Connecting your brand intelligence to industry benchmarking
We started Black Box Intelligence with one mission: bring restaurant leaders from across the organization together to build a community of shared restaurant data, insights, and knowledge. The result was simple: benchmarked insights to help restaurant leaders make better decisions. Today, we are ushering in new waves of growth as the restaurant industry reinvents and revolutionizes itself.
Where it All Began
In 1995, People Report™ founder Joni Thomas Doolin gathered a group of restaurant executives from five leading restaurant chains who agreed to share, and more importantly, benchmark the HR and workforce metrics critical to a restaurants’ success and profitability.
In 1995, People Report™ founder Joni Thomas Doolin and a group of restaurant human resource executives from five leading restaurant chains agreed to share, and more importantly, to benchmark the key human resource statistics and workforce metrics that are critical to success and profitability. Joni knew that in a growing and competitive industry, restaurant leaders would need a reliable way to keep up. Subsequently, Joni and her team devised the survey that became the foundation for the People Report membership. Today, Workforce Intelligence (formerly People Report) is the premier provider of human capital intelligence for the restaurant industry. With a complete suite of monthly, quarterly and annual solutions, we track staffing levels, demographics, turnover and provide compensation analysis for our 200+ client companies.
Wally Doolin joined the mission in 2009 with a vision to deliver all the same insights Workforce Intelligence provided HR professionals for the operations and financial side of a restaurant business. This vision soon became Black Box Financial Intelligence™ with metrics covering revenue, expense and consumer data. Like Workforce Intelligence, Financial Intelligence is a subscription-based product where we provide weekly interactive reports with drill-down capability including industry benchmarks based on the latest operational results. Financial Intelligence currently reports on 72,000 restaurant units in six unique segments and reflects $153 billion in annual sales revenue.
In 2013, Joni & Wally knew it was time to think bigger and integrate the voice of the guest. In an effort to keep up with the fast-paced environment of online communication in our culture, we developed Black Box Guest Intelligence™, the restaurant industry’s first location-based social media listening tool to combine traditional social reputation management tools with operations, sales and competitive data analysis.
The three products came together under the same umbrella, now Black Box Intelligence (formerly TDn2K) in 2013. In 2019, Black Box introduced a fourth core platform, Consumer Intelligence™, a product that tracks consumer behavior driven by transactions from 20 million credit and debit cards.
Our clients have discovered that when they view their brand from these perspectives – human capital performance, financial capital performance and brand experience – they can uncover powerful insight to the health and wealth of their business. Our goal is to be a catalyst for our member companies to balance people and profits and make the best business decisions resulting in best-in-class performance results.
Black Box Intelligence Timeline
Inaugural People Report Released
People Report founder Joni Thomas Doolin and a group of restaurant HR executives from five leading restaurant chains agree to share and benchmark workforce metrics critical to their success and profitability.
Wally Doolin Joins
Black Box Financial Intelligence Established
TDn2K: Transforming Data Into Knowledge
PeopleReport and Black Box Financial Intelligence Emerge as TDn2K: Transforming Data into Knowledge for Restaurant & Hospitality Industries.
Black Box Guest Intelligence Introduced
Black Box Consumer Intelligence Delivers New Insights Alongside Workforce & Financial Data
Black Box Intelligence acquired by Diversis Capital
Acquisition gives BBI the largest and most powerful dataset, representing 100,000 restaurant units and $153 Billion in annual revenue.
Include New Leadership Ushers in Fresh Vision Forward
Company officially rebrands to GuestXM
Powered by Black Box Intelligence data, GuestXM is the new experience management platform that unites Workforce, Guest, Financial, Consumer, and Supplier Intelligence under one roof.
I am more than my department and I behave as such.
I am passionate about the restaurant industry and the people in it.
I will leave it better than I found it.
Big visions lead to big results; take risks.
I take ownership and am relentless in my pursuit of excellence.
Every interaction strengthens trust.
Chief Executive Officer
David Cantu is a 30-year restaurant industry veteran and serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer for Black Box Intelligence™, the premiere performance benchmarking company for the hospitality industry.
