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SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nimble, the pioneer of Social Sales and Marketing CRM, today announced it has raised $9 million in a Series A round of financing led by Imagen Capital Partners. Additional investors include Mark Cuban's Radical Investments, Google Ventures, Indicator Ventures and a consortium of strategic angels including Jason Calacanis, Howard Lindzon and Don Dodge. Nimble previously raised a total of $3.5M in seed funding from its early backers. Nimble will use this new capital to accelerate product innovation, strategic partnerships, and customer adoption. CRM That Builds Itself And Works, Everywhere You Work Nimble is a cloud-based CRM solution designed for Microsoft Office 365 and Google G Suite customers. Nimble offers a robust out-of-box experience through its web platform, mobile apps, and Smart Contacts browser extension. Its native, bidirectional sync integration with Office 365 and Google G Suite allows it to streamline all interactions and exchanges that take place within Email, Calendar, Contacts, and more. Smarter Sales Insights and Social Intelligence for Your Sales Team Nimble pioneered Social CRM and has since experienced tremendous growth by focusing on delivering the best user experience for a very specific customer segment. Nimble has attracted over 100,000 businesses to date. "Today’s legacy CRMs are too complex and hard to use, and we end up spending more time maintaining data in our CRMs than letting our CRM platforms work for us. The resulting low end user adoption is a significant cause of failure for CRMs," said Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble. "At Nimble we’ve solved the end user adoption issue and have built a CRM that end users love to use by seamlessly integrating with Office 365 and Google G Suite Emails, Contacts and Calendars, eliminating tedious data entry, and automating repetitive tasks. Nimble lives where users work: in email, the browser, and on their mobile devices. Our new funding will enable us to continue to delight and empower our customers with simply smarter CRM features so they can effortlessly sell more." Nimble is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the growing community of more than 100 million businesses powered by Office 365 and the 5 Million businesses powered by Google G Suite. "I’ve spent years of working with legacy CRM platforms and it was always clear that the salesperson needs were underserved," said Chris Barrow, Managing Director at Imagen Capital Partners. "People want a CRM that fits into their email and social-centric life to simplify the sales process and helps them close more deals. With Nimble committing to being the best CRM inside Office 365 and Google G Suite, they have built a tool that salespeople fall in love with. We look forward to working with its leadership team as they scale their pioneering CRM solutions to the worldwide marketplace." Nimble has been extending its pioneering Social Relationship Management Platform to work everywhere their customers work. Nimble delivers relationship insights everywhere you work including Office 365, G Suite, Outlook, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Hootsuite, iOS and Android. Nimble Named Best CRM Four Years in a Row Recent accolades for Nimble include; Nimble Named 2017 CRM Watchlist Winner, King of CRM by GetApp, #1 in CRM Value, #1 CRM in Customer Satisfaction and CRM Market Leader 3 years in a row by G2 Crowd. Nimble was also recognized previously as #1 Sales Intelligence in Customer Satisfaction and overall High Performer. Nimble was named #1 CRM in numerous other reviews over the past six months including; #1 CRM for Small Business by TechnologyAdvice, Highest Rated Software by Small, Mid-Size and Enterprise Business Users, Highest Rated CRM, Highest Rated Sales Intelligence, Best Software 2014 and Highest Rated Ease-of-Setup. Nimble was also recognized previously as #1 Sales Intelligence in Customer Satisfaction and overall High Performer. ABOUT IMAGEN CAPITAL PARTNERS – Imagen Capital Partners, based in Seattle and Park City, Utah, is a venture capital fund focused on investing in early-stage technology companies and businesses. The firm seeks to invest predominantly in seed and Series A rounds across the technology spectrum. Its team of experienced entrepreneurs has a significant history and track record in building entrepreneurial companies and seeks to leverage this broad industry knowledge to work with entrepreneurs who seek to innovate, challenge and fundamentally change the dynamics of new and existing markets. ABOUT NIMBLE – Nimble is the pioneer of social sales and marketing CRM for individuals and teams. It allows people to intelligently nurture relationships across email and social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Nimble combines the strengths of traditional CRM, classic contact management, social media, sales intelligence and marketing automation into a powerful social selling solution. Nimble was founded by Jon Ferrara, the co-founder of GoldMine, a pioneer of SFA, CRM, Relationship Management and Marketing Automation. For more information, visit www.nimble.com. Nimble can be found on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Located in Santa Monica, CA, Nimble is in the heart of the Southern California Silicon Beach tech community. Nimble Voted Most Loved Santa Monica Tech Startup of 2016.


News Article | January 30, 2017
Site: www.realwire.com

30 January 2017, Maidenhead, U.K. - SDL plc (“SDL”, “Group” or the “Company”; LSE: SDL), the global innovator in language translation technology, services and content management, today announces a conditional agreement to sell Fredhopper BV and its subsidiaries (together “Fredhopper”), to ATTRAQT Group plc (“ATTRAQT”; AIM: ATQT), for a cash consideration of £25.0 million on a debt-free/cash free basis (subject to closing adjustments). Fredhopper is a cloud-based provider of onsite search, navigation, recommendation and visual merchandising solutions to eCommerce retailers. Background to this transaction In January 2016, SDL announced its strategic decision to divest certain non-core elements of the Group’s technology business, being Campaigns, Fredhopper and Social Intelligence. As previously announced, the Campaigns business was sold on 2 November 2016. Details of the transaction SDL has signed a sale and purchase agreement with ATTRAQT, a leading provider of visual merchandising, eCommerce site search and personalised recommendation technology, for the sale of Fredhopper, which remains conditional on, amongst other things: (i) approval of the acquisition of Fredhopper by ATTRAQT’s shareholders; and (ii) Readmission (defined below). ATTRAQT has announced today that the directors of ATTRAQT and certain of its key existing shareholders have given irrevocable undertakings to ATTRAQT to vote in favour of the Fredhopper acquisition in respect of their beneficial holdings representing over 75 per cent of ATTRAQT’s existing share capital. To fund this transaction, ATTRAQT also announced this morning a conditional firm placing and open offer to raise up to £28.5 million (before expenses). The firm placing element of their fundraising to raise £27.5 million (before expenses) was significantly oversubscribed by new and existing ATTRAQT shareholders. ATTRAQT’s firm placing and open offer is conditional on the admission of the enlarged issued share capital of ATTRAQT to the AIM market in accordance with the AIM Rules for Companies (“Readmission”). Readmission is expected to occur on or around 7 March 2017. Financial impact of the transaction The total consideration for the Fredhopper disposal is £25.0 million on a debt-free/cash free basis (subject to closing adjustments). The proceeds will be used to drive the Company’s growth strategy. The gross assets of the business being disposed, including goodwill and intangibles, amounts to £6.3 million and this is expected to lead to a profit on disposal of £21.3 million. The Fredhopper business made a profit before taxation in 2015 of £0.5 million, after allocation of SDL intergroup charges, and £2.7 million on a proforma EBITDA standalone basis. The financial contribution of the Fredhopper business has been reported as a discontinued activity in the Group’s financial reports in 2016. Adolfo Hernandez, CEO of SDL, commented: “We are delighted to have found a great home for all stakeholders of the Fredhopper business, particularly its employees and customers. The transaction comes with the firm support of ATTRAQT’s shareholders and the broader market.” For further information please contact: SDL plc Tel: 01628 410 127 Adolfo Hernandez, Chief Executive Officer Dominic Lavelle, Chief Financial Officer FTI Consulting LLP Tel: 020 3727 1000 Edward Bridges / Emma Appleton About SDL SDL (LSE: SDL) is the global innovator in language translation technology, services and content management. For more than 20 years, SDL has transformed business results by enabling nuanced digital experiences with customers across the globe so they can create personalized connections anywhere and on any device. Are you in the know? Find out more at SDL.com and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.


