‘Courageous Behavior’ Crucial for Restaurant Leaders, RFDC Panelist Says
“Courageous behavior, it is a very, very rare quality,” said Alice Elliot, founder of The Elliot Group, at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference Monday.
Anyone who’s bearish on the restaurant business or down on private equity investors might take heart from consultant Alice Elliot, founder of The Elliot Group and an optimistic speaker at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference yesterday.
About the much-maligned millennial generation: ”I think millennials are very bold and I think that they all have an entrepreneurial spirit,” said Elliot. “That’s really great for the business economy. You have a group of people that really do want to contribute. But with that they’re very confident and they’re bold and they really do want to be heard.”
About private equity investors: “I think private equity gets a bad rap,” she said. “It all comes down to the group. We have seen some groups that have taken a short-term growth” approach. “But what you get typically is groups of people that really want to grow iconic brands. They really want to build long-term. They really do care, and they do have the courage to make the changes when they have to.”
About technological disruption: “How many people feel from the technological stance that they are pretty far afield in delivery? This is the United States of America, this is the greatest country in the world. Restaurants have been this great area where people can come to this country and hone their craft,” she said.
About the crucial quality for restaurant leadership: “It’s what we at Elliot call courageous behavior. It’s very, very, very hard to find a leader who’s courageous,” she said, citing Panera’s founder Ron Shaich, who spoke before her panel. “He would be a courageous behavior leader. It takes a very, very, very special person. I would say courageous behavior, it is a very, very rare quality and something that I think is admirable to aspire to.”
Elliot spoke on a panel moderated by CNBC’s Guy Adami on the opening day of the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference, which continues through November 14 at the Wynn in Las Vegas.