Prior to Black Box Intelligence, Cantu worked his way up in restaurant management with Outback Steakhouse and P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, where he served as an Operating Partner in San Antonio, TX. In 1999, he co-founded HotSchedules, the industry’s leading workforce management solution.
In his 21 years at HotSchedules, David served as Chief Revenue Officer and Chief Customer Officer, respectively. He facilitated multiple mergers and acquisitions fueling HotSchedules’ significant scale and market position with 6,000 restaurant brands managing 120,000 locations supported by 2.8 million hourly workers.
Passionate about innovation and client success, he oversaw the customer advisory councils and chaired the annual Spark user conference where valuable feedback was provided to guide product roadmaps for HotSchedules’ portfolio of products. He departed HotSchedules in 2019 after overseeing the acquisition and merger of HotSchedules and Fourth Enterprises by Marlin Equity Partners.
David serves on the board of directors for Wisely, a customer engagement platform, and has investments in various restaurant technologies shaping restaurant operations and guest experience.
David currently lives in Austin, TX with his wife Danielle and 3 children, Cadie, Giana and Luca. He enjoys hiking, boating, grilling and watching his kids play competitive sports.
Chief Financial Officer
Stephanie Kingery joins BBI with over 25 years of accounting and finance experience primarily focused in the Greater Atlanta area. The majority of her experience sits in technology companies from startup to global market leaders. She began her career at Intelligent Systems Corporation, a unique publicly traded technology/venture capital company, where she spent 10 years gaining exposure to a large variety of startups and venture investments in technology, software and services. Subsequent to Intelligent Systems, she spent time at EDI, Software and Telecom companies where she focused on SEC reporting, accounting process improvement, major system implementations/conversions alongside streamlining and instituting management budgeting and reporting. Prior to joining BBI, she spent the last 6 years at private equity backed growth stage software companies as VP, Corporate Controller and CFO driving acquisition integration, FP&A, reporting and internal system convergence and team building.
Stephanie holds her CPA in the state of Georgia and earned her degree in Accounting from Georgia State University in 1996 where she was a Panther student-athlete on the indoor volleyball team. She is married to Jeff and they have two sons, Raury (17) and Finn (12). The family enjoys traveling, cosplay and hiking with their 2 Great Pyrenees, Bear and Saffy. Stephanie also continues to coach beach volleyball to high school and middle school athletes.
Senior Vice President, Customer Success
Mary loves leading customer success and account management teams to foster customer retention and expansion of solutions within the customer portfolio. She is passionate about the hospitality industry and recognizes how difficult it is to simply get a cheeseburger served or a pizza delivered to a guest.
Mary has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry in leading IT, HR and Training teams. Additionally she spent several years with a software company that specialized in providing back office solutions and business intelligence to the industry.
In March of 2017 Mary co-founded the Women’s Initiative & Networking Group (WING) at her prior company to proactively improve work for women in technology and to support women’s growth and development in their professional and personal lives. She has been instrumental in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives and hopes to continue this at BBI.
Senior Vice President, Operations
Alan Smith is a senior executive experienced in building and leading successful operations and customer facing teams. A proven industry expert with over 20 years delivering SaaS solutions for top companies in the food industry following 15 years of experience in foodservice operations, he drives team with a passionate focus on personal development and customer obsessed values.
Previously Alan enabled rapid growth at ArrowStream Software as the Chief Customer Officer leading technical integration, implementation, master data management and customer success and account management groups and works directly with top industry customers. At iTradeNetwork, a division of Roper Industries, Alan held positions as Vice President of Solutions Consulting, Vice President of Data Operations, and Senior roles in Product Management, Master Data Management and Customer Success.
Alan is an IPEC certified leadership coach, earned an MBA at West Texas A&M University, a BA in Business Administration from University of Phoenix and has been accepted into the Ph.D. program in Value Centered Leadership at Benedictine University where he plans to further his understanding of the art and science of leadership without compromising values.
Currently residing in Folsom California with his wife and co-worker of 22 years, Ann-Marie and his amazing Akita, Coconut who is the star of the family with over 1,000 followers on her Instagram account. The 3 of them can often be found exploring the area on their electric bikes (Coconut in her side car) or their convertible Beetle.
