Restaurant Industry’s Outlook Improving!

As Restaurant Management Recruiters, we will often see hiring trends before it makes news.  In the last 6 months we have been contacted by many new resstaurant and contract food companies wanting us to find managers for their locations.  This is great news on many fronts. First it’s great because it means that companies are opening new locations and need to hire their management team.  It’s great news because the demographics shows that people are eating out or the restaurant chain would not be opening new locations. And it’s great news that companies have the budget and see the need for using a recruiting agency.  Last week we received job openings for almost 350 management positions – in a single week!

Below is an article published in Nations Restaurant News which validates the same trends we at Patrice  & Associates are seeing in the hospitality industry.

October brought more signs of stability, and possibly recovery, in the restaurant industry as commodity prices eased slightly, same-store sales improved and consumer confidence climbed, an analyst said Monday.
 
Brad Ludington, an analyst with KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., wrote in his Monthly Restaurant Roundup that various data points from last month indicate that the industry outlook is improving. Ludington pointed in particular to companies with “differentiated brands” that continue to “execute at a higher level than their peers, despite other macro pressures,” such as The Cheesecake Factory Inc., Ruby Tuesday Inc., Darden Restaurants Inc., CEC Entertainment Inc., and Papa John’s International Inc.

Ludington highlighted three key areas with positive signs for the industry:

Commodity prices remain high, but fell slightly in October.

KeyBanc’s Restaurant Commodity Index fell to an average level of 144 in October, down 2.6 percent from September’s high for the year of 147, Ludington said. The October result, however, is 24 percent above the index level of 116 the firm reported for the same month last year.

While corn prices were up in October this year, prices declined for chicken breast, potatoes, eggs and some seafood and produce. Wheat prices also eased somewhat despite ongoing volatility, Ludington said. Dairy prices were relatively flat, but butter prices declined 2 percent in the month, the first monthly decrease since February.

Industry indicators point to improvement.

The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index reached 100.3 in September after four months of languishing below the 100-point benchmark. The Current Situation Index improved in August, with respondents reporting sequentially improving same-store sales, customer traffic and hiring, though capital expenditure activity dropped slightly. The NRA’s Expectations Index stayed above 100 for the 11th consecutive month, and operators said they expect overall same-store sales levels to be higher in the next six months.

In addition, the Knapp-Track survey of same-store sales also rose, with a 1.2-percent uptick in September, the best results the index has seen since mid-2007. Traffic rose 1.4 percent — the best traffic results since December 2006, Ludington noted.

September’s Knapp-Track results also marked the third consecutive month of positive same-store sales after 25 months of declines.

“We continue to believe that performance remains stratified between the best and worst performing chains, but we believe the continued positive index results indicate strength in the sector for high-performing chains,” Ludington wrote.

Slow growth in consumer confidence and private payrolls.

Unemployment stayed at 9.6 percent nationally in September with private sector jobs increasing for the ninth straight month, the report said. Consumer confidence, new home sales and housing starts moved in a positive direction, although still low for the year.

“While economic numbers released in the month of October do not exactly inspire confidence in a rapid recovery, we continue to believe data is moving in the right direction, although slowly,” wrote Ludington.

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  • I would like to personally thank Ken for all his help in helping me to find a job. On June 1st I was released from my job of 11 years. I was unsure of what my next steps would be. I haven't been through an interview in years and I felt like I was unprepared. Ken took the time to help me step by step. He first gathered all my personal information and work history. He built a resume from all of that information and articulated my accomplishments in a way I never could have. He sent me tips on what to wear, questions to ask, and called after my interviews to see how it went. He gave me support and encouragement when I was at my absolute lowest. I couldn't have asked for a better recruiter! Thank you again Ken! Thanks, Again, KenGeneral Manager, Logan's Road House, Chattanooga TN
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    David was extremely professional and took the time to really listen to where I was in my career and what I was looking for. As a result of the work he did to connect me with the right opportunity, I was able to obtain a great starting salary and great benefits as well. I would highly recommend David’s services to both job seekers and employers. Josh Axmacher David Israel was a pleasure to work with!
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    I was originally contacted by Tim as a reference for someone who used to work for me. He must have recognized that I myself was a good fit, because within a few minutes the conversation turned to me applying for the job.  He was always pushing for me. He was there to help with everything, every step of the way, and was in constant communication. He played a massive role in me landing an amazing job with an even better company. I can't stress enough how awesome this guy was. Tim will coach you through the entire process and be your biggest advocate. He has a lifetime of experience and knows exactly what companies are looking for. A+, 10/10, two thumbs up, 5-stars. Thanks for everything Tim! Brock Kinley Tim was nothing but helpful from the start
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