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In our live podcast premier, host Jason Ferrara talked with Bill Streitberger about what it means to be Chief People Officer, and how he’s seen the human capital business change over the course of his career.

Bill is currently the CPO at Logan’s Roadhouse, but as we learned in this podcast episode, his 30+ year career in the restaurant industry actually had quite humble beginnings. As Bill explains, it happened by accident. To make ends meet while studying at the University of Central Florida, he  took a job as a busser at a restaurant in Disney World, worked his way up the ranks, and never looked back. He’s been in the restaurant business ever since.

There’s an old saying that it gets in your blood, and it’s true. Every day is different. It’s a fast-paced industry with a lot of movement and a lot of change. We have our ups and downs, like any industry, but there’s an excitement to it that a lot of my friends don’t see in their businesses.”

Bill has seen success in the restaurant business, from Brinker International and Fogo de Chao to American Blue Ribbon Holdings and Red Robin, by surrounding himself with people who share his passion for the business.

To be successful, you really have to love what you do, and that’s what we look for—that excitement and that energy in people coming into all roles across the company.”

When it comes to building a sustaining a successful business that operates hundreds of locations nationwide, Bill relies on workforce analytics to “find the story.”

We look at sales and staffing levels, and also turnover—by restaurant, by position, by tenure. We cut data a lot of different ways and look for trends. One thing we’ve learned is that the higher your churn, or the more you move managers around, the higher your hourly turnover.”

Because data has become so important in understanding success on the people side, Bill created a HR analyst position to parse through the data and help interpret the results. The key, as Bill explains, is to avoid a data dump, and instead pull out the critical points that are going to help operators drive business success.

For the full story, listen to the podcast, and be sure to check out our podcast page for more interviews with movers and shakers in HR.