A BACKGROUND in McDonald’s management equipped new Dôme CEO Laura Taylor with franchise system experience.“I started out working with McDonald’s as a teenager – my first job,” Mrs Taylor said.“They have good training programs and good management development courses so I was soon in a position of responsibility.“I did very well in that system but was hungry to continue to grow my management career.”During eight years working for the US franchise, Mrs Taylor undertook a bachelor of arts in Minnesota. She then joined Pepsi’s Pizza Hut division.“They had a very strong culture of management development as well,’ she said.“Pepsi had a special program to take people with the right experience and education to a higher level of management.“That’s something I think I’ve successfully combined during my career: experience and education. I then took this further when I did an MBA when I came to Australia.“I undertook a number of courses that led me to understand a broader perspective of business management and led to other opportunities within Pepsi. It took me out of the standard line of operations management and exposed me to areas such as marketing and franchising.”Mrs Taylor said much of her success was due to the ability to quickly grasp new concepts. She said she was a classic product of the management development phenomena that had been an integral part of business during the past 15 years.“People identified my skills and ability to take on feedback, but most importantly, gave me the chance to try new things,” she said.“Back in the early 1980s, I was taken from operations and put in marketing, which was a pretty bold and novel move.“Everybody needs a sponsor to be successful, and I can identify a number of mentors I have had.“They could see my achievement-orientation and thought that spending some time with me and giving me opportunities would make me successful in a number of different areas.”Mrs Taylor said her current position was the most fun she’d had in a job.“This team is so committed – you only have to suggest something and it’s done,” she said.“Due credit must go to managing director Patria Jafferies, the lady behind the brand.“I’ve never met anyone with so much energy and such a clear vision for the future.”She said the biggest strength of any franchise was its brand.“Dôme has extremely high brand health and integrity,” she said.“They know where they want to be and execute that very well, and that’s what makes a franchise system world class.”She said the Dôme franchise system was always evolving.“We are focusing on improving the franchise system through company operated stores, and this will benefit franchisees in the long term,” she said.“The bigger you get, the more controlled and precise your systems need to be.”Mrs Taylor said Dôme’s international roll-out campaign in the early 1990s was well timed.“At the time, Asia was a good opportunity – better than the east coast – and when we did take our product offshore, it was quickly adopted,” she said.
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