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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  • Ms. Ross was great!

    First and foremost, I want to thank Carla Ross for helping me get the opportunity I was looking for. I was looking for a good job back in my home town and she definitely delivered. She was so nice and professional, and she made the process so fast and easy. I also love the fact she checked on me after I got hired.   Shareef Phillips Ms. Ross was great!
  • James was a true professional! 

    From to the first time we spoke, he knew the right questions to ask to help me refine my presentation.  He kept me informed every step of the way of my interview process and followed up after my employment started.  He deserves all my thanks.
    Jeremy Slade
    James was a true professional!
  • Working with David at Patrice and Associates was an excellent experience!

    David is super professional and really took a lot of time to talk with me, get to know what my needs are and match me with the best possible position. I always received speedy replies to any questions I had, and he was always accessible and accommodating to me throughout the process. I highly recommend working with this group for your needs, and would happily work with them in the future should I ever look for new opportunities. Thank you, Johnny Morgan Working with David at Patrice and Associates was an excellent experience!
  • Margo was fantastic!

    Throughout the process, she was able to get and keep me prepared and ready to answer any questions or curveballs that came my way.  I was better prepared during this interview process than I have ever been before.  A normally stressful process was made less so thanks to Margo.  She was the one that initially brought the opportunity to my attention and was there every step of the way to ensure I was successful.
    Thank you,
    Adam Saia
    Margo was fantastic!
  • I would like to say thank you for this great opportunity and helping me with the next mile stone on my career path.

    At first when I received the email I was uncertain that this would work. Upon talking to Michelle I discovered that not only was she really nice, but also quite resourceful. I started the process on a Tuesday and literally one week later I was offered a job on the spot, thanks to all of her assistance. We talked and I was able to be open with her.  She was able to put me in the mindset of my now area manager to go over what to say and do, and what to leave out during the interview. We went over resumes and she showed me how to improve mine so that I stood out. Overall if I ever had to do this again I would gladly work with Michelle but I’m secure in my career path.  Thanks again to Patrice and Associates, and Michelle! Keyona Ellis