SAN FRANCISCO, May 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- At its Media Intelligence Summit today, Zignal Labs unveiled new Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities that enable corporate communications and marketing professionals to make faster and more informed decisions. Powered by machine learning and visualized through intuitive dashboards, Zignal AI-Powered Social Intelligence helps brands anticipate threats and risks, while surfacing new opportunities to engage stakeholders and audiences. These new capabilities combine intelligence within the Zignal Enterprise Platform with NVIDIA GPU-computing innovations. “Social media has opened up the data flood gates, creating an insights and relevancy challenge for large brands,” said LaSandra Brill, Head of Digital Planning and Insights at NVIDIA. “Working with Zignal Labs, we’re able to harness the data and work in a truly informed and strategic way across our business.” The Zignal Enterprise Platform supports the world’s largest, real-time social intelligence data set, and addresses the data overload facing today’s marketing and communications teams. The platform detects, collects and analyzes billions of data points monthly, incorporating traditional, digital, broadcast and social sources. Zignal quickly sorts, understands and analyzes this digital content at a pace impossible for humans – while simultaneously surfacing what’s relevant and actionable. Zignal AI-Powered Social Intelligence extends the platform’s market leadership to incorporate the following predictive capabilities: “Advancements in compute power and data science are accelerating the adoption of AI across a variety industries and professional roles,” said Josh Ginsberg, CEO of Zignal Labs. “AI is now at the doorstep of communications and marketing teams. Zignal AI-Powered Social Intelligence will help these teams anticipate rapid shifts in a dynamic marketplace and make decisions with data-driven confidence.” “As brands incorporate AI into their daily workflow, humans and computers can together achieve better performance than each working alone,” said Adam Beaugh, President and Chief Product Officer of Zignal Labs. “The Zignal Enterprise platform starts smart, and will constantly learn and adapt through machine learning to help teams perform with greater effectiveness.” Availability Zignal AI-Powered Social Intelligence capabilities are currently under limited beta release to existing Zignal Enterprise customers. General availability is expected 2H 2017. About Zignal Labs Zignal Labs turns media intelligence into a strategic asset for the world’s largest brands and enterprises. By analyzing the full media spectrum in real-time, Zignal’s centralized platform empowers corporate communications, marketing and executive teams to understand trends, pinpoint issues and make informed decisions. Headquartered in San Francisco with offices throughout the country, Zignal serves customers around the world including Airbnb, IBM, Citrix, PepsiCo, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, The Sacramento Kings, Brunswick Group and FleishmanHillard. To learn more, visit: www.zignallabs.com.


SAN FRANCISCO, May 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- At its Media Intelligence Summit today, Zignal Labs unveiled new Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities that enable corporate communications and marketing professionals to make faster and more informed decisions. Powered by machine learning and visualized through intuitive dashboards, Zignal AI-Powered Social Intelligence helps brands anticipate threats and risks, while surfacing new opportunities to engage stakeholders and audiences. These new capabilities combine intelligence within the Zignal Enterprise Platform with NVIDIA GPU-computing innovations. “Social media has opened up the data flood gates, creating an insights and relevancy challenge for large brands,” said LaSandra Brill, Head of Digital Planning and Insights at NVIDIA. “Working with Zignal Labs, we’re able to harness the data and work in a truly informed and strategic way across our business.” The Zignal Enterprise Platform supports the world’s largest, real-time social intelligence data set, and addresses the data overload facing today’s marketing and communications teams. The platform detects, collects and analyzes billions of data points monthly, incorporating traditional, digital, broadcast and social sources. Zignal quickly sorts, understands and analyzes this digital content at a pace impossible for humans – while simultaneously surfacing what’s relevant and actionable. Zignal AI-Powered Social Intelligence extends the platform’s market leadership to incorporate the following predictive capabilities: “Advancements in compute power and data science are accelerating the adoption of AI across a variety industries and professional roles,” said Josh Ginsberg, CEO of Zignal Labs. “AI is now at the doorstep of communications and marketing teams. Zignal AI-Powered Social Intelligence will help these teams anticipate rapid shifts in a dynamic marketplace and make decisions with data-driven confidence.” “As brands incorporate AI into their daily workflow, humans and computers can together achieve better performance than each working alone,” said Adam Beaugh, President and Chief Product Officer of Zignal Labs. “The Zignal Enterprise platform starts smart, and will constantly learn and adapt through machine learning to help teams perform with greater effectiveness.” Availability Zignal AI-Powered Social Intelligence capabilities are currently under limited beta release to existing Zignal Enterprise customers. General availability is expected 2H 2017. About Zignal Labs Zignal Labs turns media intelligence into a strategic asset for the world’s largest brands and enterprises. By analyzing the full media spectrum in real-time, Zignal’s centralized platform empowers corporate communications, marketing and executive teams to understand trends, pinpoint issues and make informed decisions. Headquartered in San Francisco with offices throughout the country, Zignal serves customers around the world including Airbnb, IBM, Citrix, PepsiCo, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, The Sacramento Kings, Brunswick Group and FleishmanHillard. To learn more, visit: www.zignallabs.com.


SAN FRANCISCO, May 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- At its Media Intelligence Summit today, Zignal Labs unveiled new Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities that enable corporate communications and marketing professionals to make faster and more informed decisions. Powered by machine learning and visualized through intuitive dashboards, Zignal AI-Powered Social Intelligence helps brands anticipate threats and risks, while surfacing new opportunities to engage stakeholders and audiences. These new capabilities combine intelligence within the Zignal Enterprise Platform with NVIDIA GPU-computing innovations. “Social media has opened up the data flood gates, creating an insights and relevancy challenge for large brands,” said LaSandra Brill, Head of Digital Planning and Insights at NVIDIA. “Working with Zignal Labs, we’re able to harness the data and work in a truly informed and strategic way across our business.” The Zignal Enterprise Platform supports the world’s largest, real-time social intelligence data set, and addresses the data overload facing today’s marketing and communications teams. The platform detects, collects and analyzes billions of data points monthly, incorporating traditional, digital, broadcast and social sources. Zignal quickly sorts, understands and analyzes this digital content at a pace impossible for humans – while simultaneously surfacing what’s relevant and actionable. Zignal AI-Powered Social Intelligence extends the platform’s market leadership to incorporate the following predictive capabilities: “Advancements in compute power and data science are accelerating the adoption of AI across a variety industries and professional roles,” said Josh Ginsberg, CEO of Zignal Labs. “AI is now at the doorstep of communications and marketing teams. Zignal AI-Powered Social Intelligence will help these teams anticipate rapid shifts in a dynamic marketplace and make decisions with data-driven confidence.” “As brands incorporate AI into their daily workflow, humans and computers can together achieve better performance than each working alone,” said Adam Beaugh, President and Chief Product Officer of Zignal Labs. “The Zignal Enterprise platform starts smart, and will constantly learn and adapt through machine learning to help teams perform with greater effectiveness.” Availability Zignal AI-Powered Social Intelligence capabilities are currently under limited beta release to existing Zignal Enterprise customers. General availability is expected 2H 2017. About Zignal Labs Zignal Labs turns media intelligence into a strategic asset for the world’s largest brands and enterprises. By analyzing the full media spectrum in real-time, Zignal’s centralized platform empowers corporate communications, marketing and executive teams to understand trends, pinpoint issues and make informed decisions. Headquartered in San Francisco with offices throughout the country, Zignal serves customers around the world including Airbnb, IBM, Citrix, PepsiCo, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, The Sacramento Kings, Brunswick Group and FleishmanHillard. To learn more, visit: www.zignallabs.com.


SAN FRANCISCO, May 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- At its Media Intelligence Summit today, Zignal Labs unveiled new Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities that enable corporate communications and marketing professionals to make faster and more informed decisions. Powered by machine learning and visualized through intuitive dashboards, Zignal AI-Powered Social Intelligence helps brands anticipate threats and risks, while surfacing new opportunities to engage stakeholders and audiences. These new capabilities combine intelligence within the Zignal Enterprise Platform with NVIDIA GPU-computing innovations. “Social media has opened up the data flood gates, creating an insights and relevancy challenge for large brands,” said LaSandra Brill, Head of Digital Planning and Insights at NVIDIA. “Working with Zignal Labs, we’re able to harness the data and work in a truly informed and strategic way across our business.” The Zignal Enterprise Platform supports the world’s largest, real-time social intelligence data set, and addresses the data overload facing today’s marketing and communications teams. The platform detects, collects and analyzes billions of data points monthly, incorporating traditional, digital, broadcast and social sources. Zignal quickly sorts, understands and analyzes this digital content at a pace impossible for humans – while simultaneously surfacing what’s relevant and actionable. Zignal AI-Powered Social Intelligence extends the platform’s market leadership to incorporate the following predictive capabilities: “Advancements in compute power and data science are accelerating the adoption of AI across a variety industries and professional roles,” said Josh Ginsberg, CEO of Zignal Labs. “AI is now at the doorstep of communications and marketing teams. Zignal AI-Powered Social Intelligence will help these teams anticipate rapid shifts in a dynamic marketplace and make decisions with data-driven confidence.” “As brands incorporate AI into their daily workflow, humans and computers can together achieve better performance than each working alone,” said Adam Beaugh, President and Chief Product Officer of Zignal Labs. “The Zignal Enterprise platform starts smart, and will constantly learn and adapt through machine learning to help teams perform with greater effectiveness.” Availability Zignal AI-Powered Social Intelligence capabilities are currently under limited beta release to existing Zignal Enterprise customers. General availability is expected 2H 2017. About Zignal Labs Zignal Labs turns media intelligence into a strategic asset for the world’s largest brands and enterprises. By analyzing the full media spectrum in real-time, Zignal’s centralized platform empowers corporate communications, marketing and executive teams to understand trends, pinpoint issues and make informed decisions. Headquartered in San Francisco with offices throughout the country, Zignal serves customers around the world including Airbnb, IBM, Citrix, PepsiCo, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, The Sacramento Kings, Brunswick Group and FleishmanHillard. To learn more, visit: www.zignallabs.com.


News Article | May 25, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

White Box Social Intelligence™, a TDn2K™ company, has launched the “Restaurant Guest Satisfaction Snapshot,” revealing insights on consumer feedback and guest satisfaction on over 193,000 units and 620 brands in the restaurant industry. View the latest edition: Value Reigns in the Eyes of Restaurant Consumers here. “We are excited to bring a new perspective on consumer feedback, 100 percent fueled by online, unsolicited guest comments and sentiment,” said Wally Doolin, Chairman and Co-Founder of TDn2K. “In addition, the ability to highlight the correlations between online reputation and workforce and financial performance is incredibly exciting,” Doolin continued. This monthly Restaurant Guest Satisfaction Snapshot highlights top performing brands based on sentiment for: “food,” “service” and “intent to return;” top and bottom performing designated market areas (DMAs) are also identified for those attributes as well as for “value,” “beverages” and “ambiance.” In addition, positive sentiment year-over-year trends are identified as well as best and worst performing U.S. regions. Finally, the snapshot connects the dots on performance by unveiling correlations between online guest satisfaction and workforce and operational performance. "The combination of White Box Social Intelligence benchmarks with Black Box Intelligence sales outcomes is a game-changer for restaurants, and we are so excited to share this snapshot of performance with the industry," said Kathleen Buehler, Executive Director for White Box Social Intelligence. Brands of note in the April edition of the Restaurant Guest Satisfaction Snapshot include: Carvel, Fleming’s, Freebirds World Burrito, Legal Sea Foods, Papa Murphy’s, Qdoba Mexican Eats, Raising Cane’s, Seasons 52, SweetFrog, Wawa and Wienerschnitzel. Click here to view the most recent Restaurant Guest Satisfaction Snapshot: Value Reigns in the Eyes of Restaurant Consumers. Methodology Used for the Restaurant Guest Satisfaction Snapshot The algorithm determining ranking brands is based on sentiment determined by White Box Social Intelligence. To be included in this monthly snapshot ranking, brands must have a total of at least 250 mentions for the month. Restaurant brands must have a minimum number of units to be eligible as well (quick service: 150, fast casual: 20, family dining: 45, casual dining: 20, upscale casual: 10, fine dining: 10). For DMA rankings, only the largest 25 are considered. About White Box Social Intelligence White Box Social Intelligence™, a TDn2K™ company, is the first online customer feedback tool made exclusively for restaurants. Track your brand’s online sentiment utilizing key attributes such as food, service, value, intent to return etc. White Box Social Intelligence is tracking over 620 brands to benchmark customer satisfaction and is the only online tool that integrates with operational performance data to validate the impact on financial performance. About TDn2K TDn2K™ (Transforming Data into Knowledge) is the parent company of People Report™, Black Box Intelligence™ and White Box Social Intelligence™. People Report provides service-sector human capital and workforce analytics for its members on a monthly basis. Black Box Intelligence provides weekly financial and market level data for the restaurant industry. White Box Social Intelligence delivers consumer insights and reveals online brand health. TDn2K membership represents 38,000 restaurant units, 2.3 million employees, and $67 billion in sales. They are also the producers of leading restaurant industry events including the Global Best Practices Conference held annually each January in Dallas, Texas.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Restaurant struggles continued in March as sales and traffic again declined year-over-year. Same-store sales were down -1.1 percent while traffic dropped -3.4 percent. March’s results were disappointing for an industry desperately trying to reverse performance trends; sales have been negative in 11 out of the last 12 months. However, March did represent an improvement versus the prior month. Although still negative, sales improved by 2.5 percentage points compared to February. Traffic also improved by 1.6 percentage points. This insight comes from data by TDn2K™ through The Restaurant Industry Snapshot™, based on weekly sales from over 26,000+ restaurant units and 145+ brands, representing $66 billion dollars in annual revenue. “March sales were expected to be somewhat better than February due in part to the catch-up of tax refunds that were initially delayed in February,” commented Victor Fernandez, Executive Director of Insights and Knowledge for TDn2K. “In addition, the industry likely benefitted from the shift in the Easter holiday, which fell in March in 2016. For the largest segments (quick service and casual dining), this holiday represents a potential loss of sales.” “The fact that sales were still negative in March given these tailwinds highlights the challenge chains have faced since the recession. Factors like restaurant oversupply and additional competition for dining occasions continue to take their toll on chain traffic.” Quarterly Results With same-store sales declining -1.6 percent, the first quarter of 2017 was the fifth consecutive quarter of negative results. The last time the industry experienced a similar period was in 2009 and the first half of 2010, as the economy began recovery following the recession. Furthermore, the first quarter of 2017 followed a very disappointing -2.4 percent sales drop in the fourth quarter of 2016, highlighting the difficult operating environment currently facing many operators. Unfortunately, same-store traffic dropped another -3.6 in