Burger King Franchisees Tired Of Inexperienced Corporate Field Coaches

Image courtesy of Jeepers Media

During the last few years and under new ownership, Burger King has changed its business model slightly. The company once owned some restaurants as well as franchising its brand, but now has mostly left the restaurant-running business. Instead, they extract franchise royalties and send “field coaches” to look over the literal and metaphorical shoulders of their franchisees.

The Wall Street Journal interviewed current and former Burger King franchisees who said that the program was once a good idea. Every six months or so, they say, Corporate would send in coaches with extensive fast-food experience who would look around and suggest ways to cut costs or improve customer service.

Now, franchisees complain, many of the coaches are fresh business school graduates with little or no experience in fast food or even in retail. They might be smart, but that means that many of the coaches in charge of telling franchisees what to do don’t really know what they’re doing. The number of coaches was also a problem: one owner of almost 100 restaurants had ten different coaches descending on his restaurants after Burger King increased their ranks.

The importance of a coaching system in a franchised business isn’t just making as much money as possible: quarterly visits from a representative of the home office also helps Burger King keep the customer experience consistent across its kingdom.

Hamburger Helpers or Too Many Cooks? [Wall Street Journal]