Wray Newsletter Masthead
Big News
Urban Outfitters to acquire Vetri Family of Restaurants

Philadelphia-based retailer Urban Outfitters announced this morning it will acquire the Vetri Family restaurant group. One of Philadelphia's most well-regarded chefs, Marc Vetri and his business partner Jeff Benjamin established the restaurant group, which includes Pizzeria Vetri, Osteria, Amis, Alla Spina, Vetri and Lo Spiedo, which is located in the Navy Yard along with the headquarters of Urban Outfitters.   Full Article » 
Executive Movements

Corner Bakery Cafe and Il Fornaio today announced that restaurant industry veteran Frank Paci has been named Chief Executive Officer of both companies.
Full Article »

Umami Burger CEO Paul Clayton is joining Peet's Coffee & Tea in early November as president, retail.
Full Article »

Papa Murphy's Holdings, Inc. the world's leading take and bake pizza brand, today announced that Brandon Solano will be joining the company as Chief Marketing Officer on November 30, 2015.
Full Article »

Twin Peaks announced today that industry veteran Starlette Johnson has agreed to join the company as CEO, allowing company founder Randy DeWitt to spend more time on his various other restaurant ventures. Full Article »

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc., the franchisor and operator of Popeyes® restaurants, yesterday announced the appointment of Lizanne Thomas to its Board of Directors.
Full Article »

"Famous Dave" Anderson has rejoined the struggling barbecue restaurant chain that bears his name.
Full Article »

More Executive Movements »

Financial Overview

Income from Continuing Operations Increased 20.0% to $2.6 Million - Quarterly Earnings Per Share from Continuing Operations Up 23.4% to $0.08. Full Article »

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc.,reported results for its fiscal third quarter of 2015, which ended October 4, 2015. The Company also announced increased same-store sales and earnings guidance for fiscal 2015. Full Article »

Texas Roadhouse, Inc., announced financial results for the 13 and 39 week periods ended September 29, 2015. Comparable restaurant sales increased 6.9% at company restaurants and 7.7% at franchise restaurants.  Full Article »

Jamba, Inc. Reports Third Quarter 2015 Comparable Store Sales Growth of +5.6%.  Full Article »

Huddle House Setting Pace For Record Year In 2015. The comp stores sales results included a dramatic 14.1 percent increase for corporate owned restaurants and a 6.6 percent increase for franchised restaurants. 
Full Article »

Ignite Restaurant Group Reports Third Quarter 2015 Financial Results. Total revenues were $133.4 million, compared to $139.3 million in the third quarter of 2014. 
Full Article »

Revenue increased 15.3% to $73.9 million from $64.1 million in the third quarter of 2014 - Comparable restaurant sales increased 4.2% as compared to the same period in 2014, the 21st consecutive quarter of comparable restaurant sales growth 
Full Article »

Q4 Comp Sales Increase 8% Globally, 9% in the U.S.; Global Traffic Up 4% Q4 Revenues Jump 18% to a Record $4.9 Billion; Operating Income Up 13% to a Record $969 Million. 
Full Article »

More Financial News »


"If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it."
- Margaret Fuller

Gender Diversity in the Boardroom
by Bob Gershberg, CEO/Managing Partner Wray Executive Search
Bob Gershberg

Despite increasing recognition for the value women bring to corporate boards, US companies continue a slow march toward gender diversity. While progress is being made, it is not at the pace needed to result in a significant expansion of board diversity in the near term, or to compete with public sector approaches being taken in other markets. Diversity of perspective does matter. Having a broad range of collective attributes, rather than overlapping or redundant qualities, helps the board significantly in fulfilling its responsibilities of providing good corporate governance and strategic oversight. Full Article »
Why is "meaning" so meaningful and so important?
by Samir S. Gupte
Samir Gupte

Simon Sinek's TED talk "How Great Leaders Inspire Action" is nearing 25,000,000 views as he exhorts leaders to connect the work of their employees to something bigger and grander. A recent Wall Street Journal article claims that "...Homo sapiens is the meaning-seeking animal. If there is one thing the great institutions of the modern world do not do, it is to provide meaning. Science tells us how but not why. Technology gives us power but cannot guide us as to how to use that power. The market gives us choices but leaves us uninstructed as to how to make those choices. The liberal democratic state gives us freedom to live as we choose but refuses, on principle, to guide us as to how to choose."  Full Article »
Executive Chat
Executive Chat with David McDougall, CEO of Back Yard Burgers
by Rebecca Patt, SVP Development, Wray Executive Search
Rebecca Patt

David McDougall is CEO of Back Yard Burgers, a franchise brand with 61 locations in 13 states, based in Nashville, TN. We had a chance to talk last week at the Restaurant Finance and Development Conference in Las Vegas.

What is new and exciting at Back Yard Burgers? We've just recently completed 30 consecutive months of positive comp sales, which is huge, particularly with where the brand was three years ago, going through a restructuring. In addition to that, we've recently finished work on a new concept store, what I refer to as the Back Yard Burgers of tomorrow. I think that's going to be a real game changer for the brand, as we look to not only have new construction that would be in the new image, but also a remodel program.  Full Article »
A Deeper View of Current Restaurant Conditions, from the Finance and Development Conference
by John A. Gordon, principal and founder of Pacific Management Consulting Group
John A. Gordon

I had the opportunity to attend the 26th annual Restaurant Finance and Development Conference last week. This is an excellent conference to get beyond the headlines and spin from earnings calls. Here are a few observations of themes heard:  Full Article »
Financial Edge
Entrepreneurs & Jobs, Jobs, Jobs in 2016
by David Ulrich, EVP Wray Executive Search
David Ulrich

Tis the season for budget planning and taking out the proverbial "crystal ball" for many executive teams that are looking ahead into 2016. There are some potential headwinds and uncertainty including the recent tragedy in Paris that can cause the consumer to hit the pause button. However, with the holiday season upon us, there needs to be some clarity for how things will pan out as we transition into 2016. Even the mighty Chipotle has hit a wall with recent supply chain issues that will leave a mark on the company's reputation in spite of it being the darling of many Millennials.  Full Article »
Talent Matters
The Evolution Of Talent Management Consulting - Part II of a two part series
by Tom Rollert, Vice President of Culture Integration Wray Executive Search
Tom Rollert

Succession/Workforce Planning Succession and workplace planning are not (or at least, should not be) the function of HR alone. Leadership-from the CEO to frontline managers- should have a high level of input in the selection of successors. These days, succession planning cannot be only about filling organizational needs-especially not when it comes to talent management. The emphasis now must be on allowing men and women in the workforce to balance career and personal aspirations. Thus, organizations must learn too how to balance their employees with organizational goals, and tailor moves to meet the needs of their employees.  Full Article »

Connect With Us
 Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn