Wray Newsletter Masthead
Have Minimum Wage Increases Hurt the Restaurant Industry? The Evidence Says No!

Federal and state minimum wage increases over the past twenty years have not resulted in fewer restaurants or lower employment in the United States, according to an analysis published by the Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) at Cornell's School of Hotel Administration (SHA) in association with the Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations (CIHLER). The study, "Have Minimum Wage Increases Hurt the Restaurant Industry? The Evidence Says No!," was written by Michael Lynn and Christopher Boone, both SHA faculty members. The report is available at no charge from CHR.   Full Article » 

Executive Movements

OTG Announces Appointment of Brian Britton as President
Full Article »

TGI Fridays has named hotel executive Robert Palleschi as its president and CEO to succeed Nick Shepherd, who stepped down in October.
Full Article »

CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries Group, Inc. Appoints Sarah Stephenson As New Chief Human Resources Officer
Full Article »

First Watch announced that Chief Marketing Officer Chris Tomasso has been promoted to President of First Watch effective January 1, 2016. Full Article »

Ignite Restaurant Group, Inc. announced that Robert S. Merritt has been named Chief Executive Officer, effective November 17, 2015
Full Article »

Pizza Hut has named David Timm as chief marketing officer of its U.S. unit, filling a role that had been vacant for two months with a Yum Brands marketing executive with international experience.
Full Article »

Famous Dave's of America, Inc., has appointed Adam Wright as Chief Executive Officer.
Full Article »

More Executive Movements »

Financial Overview

Wingstop Inc. Releases Preliminary Full Year 2015 Sales Results. Reports 18.7% Unit Growth and 7.9% Domestic Same Store Sales Full Article »

RAVE Restaurant Group, Inc. announced preliminary results for the second quarter of fiscal 2016 ended December 27, 2015. Full Article »

Del Taco Restaurants, Inc. Announces Preliminary Unaudited Fiscal Fourth Quarter 2015 Sales Results and Updated 2015 Guidance.  Full Article »

Tropical Smoothie Cafe Reports Strongest Growth In Its 19-year History.  Full Article »

Zoės Kitchen Announces Third Quarter 2015 Revenue Increased 29.4 Percent. 
Full Article »

Sonic Corp., the nation's largest chain of drive-in restaurants, today announced results for its first fiscal quarter ended November 30, 2015. 
Full Article »

More Financial News »


I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games.

26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life.

And that is why I succeed. 
- Michael Jordan

Post-Merger Success: Increasing the Odds
by Bob Gershberg, CEO/Managing Partner Wray Executive Search
Bob Gershberg

Once asked if the AOL Time Warner merger was a success, Steve Case the architect of the ill-fated deal joked, "Of course it was. We could never have lost that much money on our own." "Culture clash" is the oft mentioned culprit. In this era of mergers, private equity acquisitions or change in ownership, so much time is spent on financial due diligence pre-closing but so dreadfully little on post-acquisition strategy. So much time spent on studying the existing state with so little focus on innovative assessment of how to improve and change the existing state. Full Article »
COMING OF AGE - Goldman Sachs
One of the largest generations in history is about to move into its prime spending years. Millennials are poised to reshape the economy; their unique experiences will change the ways we buy and sell, forcing companies to examine how they do business for decades to come. http://www.goldmansachs.com/our-thinking/pages/millennials/
Executive Chat
Executive Chat with Rodney Anderson, CEO of Panchero's Franchise Corporation
by Rebecca Patt, SVP Development, Wray Executive Search
Rebecca Patt

Panchero's is a fast-casual Mexican grill concept with 65 locations, based in Coralville, IA, and founded by Rodney Anderson in 1992. Panchero's is known for making fresh-pressed tortillas on site, freshly made for each order. They currently operate in 21 states across the US, and about 40 of their stores are operated by franchisees.

What is new at Panchero's? We are opening a lot of units and moving into new markets, so that is exciting. We have a lot of good franchisees signed up. Product wise, we are working on tofu, which has been in testing for a while and has now reached another level of testing. It may be a permanent addition to our menu. It's a nice spicy tofu, our spiciest product on the menu.  Full Article »
by John A. Gordon, principal and founder of Pacific Management Consulting Group
John A. Gordon

A group of very smart restaurant professionals gathered at a dinner recently to devise a restaurant acquisition "wish list" focused on US smaller and emerging brands. While situations differ everywhere, based on the dynamics of the restaurant space and brands, staff and investor skills and other particularities, here is a condensed version of that wish list that provides an interesting commentary on current restaurant conditions.  Full Article »
Financial Edge
Summer 2015 - The Tipping Point
by David Ulrich, EVP Wray Executive Search
David Ulrich

Employment trends throughout much of 2015 were very encouraging for the workforce throughout the US. This past summer marked the beginning of a tipping point for many employees hired at increase wages across the board and will be viewed as the start of an "employees market." Despite the recent capitulation on Wall Street with the Dow, S&P, and NASDAQ all heading lower at the turn of the New Year, I assure you it's not an indication of a future recession any time soon.  Full Article »
The Big Apple
Anatomy of a Success
by Joe Radice, Vice President, Wray Executive Search
Joe Radice

A Shake Shack sceptic since moving my office eight years ago to one block north of Manhattan's Madison Park -- Shake Shack's first location -- I found a need to re-evaluate my initial impressions: standing in a long line at a hot dog stand for a burger and fries in the face of the winds and cold of a New York January, made no sense to me. Granted the rich custard shake was exceptional, but not much fun consuming in near-freezing temperatures. But, a $1.6 Billion IPO and 65 new store openings worldwide require me to take a closer look. Predictably, the always prescient Danny Meyer and his Shake Shack team, headed by Randy Garutti, have been doing everything right.  Full Article »

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