We’ve been helping restaurants serve up better guest experiences and growth across all their locations for over 25 years.
We make it happen with unrivaled restaurant market and workforce data intelligence. Or, as we like to call it, digestible insights. Since 1995, we’ve gathered and shared data with over 300 of the world’s most successful restaurant brands. Today, the GuestXM network, born out of Black Box Intelligence, gives the most rounded and recent view of the local, regional and national trends that affect every part of restaurant operations.
GuestXM tracks and analyzes over 250 metrics covering 99% of US DMA’s. It includes data from 2.4 million employees, over 50m guest reviews, 80,000 restaurant units and $153 billion in annual sales across 6 segments. These include fast casual, quick serve, family dining, casual, upscale casual, and fine dining.
Safe, trusted and transparent
We’ve always taken the handling of data seriously. It’s why BBI is the most trusted source of restaurant industry data. Today, GuestXM shares the same principles. We’re responsible for all the data we collect and ensure our whole community understands how, where and when we use it.
Insights are more delicious when shared
As former restaurant industry executives our founders understood this more than most. GuestXM helps teams gain and circulate BBI insights across the organization. From finance and marketing through to HR, as-well-as national, regional and local managers. No expensive data lakes; no messy integrations. Just empowered team members using digestible insights to drive growth.
A big appetite for data
No one else has greater coverage of restaurant financial, workforce and guest industry data and insights than GuestXM. Powered by the Black Box Intelligence Network, we enable teams to view micro and macro market trends, compare regional performance and access benchmark data by sector and competitor.
Feast on industry expertise
Leveraging decades of restaurant industry experience, our expert network analysts supply industry operators and board members with the tools and know-how for interpreting and responding to market trends. With a deeper understanding, organizations can feel more confident and move forward with corporate strategies.
Powered by Black Box Network
History of Black Box Intelligence
First restaurant workforce benchmarks
Founders Wally and Joni Doolin agree to share and benchmark workforce metrics critical to their success with a group of restaurant executives from leading restaurant chains.
Workforce and financial data come together
People Report and Black Box Financial Intelligence Emerge as TDn2K: Transforming Data into Knowledge for Restaurant & Hospitality Industries.
Black Box Intelligence guest data
Black Box launches company-specific and industry-wide sentiment monitoring. For the first time, teams can assess how well they’re executing their brand promise compared to other restaurants within their segment.
Black Box Intelligence acquired by Diversis Capital
People Report becomes Workforce Intelligence to round out the Black Box Intelligence Platform that includes Financial Intelligence, Guest Intelligence, Consumer Intelligence, and Supplier Intelligence.
Acquisition gives BBI the largest and most powerful dataset, representing 72,000 restaurant units and $153 Billion in annual revenue.
Acquisition enables BBI organizations to better respond to guest feedback with tools to monitor online reviews, manage social media and analyze customer feedback in one intuitive dashboard.
Meet the Team
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.
Insights and Knowledge
Senior Vice President
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.
“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.
Chief Product and Marketing Officer
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, 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 of 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.
Restaurant Guest Experience Platform