Restaurant Leadership Conference News

If you’re going to be the guy who buys that chain that’s fallen on hard times—but might be profitable in your hands—you’ve got to be ready to act early and fast. If you wait until bankruptcy is declared, you’re probably too late.

How do you build a global restaurant chain? Robbie Brozin, the founder of $1-billion-a-year Nando’s Chicken, ended the educational component of the Restaurant Leadership Conference with some specific tips for attendees.

Product recalls can be devastating to the restaurant industry, yet traceability along the foodservice supply chain is complicated and outdated. “Foodservice is where retail was 40 years ago,” said Syndee Stiles, vice president of operations support for McLane Foodservice, at Restaurant Leadership Conference session on traceability.

Energy saving may not be “an overly sexy conversation to have at eight in the morning,” acknowledged OSI Restaurant Partners’ vice president of procurement, Kristin Brooks. But a standing-room-only audience showed up at that hour during the Restaurant Leadership Conference to hear the Outback Steakhouse parent’s experiences in cutting utility costs.

A restaurateur-turned-media-consultant advised Restaurant Leadership Conference attendees to avoid some of the common pratfalls of mobile and social media.

Value-oriented consumers, increased protein prices and the social media revolution were a few of the trends laid out during presentations by Technomic and GE Capital at the Restaurant Leadership Conference.

Growth in the restaurant industry will come near-term from grabbing market share from other concepts, said Warren Solochek, vice president of foodservice for The NPD Group.