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Next Steps for Growth: Driving expansion in the restaurant industry

Growth is the engine of success.

If a person or a business stands still, there is no chance for progress, victories or even failures, which can often fuel success more than anything else.

In light of that, NRN presents a special report dedicated to growth and the next steps restaurant businesses can take to move forward. Whether looking for financing that can dictate a growth path, building sophisticated real estate targeting to identify growth opportunities, or developing the right culture to attract and retain people capable of moving a company ahead, every business today is looking for a growth edge. We’ve provided a guide to help you find that advantage.

The more I travel, visiting restaurant companies, meeting with executives and attending conferences with wide cross-sections of the industry, the more clearly I see the importance of people in business. Without the right team — dedicated, smart, disciplined, energetic and passionate — there can’t be growth or success. I try hard to bring that thinking back to NRN, where the people who are moving our business forward through this period of significant change in media are nothing short of top notch. They represent the mix of skills and smarts I know we need to grow.

My inspiration to better myself and my business often comes from the restaurant industry. There are stories of overcoming odds, of working in the trenches and of amazing leadership, both from the unit level and the corner office. Earlier this month I was able to attend the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Gala Awards Dinner celebrating diversity and community service. It is one of my favorite events of the year. The winners of the Restaurant Neighbor Awards, Faces of Diversity Awards and Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award are inspirational. When their stories are shared with attendees, there is not a dry eye in the house.

I was moved seeing everyday people doing everyday acts, truly changing the world every day. 

There is not enough room here to mention and celebrate each of this year’s eight winners, but I encourage everyone to go to, where we feature the stories of these remarkable members of the restaurant community. The videos are moving, and your time will be well-spent.

In the same vein, and also on (search for “Lessons in Leadership”), we’ve produced full-length audio interviews between former Golden Chain winners and their peers, discussing leadership, company success and the development of people. We’ve received tremendous positive feedback on these sessions, and I highly recommend them.

While growth is the engine of success, people are the spark plugs igniting that machine. It is that lesson the restaurant industry teaches so well. 

Contact Sarah E. Lockyer at [email protected].
Follow her on Twitter: @slockyerNRN.

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