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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    Amy contacted me in a time where I was unhappy where I was but wasn’t doing anything to change it. She was very informative and if she didn’t have the information at hand, she got it. She revamped an old resume making it more about achievements than responsibilities. She coached me on interview tactics before multiple interviews and was there to talk about them afterwards. Every conversation we had felt more like a friendship than business. She is genuine, honest and has a passion for what she does. She also helped boost my confidence through the entire interview progress. Whatever she is doing, she must be doing it right because I got the job! Thanks Amy for a life changing experience.
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    He saw a lot of potential in me which allowed me to apply for a higher position than I had first intended. Although the process wasn't easy he was still very honest and trustworthy. I am very grateful to have received his guidance. I really appreciate Tim for all his handwork and consistency.
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    ...for all the time he spent helping me acquire my new career. He has helped by assisting me with redesigning my resume and keeping in contact with me throughout the entire process.  His actions showed that he really cared and wanted the best for me. Thanks again, Dominic Almanza I want to thank Tim
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    I cannot begin to thank Ross and Karen enough! without the two of them I wouldn't have even known about the position! The interview process was quick, easy and simple. After only a short week I was in a position I knew I was going to love forever and it was all thanks to them! Ross has been so good about following up with me even after being hired, asking how my experience has been, what hours I'm working etc. and to top it all off Ross even sent me a gift card thanking me for working with him. I would 100% recommend Ross to anyone looking for a career in the industry!
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