Since 1940, Dairy Queen® has been one of the world’s best known and loved brands. Based in Minneapolis, MN, International Dairy Queen Inc., (IDQ), is the parent company of American Dairy Queen Corporation. As a leading franchisor, there are more than 7,000 independently owned and operated restaurants in the U.S., Canada and 24 countries around the world. IDQ is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (Berkshire) which is led by Warren Buffett, the legendary investor and CEO of Berkshire.
Here at IDQ, we create extraordinary Fan experiences every day and we do this through our commitment to hiring and retaining only the best in class talent. We firmly believe that our employees are the catalyst to the success of the company where their initiative, strategic thinking, and entrepreneurial spirit are recognized and rewarded. We're looking for motivated, passionate and dedicated individuals with an inherent need and ambition to go after bigger challenges.
We have an exciting opportunity for a Project Manager to join our Concept Support Services team at our Franchise Support Center located in Bloomington, MN. This role will manage various internal operations-related functions associated with supporting IDQ’s Operations, such as complete responsibility for managing complex, cross-functional and impactful Concept Support Services-led projects, keeping projects on track for timely and successful completion, and identifying/driving the resolution of issues and decisions. In addition, responsible for creating, writing and managing product test process, validation of new equipment and products. Other responsibilities may include responsibility for unique, specialized Operations program(s) or team(s), such as the Business Consultant Toolkit, a major and visible vendor relationship such as a Customer Service Metrics program, the management of an internal operations support team, or serving as the subject matter expert in a key operational area such as Consulting and analysis and technical tools used by Operations field staff and internal cross functional teammates.
- New products test and operational insights related to those tests. Improve preparedness of field staff and franchisees for new product tests and launches. Create, write and facilitate training or training support that is needed to better prepare franchisees to correctly execute new products. Directly engage with the field and franchisees to increase operational feedback and other insights gained during the test period. Create and compile surveys on new products and report findings to CSS, R&D and the Brand Teams. Share ideas and strategies for optimizing the new product test scores.
- Analyze market trends and incorporate strategic vision to create and oversee operational programs. Develop and monitor programs over multi-year timelines.
- Effectively and independently lead and manage multiple projects, including complex, multi-year projects with significant budgets, strategic value, executive scrutiny, and cross-functional impact. Independently manage such level of projects within scope and budget. Being strategic about project management is a key skill set; the PM II is expected to be constantly evaluating whether a particular project or direction is the right way to proceed, how to improve processes and tools versus simply maintaining, and thinking ahead about the business needs for their particular area of responsibility.(for example Fan Experience / Voice of Customer program)
- Independently and effectively create and manage project plans, expectations, scope, and timelines, as well as identify key stakeholders, project milestones, decision makers, success metrics and communication plans. Ensure that all affected parties are informed and in support of the proposed direction and plan.
- Provide leadership and strategic direction while working in collaboration with multiple departments on various projects.
- Serve as the first line of communication with the IDQ field teams on assigned projects. Troubleshoot and recommend courses of action to resolve identified field-related issues.
- Show strong initiative, strategic insight and planning skills, by independently and proactively identifying issues, risks and potential project-related problems, bringing together appropriate decision makers, suggesting and implementing resolution options when appropriate and necessary, and ensuring that the right decisions are made. Actively facilitates communication between project participants and impacted IDQ teams.
- Provide coaching, direction and development to project support staff as appropriate.
- Create templates for project updates and scorecards. Generate, distribute and monitor reports and progress for assigned projects. Brief management, including senior management when appropriate, on project status and risks.
- Develop procedures, track results and monitor activities of Pilot programs created for the Operations division. Analyze available data to interpret if desired outcomes were achieved. Provide strategic recommendations to Department Heads. Upon completion of Pilot program, oversee the maintenance and enhancements of the program going forward. Create program training guides in support of IDQ Operations initiatives for use in the field.
- Act as a conduit for the Operations department with all internal departments including the following: R&D, QA, Training & Curriculum, Information Technology and Marketing departments.
