2022 Year-End Thoughts from CEO Adam Ochstein

Published On: December 16, 2022

2022 is racing to a very fast finish. As I do every year, now is when I reflect on what we accomplished, and what lies ahead in 2023.

I had the honor and privilege of being named CEO of Personica in June, so my thoughts on the business are shortened, but still very full.

This year I spent a lot of time listening. I had the pleasure of speaking with many of our customers, partners and employees. And what I heard loudly and clearly was passion for the guests we all serve, and a desire to connect with them in more meaningful ways than ever. As inflationary pressures set in; as a legitimate war for talent is not just a moment in time but a fundamental shift in the labor market; and as dining choices become more diverse and easier to access, our challenges have become that more profound.

While conducting an interview with a prospective employee this summer, I was asked if I was worried about pressure on our business due to the economic forecasts of recession and what that would mean for our industry.

I want to share my response with you because it is my sincere love for the restaurant industry and you, the restaurateurs, that make the world such a special place. I told the candidate that when I was young, during the Cold War when I went to bed each night fearful that nuclear holocaust was right around the corner, we learned that the only creature that would survive World War III would be cockroaches. (Something about their shell being impervious to nuclear fallout.) I told the candidate that I would like to amend that theory and add restaurateurs to the list of creatures that would also survive. That’s because you survived shutdowns due to COVID. You’ve powered through severe labor shortages, price increases and supply chain issues. And you’ve found ways to adapt to a shifting technology landscape.

And this in just the past few years!

For those of you who have been in the industry for a while, I know you have seen other acute challenges – like getting access to capital during the Great Recession of 2008/2009, labor law challenges with predictive scheduling or passage of the Affordable Care Act (and what that would mean for your labor costs) or the ubiquitousness of 3rd Party Delivery services and how they would either drive up guest costs or squeeze margins to an unhealthy level (or both). The bottom line is, you have all seen so many challenges, and your ability to navigate through troubling times is what gets me up each day, excited to work with you!

So as we turn our attention to business planning for the coming year, I want you to know how bullish I am on the overall success for the industry! I believe at the center of every remarkable experience is the connection between people, whether this is sitting at one of your lively, crowded restaurants filled with laughter, joy and a melody of various conversations all occurring at once; or around a family dinner table sharing the stories of the day while eating a meal prepared by your team. You empower this and we aim to arm you with the knowledge and insights to continue to surprise and delight your guests.

I am so excited for what is in store for the industry, and I cannot wait to show you what we have been busy building the last several months. Until then…

May you and your families have a happy and healthy new year! See you next year.



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