On 27th October on the Madrid Campus and on 5th November in Barcelona, within the framework of EAE’s Company Meeting programme, a conference on Burger King® was held, led by the company’s Talent Manager in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Larissa Schaedler. Held in English, the conference with the students gave Larissa the opportunity to present the company’s Leadership Development Programme.
Burger King® is an extremely big brand, with more than 14,500 restaurants across the planet, which are managed in around 100% of the cases. As an organization with these characteristics, it provides a support service for the franchises, which currently has offices in Miami, Singapore, Madrid, Slough and Zug. Everything from the creative developments all the way through to the packaging must transmit a single message, which requires a centralized marketing service.
For this reason, the company created its Leadership Development Programme, an established recruitment scheme that enables young graduates to participate in rotational training over the course of six months, during which time they spend periods in all of the company’s main departments and the restaurants. According to Schaedler, “four months training at Burger King® are equivalent to four years in any other organization”. The challenges they face in their day-to-day work and the responsibility given to these young people are unlike any other company. The Talent Manager believes that this enables them to learn very quickly.
Bruna Verdaguer, who has been taking part in the programme since July, explains the experience in the following way: “Work is approached from the basis of global objectives. In other words, everything filters from the top downwards”. Once the rotations through all of the departments are completed, if the candidate has been well rated in the group projects that they have been involved in, and they have proven themselves capable of showing initiative and bring new perspectives, they will become part of the team. One last fact that should encourage any potential candidates: practically all of the directors current working at the company entered the company through this method.
After the presentation, we had the chance to speak personally with Larissa Schaedler in order to find out more about the company and the programme that it offers to our students.
You claim that four months training at Burger King® are equivalent to four years in any other organization. Can you explain what you mean?
In view of the industry in which Burger King® operates, fast food, we are looking for young graduates with energy, dynamism and innovation. As such, they have to deal with lots of things in a short amount of time, based on the objects and challenges set.
What does your Leadership Development Programme consist of?
The selected applicants form part of a six-month work programme in which they can train within the company at all of the levels. The work programme includes a week of training in the global headquarters of Restaurant Brand International in Oakville, the chosen candidates get submerged in the company culture and they meet the global leadership team. The programme continues with eight weeks in a BURGER KING® restaurant, where they receive operational training, then a month of training in the field with one of the company’s Franchise Business Leaders, and three months of rotation through the various departments in the different offices across the EMEA region.
What talent do you aim to find through this programme?
Burger King® EMEA is always committed to talent, and this talent requires training in order to incorporate young professional with a desire to learn and contribute their creativity to a large multinational. We look for talent characterized by the three H’s: hard-working, humble and hungry.
Which are you main allies on the market?
We have extremely solid partnership relations with distributors, storage operators and suppliers. We want these partners to be familiarized with the local scene.
How is the market evolving in the Middle East, given the current upheaval in international politics?
The fact is that we are growing strongly in that market. We have really good partners in the Middle East.
An increasing number of people advocate the virtues of healthier eating. Is your company adapting to this new model of consumer?
For several decades now, personalization has been a key part of the heritage of the BURGER KING® brand. It is important to be able to offer a variety of products for all budgets, appetites and diets, including options for diners who are more focused in health. For instance, we offer salad, wraps, fruit smoothies and smaller hamburgers.