FastCasual.com recently ran an article on the top food service executives to watch in the coming year. This list is based upon successful food service executives over the last year, especially during the down economy. Based on these and other insights, we’ll round out a list of the most promising traits required to run a food service business in the year 2012.
Stand Your Socio-political Ground.
In some cases, standing firm on social, economic or political issues can earn you a spot in the limelight (on the other hand, sometimes it doesn’t matter and blissfully ignorant or apathetic diners will still enjoy the product). Either way, Co-CEOs of Chipotle, Steve Ells and Monty Moran, found themselves in the papers when it came to the questionable citizenship of several hundred of their employees. Moran is currently a proponent of immigration reform, and has spoken with federal representatives representing both sides of the issue.
Work for One of the World’s Leading Restaurant Companies.
Experience is key, and working for one of the world’s most recognized restaurant groups is a good resume-builder. For instance, Carin Stutz, current CEO of Illinois-based restaurant, Cosi, gained momentum working as the president of global business development at Brinker International. Background like this, as well as a passion for ongoing success, is just what a struggling brand needs to rebuild.
Position Your Business for Growth.
Growth is one of the clear success factors in making your fast casual operation a success. There is, after all, a reason they are called “chains.” Growing a business to multiple locations in multiple states improves brand recognition and market share. A good example is Starbucks, which saw 5% or better growth 16 years in a row (until 2008, when things slowed down a bit). The former CEO of McAlister’s, Phil Friedman, grew that business from 27 stores to 300 during his tenure. He now hopes to mirror the process for Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina CEO.
Innovate…and people might think you’re running for President.
Howard Schultz has worked since the 80s to perfect the Starbucks brand. Over the years he has revisited his roles within the company and introduced ways of grinding, brewing and serving brewing coffee that continues to draw crowds nearly 25 years later (Source). As Chairman, President and CEO, he gained attention for forming to the Create Jobs for USA program, as well as for speaking openly about companies minimizing campaign contributions. This apparently sparked rumors that the Starbucks giant may run for President of the United States. Maybe in another 4 years?