the first quarter, consistent with the average -3.4 percent quarterly declines experienced since the beginning of 2016. Average Guest Checks The growth rate in check average continues to trend down slowly. For the first quarter of 2017, the average check was up 1.9 percent, somewhat lower than the average 2.3 percent growth reported for 2016. This is likely the result of brands relying more on promotions and conservative menu price increases in response to continual declines in traffic. Industry Segment Results As has been the case in recent quarters, segments with the highest and lowest average check experienced better results. The strongest performance in the first quarter came from upscale casual, followed by fine dining and quick service. It is important to mention that fine dining and upscale casual are among the segments most negatively impacted by the shift in Easter. The weakest segments in the first quarter were family dining and fast casual. Family dining concepts were also among the most negatively affected by the Easter shift. Despite continual sales slippage, there appears to be some positive news for casual dining. In 2015 and 2016, the segment trailed industry averages by roughly -0.7 percentage points. Although still negative, that gap to industry was only -0.1 percentage point in the first quarter. Casual dining has actually outperformed industry results in six of the past eight weeks. Conversely, over that same eight-week span, fast casual has trailed industry benchmarks six times. The Restaurant Workforce Finding enough qualified employees to keep restaurants fully staffed persists as a primary concern for restaurant operators. This is mainly due to restaurant turnover rates continuing to skyrocket while the labor market is at or near full employment. Turnover for restaurant hourly employees as well as managers increased again during February according to TDn2K’s People Report™. These rates are currently higher than they have been in over ten years and rising. Restaurant brands are finding they need to offer a compelling reason for why employees should leave their current employment and come work for them. Even if wages have been increasing slowly in recent years, this is expected to change soon as the labor market continues to tighten. In fact, according to a recent survey by People Report, about 80 percent of restaurant companies reported having to offer additional financial incentives to attract candidates in tough recruiting markets. In most almost all cases, those incentives take the form of higher base pay. Restaurant job growth year-over-year has been slowing down in recent months and is now negative, likely a combination of the pace of new restaurant openings also slowing and staffing levels decreasing due to labor market challenges as well as conscious decisions to control costs. About 60 percent of restaurant brands tracked reported lower employee counts during February of 2017 than a year ago. This may not be good news for service scores and guest satisfaction. This first quarter of 2017 seems to be consistent with 2016 as the industry chugs along and the rest of the economy gradually improves. We continue to seek the answer to “is our industry winning its share of the wallet in the economy overall and share of stomach in the overall food and beverage industry,” asks Wallace Doolin, Chairman and founder of TDn2K. “First quarter results would say that we are not winning our share so far this year. Our research does show there are real winners with impressive results. These “Top Box” performers are across the segments, size and ownership of the brands. Brands investing in the customer experience and the employee experience with technology and staff development are stealing share to grow their businesses.” TDn2K™ (Transforming Data into Knowledge) is the parent company of People Report™, Black Box Intelligence™ and White Box Social Intelligence™. People Report provides service-sector human capital and workforce analytics for its members on a monthly basis. Black Box Intelligence provides weekly financial and market level data for the restaurant industry. White Box Social Intelligence delivers consumer insights and reveals online brand health. TDn2K membership represents 38,000 restaurant units, 2.3 million employees, and $66 billion in sales. They are also the producers of leading restaurant industry events including the Global Best Practices Conference held annually each January in Dallas, Texas.


