FOOD FOR THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

Author:

​JOHN D. BARKER

John is President & CEO of the Ohio Restaurant Association. His parents and family operated the Rustic Lounge restaurant and bar in the 1970s, He was an executive at Wendy’s for nearly 20 years and teaches at The Ohio State University. He writes about the foodservice industry, inspiring restaurateurs, important issues and thought leadership. If you have an idea or comment, contact him at 614. 246.0203 or jbarker@ohiorestaurant.org

Author:

​JOHN D. BARKER

John is President & CEO of the Ohio Restaurant Association. His parents and family operated the Rustic Lounge restaurant and bar in the 1970s, He was an executive at Wendy’s for nearly 20 years and teaches at The Ohio State University. He writes about the foodservice industry, inspiring restaurateurs, important issues and thought leadership. If you have an idea or comment, contact him at 614. 246.0203 or jbarker@ohiorestaurant.org

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Jan
17
GUEST BLOG: Want a strong culture? Consistency is key

PictureWal OzelloMy first job at Wendy’s was in their Communications Department as a video editor. When Dave Thomas passed away, I was tasked with creating a video montage of all the great things he said at our Annual Franchisee Convention over the years. I remember popping in the tape from 1984 and listening to Dave talk about excelling at customer service, having clean restaurants and above all, making sure Wendy’s made the best tasting food. There was also some of his signature catch phrases (we called them Davisms): “quality is our recipe,” “treat people with respect,” “give something back,” and “take care of your business and your business ...


Jan
16
ORA Adding A+ Talent to our Board and Honoring Nick Kostis

Every coach and leader knows you win with great people. That’s why we’re re-organizing our team to address the evolution of the restaurant industry, and improve our products and services for members. It’s why we’re building our board of directors with an array of talent.

Over the past year, the ORA added top-notch directors, and we’ve frequently shared updates with you about them. See your current board here.

These directors bring an array of restaurant and foodservice industry backgrounds, diversity and management expertise to the ORA, plus impressive skills in management, foodservice operations, culinary, franchising, catering, equipment, distribution, finance, ...


Nov
21
Restaurant sales are improving ... and we are thankful

Sales at restaurants across the U.S. and Ohio are reportedly improving. This is confirmed by multiple sources and my conversations with owners, operators and general managers.

According to Larry Miller, a long-time restaurant analyst I worked with for years when I led Wall Street responsibilities for The Wendy’s Co. and Tim Hortons, same-store sales increased 1.4 percent at restaurants in October. It was the best performance he has tracked since February of last year, according his “MillerPulse” index.

That’s the good news as sales turned positive for the first time since June. More good news was that casual dining was the bright spot. Its same-store sales performance i...


Oct
30
The ORA is forming a new Human Resources Committee

The ORA is remaking itself on a daily basis. After nearly 100 years of serving the foodservice industry in Ohio, the accelerating pace of change in business today requires new and smarter thinking to help our members thrive.

What are the facts? Our members who operate restaurants and serve customers face a growing list of topics to master. No longer can a restaurant survive on just a great menu and a commitment to service. Restaurant owners and operators are SUPER busy with a range of priorities:

  • establishing a top-notch culture that attracts good people

  • solving hiring, training and retention issues in an era where it’s hard to find qualified employees

  • managing the strangling healthcare ch...


Oct
03
Restaurant industry filled with A+ leaders and phenomenal accomplishments

Most organizations invest considerable time assessing their people. The best employees are recognized for leadership and accomplishments. MVPs lift their organizations to new heights. They drive vision and mission. They champion excellent values. They achieve big goals. They elevate their teams to succeed. They work hard and smart. They grow revenue. They make money.

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Just this week, at the annual MUFSO conference for the foodservice industry, Jack Butorac of Marco’s Pizza was named 2017 Operator of the Year. Jack took a small, regional pizza-delivery concept and turned it into one of the fastest-growing restaurant chains in the country. Click here to read more about it.

White Castle C...


Sep
19
Ramping up A+ content and elite speakers for ORA members

Exclusive content and thought leadership are important benefits for ORA members.

We’ve made this a priority over the past year as part of our brand transformation. Events such as our Town Halls, Idea Factory meetings, Legislative Day, PAC events and our Mid-America Restaurant Expo are designed to bring the best to our members.

We deliver top-notch content to help members achieve success and subjects that are pressing our industry. The elite speakers we’ve featured would cost an organization thousands of dollars, but we offer all of this to members --- for FREE or at a very low cost.

Looking ahead, the ORA’s fall event schedule is packed with excellence (see our website for mor...


Aug
08
Restaurant workforce expected to boom in Ohio and USA

The number of restaurant and foodservice jobs in the U.S. is expected to grow from 14.7 million today to 16.3 million by 2027 – that’s a total of 1.6 million new jobs over the next 10 years.

The projected growth in Ohio is equally impressive, according to our research experts at the National Restaurant Association. Total foodservice jobs in the Buckeye state are expected to expand 9.3% from 574,000 today to 627,500 by 2027.

What’s driving this incredible growth? It’s the insatiable demand by consumers (especially millennials) for food away from home and the entrepreneurial spirit of Americans who want to own their own business. They have a passion for hospitality and of...


Jul
31
ORA Adding A+ Talent to our Board and Honoring Nick Kostis 12/12/2017 0 Comments Picture Every coach and leader knows you win with great people. That’s why we’re re-organizing our team to address the evolution of the restaurant industry, and impro

Have you ever worked for a company with an A+ culture that treats employees well, has outstanding values, good pay, profit sharing of some kind, generous benefits and special employee events?

In today’s marketplace, some firms are also offering their staff flexible PTO (paid time off) to celebrate the birth of a child or to help with an elderly parent. Some companies offer flexible schedules and training.

The spirit of these companies centers on treating employees with dignity so they can balance their work and private lives. As a result, many firms report their employees are happier, more likely to stay (reduced turnover) and perform at higher levels.

This formula for success is no secre...


Jul
11
ORA's brand transformation continues with a new office

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This week, the Ohio Restaurant Association staff moved into a new office space. After calling a building on Bethel Road in Columbus home for more than two decades, we are setting up shop at 100 East Campus View (Suite 150), just north of Columbus in the Worthington area.

This move is an important part of a fresh start for our team. Our previous office was on three floors and terribly inefficient for a team charged with bringing innovation, new products and services, and thought leadership to our members. The new space is a critical element of our business strategy.

While our external “place” for members includes our website, meeting locations, our Mid-America Restaurant Expo, ProSt...


Jun
20
Deep dive into internet trends and how it may impact your restaurant business

For many years, I led the investor relations program for Wendy’s, managing the restaurant company’s relationship with Wall Street. That part of my job seemed like 24x7 with the myriad of responsibilities for a publicly traded firm – earnings reports, SEC filings, roadshows, hedge funds, analyst reports, stock price, board meetings, etc.

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Financial Analyst Mary Meeker

During many of those years “tech” ruled Wall Street and no one commanded more attention than Financial Analyst Mary Meeker. She helped Morgan Stanley snare major IPOs such as Google, Netscape and Priceline. She recommended bonanzas like Dell, Amazon and AOL. After the internet boom went bust, some othe...