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About Me

An analyst of the foodservice sector, Bob O’Brien is Global Senior Vice President for The NPD Group.

O'Brien started his extensive foodservice career as a dishwasher while attending Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.  After graduation he held nearly every possible back-of-the-house and front-of-the-house position in foodservice, and capitalized on these experiences in his ownership of multiple casual dining restaurants in Chicago from 1981 to 1987.

Bob joined NPD’s foodservice division in 1987, assuming a variety of client service positions until 1991, when he became Director of Sales and Market Development. In 1994 he became Vice President and General Manager of NPD’s CREST® foodservice market research service and assumed the role of President of the NPD Foodservice Information Group in 1998. Bob also developed new CREST businesses outside the USA. In 2003, he drove the launch of CREST® Japan, and led the launches of CREST® China and CREST® Australia in 2009. In January 2012, he launched the CREST® Mexico pilot project.

Bob speaks frequently to industry and management groups including the Society for the Advancement of Foodservice Research, NRA’s Marketing Executive Group, National Cattlemen’s Association, INTERNORGA, Shanghai American Chamber of Commerce, Meiji University, ANUGA, the International Mass Retailers Association, Cornell University, COEX, the Presidents Conference and others.

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Franchise Consultant

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Bob O’Brien is global senior vice president for market researcher The NPD Group, foodservice sector. He joined NPD’s foodservice division in 1987. He has been responsible for driving foodservice analysis outside the United States, leading the launch of CREST® Japan, China, Australia and the new CREST® Mexico pilot project. Bob speaks frequently to industry and management groups. He can be reached at the NPD Group.

Mr. O'Brien's column on foodservice is syndicated to Blue MauMau by permission of The NPD Group.


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