Chris Bright, president of the 98-unit Zpizza chain in Irvine, Calif., learned his restaurant financials before his operations — a career start that could have had a very different outcome had he not been so tenacious.
Twenty years ago Edward Lee was a carefree literature student at the University of Michigan. But when his parents bought a struggling Manhattan diner, Lee was summoned home to pitch in, and he wasn’t happy about it.
The restaurant industry is already dealing with increased costs. Favorable commodities prices — the lone blessing of the recent recession — are quickly disappearing as the U.S. economy slowly emerges from its three-year slump. And according to commodities experts, multiple market factors will continue driving prices for corn, beef, pork, grains and dairy upward well into 2011 and possibly beyond.
In the not-so-distant past, restaurateurs remodeled operations about every 10 to 15 years. But in today’s hyper-competitive business climate, updates happen not only in a fraction of that time, but they’re often perpetual.