The Director of the Social Intelligence Lab and Associate Professor in the College of Information studies at the University of Maryland, College Park will present securing your systems


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

The restaurant industry kicked off 2017 in a much more uplifting fashion than it ended 2016. While same-store sales growth was flat (0.0 percent) in January, it represented a welcome break from the ten consecutive months of negative sales growth experienced by the industry through the end of last year. January’s jump of 4.3 percentage points was the biggest month-to-month improvement in same-store sales growth in almost 4 years. This insight comes from data reported by TDn2K™ through The Restaurant Industry Snapshot™, based on weekly sales from nearly 26,000 restaurant units and 130 + brands, representing $65 billion dollars in annual revenue. “Although positive sales growth is always welcome, we have to be cautious about getting too optimistic about these latest results,” commented Victor Fernandez, Executive Director of Insights and Knowledge for TDn2K. “On one hand, it is common to see some large swings in comp sales during the winter, as significant weather events create fluctuating year-over-year comparisons. For example, sales were up between 20 and 65 percent in three of the regions on the East coast during the third week of the month, clearly weather related.” “In addition to weather, there were unusual events in January that likely had some impact on restaurant sales. The year started with a federal holiday on January 2, which was unlike 2016. We also witnessed the effect of the presidential inauguration and the massive marches the following days. The combined impact is difficult to gauge, but operators will closely watch performance in upcoming weeks to get a sense if the downward trend in sales has been reversed or was simply obscured in all the noise.” Growth slowed in the final quarter of the year, but the overall number was misleading,” explained Joel Naroff, President of Naroff Economic Advisors and TDn2K economist. “Consumer spending was quite solid and demand for domestic goods was strong. Incomes, including wages and salaries, grew at a solid pace and the gains accelerated in the second half of the year. With the labor market continuing to tighten, that trend should continue this year. That bodes well for consumer spending, which could be even stronger in 2017. Millennials are moving into their thirties and that means they should start forming households and having families. While they have greatly altered restaurant demand already, their aging could lead to another round of changes. Though any new trends that may emerge may be a few years off, it needs to be tracked starting now.” Same-store traffic dropped by -2.5 percent in January. Although still negative, this was the best month for the industry since last May. Average guest checks grew by 2.4 percent during the first month of the year. On average, guest checks have grown at a pace of 2.3 percent year-over-year since August 2016. A two-year view of sales performance offers another perspective of the slowdown in sales and reveals January’s sales growth to have been relatively weak. Same-store sales fell by about -0.8 percent compared with January of 2015. Two-year sales growth rates have been negative for all months since October of 2016. In contrast, same-store sales calculated on a two-year basis grew by an average 2.5 percent during the first six months of 2016 and by an average 3.0 percent for all months of 2015. Three segments experienced positive sales growth in January: upscale casual, family dining and quick service. Quick service has been consistently in the top spot, but had slipped the past two months and rebounded in January. January sales declined in fine dining and fast casual. For the first time in over five years, fast casual was the weakest performing segment based on sales growth. Also noteworthy is the fact that casual dining was able to achieve flat results in January, breaking a streak of thirteen consecutive months of negative same-store sales growth. Restaurant industry woes continue to extend beyond the declining sales and into the increasingly difficult task of keeping restaurants staffed. According to TDn2K’s People Report™, in December restaurants once again suffered an increase in their hourly employee and restaurant manager turnover. Turnover rates for managers and hourly employees started increasing in 2010. Currently those rates are at the highest levels reported in over ten years. Turnover is clearly correlated to the overall unemployment rate, which means that, at close to full employment, continued employment pressures are expected through the year. Terminated Managers Tend to Stay In the Industry A recent survey by People Report revealed that 62 percent of responding restaurant companies estimate that over half of their terminated managers leave to go work for another restaurant company. “Right now, there are many vacancies appearing every day for restaurant managers, and they are mostly getting filled by people leaving their current restaurant jobs,” said Fernandez. “Many restaurant managers are not finding what they are looking for in their current jobs and are very willing to go look for it at another restaurant company.” About TDn2K TDn2K™ (Transforming Data into Knowledge) is the parent company of People Report™, Black Box Intelligence™ and White Box Social Intelligence™. People Report provides service-sector human capital and workforce analytics for its members on a monthly basis. Black Box Intelligence provides weekly financial and market level data for the restaurant industry. White Box Social Intelligence delivers consumer insights and reveals online brand health. TDn2K membership represents 37,000 restaurant units, over 2.1 million employees and $65 billion in sales. They are also the producers of leading restaurant industry events including the Global Best Practices Conference held annually each January in Dallas, Texas.

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