Vice President, Business Development
Melissa Doolin-Koehne is Vice President of Business Development for Black Box Intelligence, the restaurant’s leading resource for financial, workforce and consumer benchmarks and insights. Melissa has been part of the Black Box Intelligence for close to 20 years and leads the business development team in identifying and securing new members to grow the Black Box Intelligence community. She uses her passion for the restaurant industry to help companies become best-in-class performers.
Prior to joining Black Box Intelligence, Melissa worked for the National Restaurant Association. She now is an executive board member of the Texas Restaurant Association. Melissa also spent a year as head of development for Conscious Capitalism, Inc, a non-for-profit dedicated to elevating humanity through business.
Melissa has a Bachelor's degree from Johnson & Wales University in Hotel & Restaurant Management. Born and raised in the restaurant industry, she is a foodie and service leader at heart and enjoys not only helping the clients of Black Box Intelligence; but overall supporting the restaurant industry as an industry of choice. When not working, her days are filled with her family, including her husband Douglas and her four daughters Anya, Ava, Sophia, and Maizi. They love to travel and every year pick a new state to explore with no reservations.
Vice President, Insights & Knowledge
Victor Fernandez is the company’s most senior analyst, having studied the restaurant industry for over seventeen years. He is responsible for creating and delivering insights, content and products that provide restaurant companies the business intelligence they need to successfully run their businesses in an increasingly competitive landscape. Victor oversees the company’s surveys and research projects and is also responsible for helping guide product development. He is a frequent contributor to articles covering the restaurant industry as well as an experienced speaker at industry events.
Victor holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. He also has an undergraduate degree in Economics from Rafael Landivar University in Guatemala City, Guatemala, his hometown.
Prior to joining Black Box Intelligence Victor worked as a research analyst for a consulting firm in Guatemala and along with his wife Antonella, started their own business catering to dog owners. Victor currently lives in Frisco, Texas with his wife and two sons, Diego and Mateo. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling and is passionate about anything relating to music.
Vice President, Data & Analytics
Tim Suh is a Vice President of Data Engineering in charge of leading a small data team at BBI to deliver values and insights for our customers. A hands-on leader who has worked in both private and public sector, he has been successful in designing, building, and creating enterprise products and data solutions for startups and Fortune companies across different verticals,Before joining BBI, Tim worked for a couple of local startups in identity management and advertising space where he served as the Head of Data and Analytics to architect and manage data platforms, support technology initiatives, and develop overall data strategy. He has also served in other leadership roles throughout his career in management consulting, software engineering, and systems integration.
Tim earned a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from the University Of Virginia and later, received a MS from George Mason University in Information Management Systems. To further pursue system thinking, he completed the coursework for the Ph.D program at George Washington University and hopes to keep pursuing other learning opportunities.Hanging out in Northern Virginia with his wife, Jennifer, and two teenage boys, Jeremy and Zachary, and our family dog, Piper, Tim enjoys working out and spending quality time with family and friends on weekends. He likes to read and catch up on technology while playing a game of ping pong, tennis, or basketball.
Vice President, Engineering
“It’s not how many times you get knocked down that count, it’s how many times you get back up” – George A. Custer. That’s passion, perseverance, faith, growth, optimism, and leadership all-in-one that has guided John Harper throughout his career.
John joined Black Box Intelligence bringing a diverse range of full-stack software engineering experience in Web, API, Mobile, Cloud, and Data architecture. On the BBI team, he is designing and building our next-generation Software-as-a-Service platform. In this role, he is vigorously working to deliver an innovative driven product.
John has an uncommon uncompromising passion for delivering world class software. In the software engineering industry, he has educated, built, and managed across start-ups, academic institutions, and Fortune 500 enterprises. Overall, he has a proven strong track record of successfully managing software engineering teams and large scale continuous software delivery and migration.
He graduated with a Computer Information Systems in Database Management, B.S. with a 4.0 GPA Summa Cum Laude from DeVry University.
Vice President, Product
Bio coming soon