Late in 2015, the global brands unit of a major hospitality company recognized they had a problem. The unit was bracing for massive international expansion across several of its key brand properties. The problem was they needed to promote from within, but knew their pipeline did not contain leaders that were ready to step up. They needed to be trained and developed so they could lead the expansion effort. The other problem was how to corral a globally diverse, uber-busy set of people, take them away from their day-to-day meetings, and keep them focused on learning.

Ronnie, the chief learning officer for that company, looked for a partner with a track record of developing successful leaders; one that was in step with their global learning culture. She turned to Dale Carnegie, the people and leadership training company.

Dale Carnegie designed a Corporate Director program that allowed for geographically dispersed leaders to learn collaboratively online. Since implementation, over 100 directors have been promoted to VP through the leadership program—all of whom were able to continue being productive in their current jobs.

Recently, Dunkin’ Brands also met with Dale Carnegie to talk about a leadership pipeline and restaurant excellence. For over 106 years, Dale Carnegie, the company named for the author of the renowned book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, has trained generations of leaders to be successful. Among their most notable endorsers is Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, who credits taking Dale Carnegie training with his own success.

Dunkin’ conducted a survey to determine where across the footprint leadership training was most needed. Franchisees responded they were experiencing high turnover among their restaurant managers. It was clear that without great leaders in place at the restaurant level, restaurant excellence could be sacrificed. The survey showed that multi-unit operators also needed to embrace the people side of their management responsibilities. And, it indicated a business need and an interest in having access to high quality, easy to use, affordable training.

Among the reasons Dunkin’ Brands ultimately selected to partner with Dale Carnegie was its ability to customize certificate programs to fit the leadership pipeline needs of its franchises. The goal? To provide access to leading edge management & leadership training that is among the best in the quick service restaurant (QSR) industry.

Dunkin’ Brands and the Brand Advisory Council’s Peoples and Systems Sub-Committee worked with Dale Carnegie to develop Live Online certificate programs for restaurant managers as well as multi-unit leaders. The certificate programs cover key leadership and management topics that include delegating, coaching, employee engagement, developing essential leadership skills and time management.

The Dale Carnegie certificates are one way Dunkin’ franchise owners can motivate their employees and provide tools for growth, so when they take on management roles, they are set up for success. Collaborative coursework is conducted through LIVE virtual classrooms. Courses are grouped into two certificate paths that align with critical professional development skills and people skills. Participants earn certificates as they learn key steps to:

  • Develop Management & Leadership skills quickly
  • Attract and retain people who are enthusiastic about their professional development
  • Boost employee performance with real-time personalized coaching online

Feedback thus far has been favorable. Chelsey Barrett, a general manager for David Weeks, a franchisee in Watkinsville, Georgia, wrote of the experience, “Informative training and excellent hosts.” Other comments point out that the content was “engaging, applicable to [my] job and immediately able to be used with my team.” Another trainee said of the material he learned, it was fun and educational. “I would have loved to have [the material] when I first started in management.”

Whether in the hospitality or the quick service restaurant industry, excellent people translate into excellent customer service and continued success. With its new partnership with Dale Carnegie, Dunkin’ Donuts can enhance its training to focus on more interactive, social learning formats that will appeal to the current and new generation of employees.

As an added benefit of the collaborative training, program participants developed new and stronger relationships across functions and regions. As Ronnie notes, “The success of this program speaks to Dale Carnegie Digital’s ability to help people communicate and collaborate toward a common vision.” 

Juline McMullen is the director of client strategy and a senior trainer for Dale Carnegie in Boston.