Russel Creedy, CEO of Restaurant Brands Ltd [RBD.NZ] wouldn't give me an interview even though I probably know more about his company than anyone else but him but he did speak to the NZ Herald over the last week.
"There were some long-service people of 20 years plus who left, but the business needed that to change, and there's still some long servers left but they're the ones who were able to adjust and adapt."
A layer of managers between the chief executive and store managers was cut, Restaurant Brands quit making its own television adverts and supply agreements were renegotiated.
Most importantly, the emphasis on the company's star brand, KFC, was intensified.
"Change is necessary, you don't always know the true path or know 100 per cent where you're going to end up, but you've got to back yourself. It's not wild wild west stuff, you just talk to people, be open to change and ideas and bloody act.
"Procrastination will kill any business, no matter how good it is."
And there's more to come, with the company looking for a trade buyer for its 41 Starbucks stores - worth an estimated $10 million to $20 million - and the progressive sale of some of its 91 Pizza Huts to owner-operators. NZ Herald
I have been super critical of RBD and its management over the years (see links below and this Google search)) and skeptical of Russel's tenure over his last 3 years as CEO but I have to give him his dues.
Focusing on service and cleanliness, cutting costs and middle management and selling parts of the business that were losing money - Starbucks and Pizza Hut.
Creedy focused on the star performer, KFC, and has managed to grow sales to record numbers (if inflation is discounted since its record listed sales in the 1990s).
Profit is also near record levels if you ignore inflation again - I don't.
Previous management were focused on growing the company at all costs but Creedy has put the service and focus back in fast food and reaped the rewards.
This has had the effect of boosting the share price to above the 1997 listing price of $2.20 for the third time in 13 years.
Russsel has been the man at the right time for RBD and he has put in place all that the company needs for a sustainable and balanced business in terms of profit, something that RBD has never seen before. That must be tempered by the fact that he has just about wrung the maximum drop of extra profit out of KFC and the recession is helping his cause.
What he has done though is allowed the company to be able to trade well through the good and bad times and as the fast food sector is a fickle cyclical beast he has obviously put this at the top of his agenda and RBD, in the future just KFC, is in good health no matter what you think of the food they sell.
I only wish Mr Creedy would talk to me.
Restaurant Brands @ Share Investor
Chart of the Week: Restaurant Brands Ltd
Long Term View: Restaurant Brands Ltd
Stock of Week: Restaurant Brands Ltd
Restaurant Brands: Buy or Sell ?
Pizza Hut sell-off provide opportunities all-round
Danny Diab & Restaurant Brands
2008-2009 KFC sales figures mislead investors
KFC Finally Flying
Starbuck's New Zealand Cup doesn't runneth over
RBD gives KFC a push
McDonald's playing chicken with KFC
Restaurant Brand's Pizza Hut faces increasing competition
RBD sales analysis
RBD saga continues: CEO leaves
The secret recipe is out
2007 FY profit analysis
Delivering increased profit in October 2007
No reason for optimism in latest sales figures
Discuss RBD @ Share Investor Forum
Download RBD company reports
Buy Bird on a Wire: The Inside Story from a Straight Talking CEO & more @ Fishpond.co.nz
c Share Investor 2010