Cindy Kent,  of the Sun Sentinel  reports that just about everybody loves a donut now and then.

But it’s serious business for Barbara Lansberry, an operations manager for Dunkin’ Donuts in its South Florida district. “It’s a fun place and it’s a fun brand,” said Lansberry, who started with the company 16 years ago on the administrative side.

In her job to ensure that company standards and best practices are implemented, Lansberry is on the road from southern Broward County to central Palm Beach County visiting up to 52 franchises. She develops strong relationships with franchisees, store managers and employees. She spends time assisting them in the launch of new marketing programs, store openings and training.

Lansberry stays current with industry trends through webinars, e-learning, meetings with guest speakers and workshops. Along with other operations managers in South Florida and nationwide, the team shares issues, tips and advice so they can assist franchisees to ensure quality of products and service.

Though the economy has presented obvious challenges, it has also provided new franchisees from various industries. “They’ve had career changes from real estate, law and their own family businesses,” said Lansberry.

When people are looking for ways to work for themselves, or entrepreneurial opportunities, they look at franchise operations like Dunkin Donuts, said Lansberry. “They buy a franchise because it’s an established business and the ground rules have been set.”

Lansberry reviews business plans and maps out strategies with store owners. “We work as a team to run a successful restaurant,” she said.

One of her job perks, said Lansberry, is getting to meet so many different employees and their diverse customers. “We continue to grow with our customers through change,” she said, noting the company recently added bagels, flatbread sandwiches and wraps to its offerings.

Still some things never change.

Lansberry does have a menu favorite: a jelly-filled donut; and hot coffee with milk and two sugars. And make that to go – because she’s on the road to visit other franchisees and store managers.

Taking notes

Barbara Lansberry says she learns from franchisees because many of them come from business backgrounds.”It’s all about give and take and listening,” she said.

Let your bosses know you’re interested in developing your skills and advancing in the company, said Lansberry. “Building a career through Dunkin Donuts was not a difficult process,” she said. But Lansberry emphasized the importance of showing pride in your job and in the company.

Sun Sentinel