Team Leadership/ Operations Processes/Subject Matter Expertise:
Depending upon unique role focus, responsible for managing a specific team, process, program, or for key subject matter expertise within Concept Support Services, which may include (but is not limited to) one or several of the following:
Team Leadership and oversight:
- Actively coach teammates to develop their skills and abilities. Regularly provide feedback on employees’ strengths and when they are performing well. Provide constructive feedback on areas to develop by describing specific behaviors and including suggestions for improvement.
- Initiate appropriate corrective action head-on, in a timely manner.
- Recognize contributions on an ongoing basis; celebrate individual and team accomplishments.
- Create focus on the right priorities, eliminates roadblocks, and provide solutions to day-to-day problems for team.
- Maintain a positive and ethical work climate that is conducive to attracting, retaining, and motivating a diverse group of top-quality employees.
Key vendor management:
- Responsible for developing, maintaining and progressing IDQ’s relationship with key vendors and National Accounts. When necessary, determine areas of vendor need/opportunity within the existing business environment. Research and interview prospective vendors, negotiate terms of contracts and onboard new vendors. Promote growth with respect to key existing vendor accounts.
- In collaboration with internal cross functional teams, assist with project management to develop processes and procedures for the rollout of National Accounts throughout the IDQ system. Oversee the ongoing monitoring and management of Print vendors with a focus on maintaining a vibrant, well utilized and relevant program. Conduct viability assessments for existing programs and make ongoing recommendations Ensure that all stakeholders receive timely and accurate communication related to National Accounts, including acting as the primary communications center for relaying information on issues to the field operations team and franchisees. Responsible for maintaining subject matter expertise on all technical tools used by Operations leadership and field staff, such Cost of Goods (COGS) and labor tool kits. Gather business requirements for such tools, translate these into technical specifications and liaise closely with Information Technology staff through tool prototypes, testing, and rollouts.
Lead the Creation of Operations Technical Tools and Solutions:
Responsible for maintaining subject matter expertise on all technical tools used by Operations leadership and field staff, such Cost of Goods (COGS) and labor tool kits. Gather business requirements for such tools, translate these into technical specifications and liaise closely with Information Technology staff through tool prototypes, testing, and rollouts.
Business Consultant Toolkit:
- Analyze market trends and incorporate strategic vision to create and oversee operational programs, including elements of the Business Consultant Toolkit such as speed of service, COGs and Labor programs. Develop and monitor programs over multi- year timelines.
- Provide leadership and strategic direction in Voice of Customer / Fan Experience program. Incorporate Fan Experience components into restaurant consulting activities for the field operations team. Drive program implementation and utilization to a level that delivers measurable business results.
Other Assignments as Needed:
- Research various operational related issues and questions that arise from the Operations executive team. Provide recommendations and guidance as needed maintaining alignment with the Operations strategic roadmap.
- Identify and effectively manage cross-departmental relationships providing strategic vision and leadership in alignment with the Operations strategic roadmap.
- Respond to communications from customers and franchisees regarding operational issues in a timely manner.
- Special assignments and other duties as needed per the direction of the Director of CSS or VP of CSS.
- Provide clear and relevant project updates or training during BC Webinars, Ops Leadership meetings, Supply Chain Advisory Council Franchise Advisory Council and various sub-committees as needed.
- Strong presentation skills, with the ability to articulate effectively and convincingly to a variety of audiences, including franchisee leadership and senior management.
- Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, & Power Point, Experience in Adobe Creative Suites (InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop) a plus
- Ability to work quickly in a fast-paced environment with frequent interruptions.
- Strong knowledge of the restaurant industry and of restaurant operations.
- Certification in project management a plus. Example: PMI or PMP.
- Experience working within a franchisor organization (training or operations exp. a plus), preferably a QSR brand at a multi-unit level.
- Strong demonstrated ability to lead, coach and direct a team.
- Strategic thinker with strong operational expertise in finding solutions for problems.
- Excellent written and verbal business communication skills.
- Strong analytical skills.
- Accountability and Drive for Results
- Change and Continuous Improvement
- Teamwork and Collaboration
- Strategic Thinking
- B.A. / B.S. Degree in Business, Communications, Hospitality Management, or related field, or equivalent combination of education and work experience.
- Minimum track record of five years of successfully and independently managing increasingly complex projects, cross-functionally, including independently creating plans and managing scope and budget. Minimum of 5 years of food service or retail operations project management or business analysis experience is preferred