HUMAN RESOURCES | Staff Reporter, Australia

Alistair Bye, Director at Hombre Mexican Street Food

On flexibility, challenges and having fun.

QSR Media: What makes you excited about your position?

Alistair Bye: Everything! I love building businesses in general and equally enjoy working with a team to improve the business. Hombre is such a great culture, it’s a lot of fun to work in the business with people who are so passionate and committed to the brand.

QSR Media: What 3 goals are you focused on?

Bye: Commercially we have some new outlet targets which have clear goals and budgets around them. Beyond that our goals are centred around our culture of constant improvement. We have specific goals in the areas of product development and also systems development too. We have higher level objectives but I wouldn’t call them goals they are more brand values and market positioning statements.

QSR Media: What long-term changes are you planning on?

Bye: I think we have established most of our longer term platforms for the future already so we are lucky in that respect. I knew the challenges that faced the bigger older franchise systems in regard to their out of date systems and the cost of dealing with that so we have been very careful to piece together our business so that we are not just on the best platforms for todays market but also flexible if needed.

QSR Media: What are your key business philosophies?

Bye: I have always said that a great brand, with great people, great products and great systems results in a great business. Hombre has the best team I’ve ever seen, is a wonderful rich and meaningful brand with a great menu and has without question market leading systems. Over and above every plan, goal, target or philosophy I fundamentally believe in self reflection, being willing to change and listening to others. Often our targets or direction will be adjusted because we are listening and learning at all times.

QSR Media: What previous positions prepared you for this one and how?

Bye: Every position I have held since the late 80’s has prepared me for this venture. I have been a team leader across several professions during my life and that is the main skill that has allow me to move from the top of one industry to the next or into business ownership. I focussed on food in 2008 and found that I love the challenge of executing a great service, with a great team. Hospitality is certainly a very difficult business but I also think that all businesses are difficult to succeed in. That’s just business. If you don’t get every aspect of running a company correct these days you wont survive and that is why we are a reflective and open business, so we can adapt and stay relevant no mater where the market goes. We also aim to influence the market ourselves, we are not followers, thats why we stand out. I fundamentally believe that if you look to others for ideas you can only ever come second and thats not me, i’m here to win. Wining means that we must be successful overall. It’s not about the being the biggest or having more stores. They are just numbers, we are focussed on being healthy more than growth for the sake of it.

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