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About Us

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 PeopleReport 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: Turning Data Into Knowledge

PeopleReport and Black Box Financial Intelligence Emerge as TDn2K: Turning Data into Knowledge for Restaurant & Hospitality Industries.

Black Box Guest Intelligence Introduced
Black Box Consumer Intelligence Delivers New Insights Alongside Workforce & Financial Data
New Leadership Ushers in Fresh Vision Forward
Black Box Intelligence acquired by Diversis Capital

Company officially rebrands to Black Box Intelligence with full suite of solutions

PeopleReport becomes Workforce Intelligence to round out the Black Box Intelligence Platform that includes Financial Intelligence, Guest Intelligence, Consumer Intelligence, and Supplier Intelligence.

MillerPulse Acquired

Acquisition gives BBI the largest and most powerful dataset, representing 72,000 restaurant units and $153 Billion in annual revenue.

Outside-the-Box Values

One Team

I am more than my department and I behave as such.

Do Good

I will leave it better than I found it.

Own It

I take ownership and am relentless in my pursuit of excellence.

Ignite Fire

I am passionate about the restaurant industry and the people in it.

Dream Big

Big visions lead to big results; take risks.

Inspire Trust

Every interaction strengthens trust.

Leadership

David Cantu

Chief Executive Officer
David Cantu Black Box Intelligence CEO

David Cantu

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.

Greg Kingen

Chief Revenue Officer
Greg Kingen Chief Financial Officer Black Box Intelligence

Greg Kingen

Chief Revenue Officer

“Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.” Those words from Max Ehrmann’s 1927 poem “Desiderata”, have fueled Greg Kingen since he first discovered it at the age of 13.

Inspired by those words, Greg longed to be a writer, so he pursued a degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri – Columbia. Ultimately, he found that his true passion was in software technology.

He started his professional career at ADP in their Employer Services division. Greg then transitioned into the data field working with organizations delivering data quality and business intelligence solutions. Most recently he has worked with hospitality technology providers Restaurant Magic Software, Fintech and Transact prior to joining Black Box Intelligence. Greg has a passion for helping people and enriching lives. He believes that technology, especially data, can make our work lives easier and thereby creates a better work life balance.

He currently lives in St. Petersburg Florida, where he enjoys boating, golfing, and riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle

Mary Hamill

Senior Vice President, Customer Success
Greg Kingen Chief Financial Officer Black Box Intelligence

Mary Hamill

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.

Victor Fernandez

Vice President, Insights & Knowledge
Greg Kingen Chief Financial Officer Black Box Intelligence

Victor Fernandez

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.

John Harper

Vice President, Engineering
Greg Kingen Chief Financial Officer Black Box Intelligence

John Harper

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.

Craig Negoescu

Chief Product & Marketing Officer
Greg Kingen Chief Financial Officer Black Box Intelligence

Craig Negoescu

Chief Product & Marketing Officer

Bio coming soon

Jonathan Meek

CMA, FP&A VP, Finance
Greg Kingen Chief Financial Officer Black Box Intelligence

Jonathan Meek

CMA, FP&A VP, Finance

Jonathan Meek is Vice President of Finance at Black Box Intelligence.

During his time at BBI, Meek has been instrumental in guiding a founder-led operation to a successful sale to Diversis in early 2021. Today, he leads the finance and accounting department, overseeing the day-to-day accounting activities, budgeting, forecasting, and reporting - including GAAP and ASC 606 financial reports. He is also responsible for managing relationships with bankers, insurance agents, lenders, and investors.

A seasoned FP&A professional, Meek has over 12 years experience building and leading finance teams. His background has taken him from fast-paced entrepreneurial companies to more structured banking, investment and corporate environments.

Prior to Black Box Intelligence, Meek spent seven years serving as the finance, accounting and Investment Analyst for a family office in Dallas, Texas. He supported evaluation and provided reporting for oil & gas, real estate, private equity and other investments.

Most notably, he was Director of Finance for Café Express, a regional restaurant brand headquartered in Texas. At Café Express, Meek transformed the company structure — optimizing labor, driving sales as well as COS. He reformed antiquated systems and “right-sized” the company’s Corporate G&A to implement a more accurate, timely, cost-effective and efficient operation. Meek grew a passion for the restaurant industry while at Café Express - leading him to Black Box Intelligence to continue to support the industry as a whole.

Currently, Meek lives in Wylie, TX with his wife of 15-years. His daughter is passionate about the creative arts - playing the piano and participating in musicals. He coaches his son’s football team, which means he spends most nights at games, training sessions or workouts which includes his wife - who happens to be a sports videographer. Meek holds a BBA, Finance from University of North Texas with CMA and FP&A certifications.

We love data, We love restaurants

Whether you’re looking to spark your career or reignite your professional passions alongside some great people – please, be our guest.

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