Big News
The real reason Amazon buying Whole Foods terrifies the competition
by Matthew Yglesias

Amazon's takeover of Whole Foods sent the stock of competing grocery chains plummeting. To understand why, you need to know something much simpler than Amazon's far-reaching ambitions or possible vision for transformation of the grocery industry: Amazon doesn't make any money.

Competing with Amazon is terrifying for any incumbent business because the company's executive team operates on a radical model whereby the company's overall net income is nearly zero quarter after quarter.

That is by design, not because they can't come up with any ways to make money. On the contrary, to the best of anyone's knowledge many of Amazon's specific lines of business - including, notably, Amazon Web Services - are perfectly profitable.
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Executive Movements
Chipotle Names Scott Boatwright Chief Restaurant Officer.
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Kat Cole  Named Chief Operating Officer and President, North America.
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Papa  Murphy's Names Weldon Spangler as Chief Executive Officer
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Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza Promotes Jim Mizes to President and CEO.

Paul  Murphy has been appointed executive chairman of the struggling Broomfield-based  fast-casual chain. Dave Boennighausen also named permanent CEO after leading  Broomfield-based chain on interim basis since July 2016
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David Catalano, Accomplished  Senior-Level Restaurant Executive, Joins Leading Casual Steakhouse Restaurant.
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Togo's Announces Glenn Lunde as New President.
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Naf Naf Grill Names Paul Damico as New CEO.
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Sally J. Smith to Retire as  President and CEO by End of Year.
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Financial Overview

The Wendy's Company reported unaudited results for the first quarter ended April 2, 2017
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Jack in the Box Inc. Reports Second Quarter FY 2017 Earnings.
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Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Reports Results for the Fiscal First Quarter Ended April 16, 2017
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Papa Murphy's posts $5.4M loss in Q1
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Zoës Kitchen Announces First Quarter 2017 Results
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Owner of Joe's Crab Shack chain files for bankruptcy
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Where are all the Future Leaders?
by Bob Gershberg, CEO/Managing Partner Wray Executive Search
Bob Gershberg

Quite often of late when I am chatting with my CEO buds they query, "Where are the future leaders in our industry?" Trust me folks, they are in our midst, within our reach and often right under our noses. You can breed stars, develop stars or recruit stars from the "academy companies". If there in fact is a leadership gap, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Exceptional leaders develop future leaders. Did we forget an entire generation of industry leaders who were mentored by the late Norman Brinker?

Lamenting the fact that our C-suites are all too often occupied by ineffectual retreads, a Women's Food Service Forum CAO friend of mine asked a great question, "What about all of those able bright women in our ranks?" So please allow me to make the case for the "Up & Comers":
  • They will make lots of mistakes - but will scramble and change tack much more readily than their seasoned counterparts.
  • They are not yet so impressed with themselves and therefore tend not to believe their own bulls-t.
  • They don't yet love to hear themselves talk. They are good listeners.
  • They are unfamiliar with "command and control" leadership so they are driven to inspire.
  • They will not only see the elephant in the room, but will talk about it.
  • Kicking the can down the road has not yet entered their thought process.
  • They are often too trusting but recognize loyalty abets loyalty.
  • They are focused on metrics.
  • They remain aware of their strengths and weaknesses and are comfortable hiring to complement their competencies.
  • They are eager to learn and willing to take risks.
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MillerPulse: Same-store sales increase in May


"Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical."
--Howard Schultz, Starbucks Executive Chairman

Culture Matters
3 Approaches to Culture Change: What Works
by Jesse Lyn Stoner

Jesse Lyn Stoner
You can't "do" culture change to your organization. Culture arises from the beliefs and underlying assumptions held by the people in the organization. Trying to change culture by decree or through training programs won't affect people's beliefs.

One way to change the culture is to fire a lot of people. That really shakes things up and gets change going - especially if you replace them with new people who come in with a different attitude about the company and the work.

If that doesn't appeal to you, the only way to quickly and effectively change the culture is to involve the people you want to change in designing and implementing the change effort.  
Executive Chat
Featuring Eric Houseman, CEO of Stovetop Restaurant Group 
by Rebecca Patt, SVP Development, Wray Executive Search

Rebecca Patt
Eric Houseman started with Red Robin in 1988 as a bartender and left in 2014 as President/COO. Since then, he has become CEO of Stovetop Restaurant Group, a company that is developing emerging and existing restaurant concepts nationwide.
What's New?
Restaurant Same-Store Sales Growth!
by Kevin Stockslager, Associate Vice President at Wray Executive Search

Kevin Stockslager
Exciting news for the restaurant industry this week, as MillerPulse reported the first increase in same-store sales in a year, as sales increased 0.6 percent in May. Of note and what most saw as a surprise, the casual dining segment saw a 0.8 percent growth in same-store sales, compared to an increase of 0.5 percent for the QSR segment. While encouraging, the restaurant industry did continue to see a decline in traffic for the 15th straight month, falling 1.1 percent. However, the 1.1 decline was noticeably better than the 2.3 percent average decrease in traffic that the restaurant industry has been experiencing the past year.

While not all brands fared well over the past few months, whether it was filing for bankruptcy (Ignite Restaurant Group and Soupman), closing units (Papa Murphy's), or experiencing continued declines in same-store sales and traffic, the recent news was positive for the industry as a whole. As the pricing gap between grocery stores and restaurants narrows and gas prices remain low, many anticipate a positive outlook for the remainder of 2017 with regards to same-store sales.
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