Restaurant Executive Interviews | Food Newsfeed

Executive Insights

Trust Her Instincts: An Interview with Ris Lacoste

To say Ris Lacoste trusts her gut is probably an understatement. In a career spanning continents, coasts, and all sorts of culinary tastes, Lacoste has lived by the simple rule of instinct.It’s certainly served her well.

Boy Wonder: Spike Mendelsohn

Spike Mendelsohn is a reality TV star. For those who watch Top Chef, he needs little introduction. After eight seasons, the Bravo hit series just wrapped an all-star version of its famous competition show where cheftestants are pitted against each other to earn industry respect, cash prizes, and, perhaps most importantly, national exposure.

Add Hours to the Day

Q: Now that I have a second store, is there a way to better use my time at both?One of the first things I would suggest someone in the restaurant business do is ready, aim, fire. You absolutely have to know where you want to go before you begin anything.

Back from Bankruptcy

There is plenty of advice a brand should heed when moving through the bankruptcy process. Bringing on outside advisers, staying honest with your lenders and suppliers, and timing the process appropriately are all ways to make sure the bankruptcy business goes as smooth as possible.

Step One for Lease Two

Q: I was able to successfully negotiate a lease for my first location. What should I expect with my second lease? There is no standard lease agreement. Whether or not you have negotiated a lease before, you have to carefully review everything and can’t assume anything.

How to Out Smart the Credit Market

When banks wanted a third-party guarantee who didn’t have to sell their house to repay franchisee loans, Ken Switzer, CFO of Marco’s Pizza, stepped in with an unusual idea. As a result of the frozen credit market, Switzer developed Marco’s Assurance, which offers a $50,000 guarantee on franchisees’ loans.

The Art of Site Selection

Being in the right place at the right time is the key to success in any business. And as the nation finally begins to climb out of one of the worst recessions in U.S. history, a number of quick-service companies are advising their franchisees that, with soft real estate prices, lower construction costs, and increasing availability of capital loans from lending institutions, now is the right time to get growing again—as long as the sites are right.

Is Guaranteed Financing Possible?

It’s no secret that running a restaurant is a risky business. The fact that many restaurants will ultimately fail early in their existence is not lost on most entrepreneurs, and yet they carry on anyway in hopes that their restaurant dreams can be made true.

Four Tips to Make Your Company Outlive You

After running nuclear reactors for submarines, Loren Goodridge was ready to be his own boss. Navy alum Goodridge became a Subway franchisee in 1992, and has since been recognized for his strategic planning skills by Subway CEO Fred DeLuca and grown his franchise company to 20 units.

Fill Your Portfolio with Brands that Last

After an abundance of successful business ventures, David Lobel founded Sentinel Capital Partners, a private equity firm that specializes in buying and building middle-market companies in the U.S. and Canada.

It's Back to School with NRA Education Sessions

The 2011 National Restaurant Association’s Hotel-Motel Show, which takes places from May 21-24 in Chicago, will feature more than 70 education sessions that will tackle issues like social media and commerce, increasing sustainability efforts, technology innovations, and how philanthropy can boost business, among other topics.

2010 Chef Survey

While the old adage says there’s nothing new under the sun, the new decade brings fresh takes on traditional menu items while ethnic, vegan, and local ingredients make farther inroads into the quick-serve culinary scene.

Pizza Perfect: Goodfella's Opens Pizza School

Goodfella’s of Staten Island has launched a brick oven pizza school.The school will teach everything from the basics (how to make dough) to more advanced details such as how to manage inventory.The pizzeria is getting a lot of calls, according to Scot Cosentino, founder of the school, from as far afield as Argentina.

BiteHunter.com Offers Compiled Dining Deals

A diner wants to eat out but doesn’t know where. Should he decide based on type of cuisine? Neighborhood? Pick a hot spot?Now consumers have the ability to choose a restaurant depending on who’s offering a special deal.

Ralph Brennan Named Ambassador of Hospitality

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced that Ralph Brennan, esteemed restaurateur and president of the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group, has been named the 2011 Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality.