
Also posted inwbsi

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]

Beyond the Selfies: The Changing Face of Social Media

Photo by Ron Ruggless

Are your customers truly the new marketing department? With rapid changes in social media platforms, it can be difficult to maintain control of your restaurant’s brand online. This past September at the annual MUFSO conference in Dallas, TX, a group of experts from the restaurant industry gathered to share their insights on how to continue driving a restaurant’s success … [Read more]

By Grace Kaucic on October 7, 2015
Also posted inwbsi

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]

Major Updates Released for White Box Social Intelligence Platform

White Box announced this week, major updates to the White Box Social Intelligence platform. New features include: View Top Competitor's Social Data - In the top right, next to your brand's logo, you will see the logos of the competitors you have established in the platform. Because some social and review site data is public, White Box is able to pull in data specific to … [Read more]

By TDn2K on August 12, 2015
Also posted inwbsi

Quarterly Insights from White Box Social Intelligence Available Now!

Do your Yelp & Google scores really matter? Are they actually moving the needle to drive sales and traffic? What about turnover? Do high scores on social mean lower turnover for your organization? White Box Social Intelligence members are finding out! This week, we published our first quarterly report for White Box Social Intelligence members. This much anticipated … [Read more]

By TDn2K on July 15, 2015
Also posted inwbsi

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]

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]

On the Social Media Front Lines with Stephanie Gonzales

Success in social has become increasingly complex on all fronts, from strategy to execution to measurement and everything in between. Because of this, we are starting a new blog series focused on emerging media and spotlighting those that are on the front lines. Our first interview is with Stephanie Gonzales, Social Media Marketing Coordinator at Maggiano’s Little … [Read more]

How to engage your customers with Snapchat

Snapchat is the new kid on the block for marketers since its launch in September 2011. It stayed under the radar for awhile but has had a relatively fast rise to popularity in the digital world (and is close to a $10 billion investment from Yahoo). The app, which allows users to send and open messages that self-destruct within seconds after being viewed, has attracted … [Read more]

By on October 7, 2014
Also posted inwbsi

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]

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]

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]

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