January 9, 2013

Total Re-Org


We’ve been working hard over the past month or so assessing our organizational structure. The topic of organizational structure may seem a bit abstract to you. It did to me when I first heard about it in business school. And there aren’t too many metrics you can throw at it that stick. But for many companies, especially in people-heavy businesses like food, it’s central to everything we do. This is how we answer the questions: Who do you report to? Who is responsible for what?  What’s next for me?

So we’ve been working hard, spending hours talking about what we love and what we don’t like about our current organization. We’ve been studying what others do, in and out of our industry. And we’ve come up with a plan that we think will carry us into the future.

It’s a bit complicated, so this is going to be a long post. The short version is that our managers are going to make more money in 2013 than they did in 2012, which is really exciting. We now have more career paths for managers within the company. And there’s a huge emphasis now on people development. You can’t succeed in the new structure without developing future leaders.

(more after jump)

So here it goes: yesterday we had 2 management roles:

– Assistant Manager (helped run a location, in training to become a manager)

– Manager (ran a location, helped train Assistant Manager)

Now we have a bunch of management roles:

– Assistant Manager (pretty much the same as it was)

– General Manager (runs single location)

– Multi-unit Manager 2 (runs a primary location, provides support and development to a General Manager who is running a second location)

– Multi-unit Manager 3, 4 (same as Multi-unit Manager 2, but they are responsible for 3 and 4 locations respectively)


The idea is that you may be doing a great job as a General Manager, but you’re eager and ambitious and want more (we love that). So you help us launch a new location and populate that new location with one of your Assistant Managers who is now a General Manager. You become a Multi-unit Manager 2, responsible now for 2 locations: your original location and the new location. You bring in a new Assistant manager, repeat the cycle a few times, and then become a Multi-unit Manager 3, and so on.

This does a lot of things for us as a company. It puts the focus on people development, which is where we need to be. Locations that have strong managers serve a lot of customers, make a lot of money, and have happy employees. Locations with weak managers have poor sales performance, don’t make money, and have miserable employees.

Another thing that happens with this new structure is that Manager (now General Manager) is no longer the ceiling for our managers. You can now move up while still doing the stuff you love and the stuff you’re good at.

This structure creates little “families” within the company, which I think is a good thing. I expect it will allow us to maintain a strong and positive culture as we grow.

We’re making changes that allow for more one-on-one coaching for managers. The former structure had a layer of managers with a corporate role above that had responsibility for 7-14 units. If you’re overseeing 14 units you just can’t really provide good coaching. Now every General Manager has a boss who is responsible for no more than 2 other General Managers, and perhaps 2 other Assistant Managers. We think that will support serious coaching/ development at the Manager level.

Pay rates have changed. I’m posting those HERE on our hiring page. Check that page out for more information. Why are we sharing all of this detail? We want our employees to all be able to see it easily. And we are really proud of what we’re doing, we want to attract great people, and what better way to begin a relationship than in an open and honest manner?

We think this is an awesome move. Let us know what you think!

(btw, the picture at the top of this post was an-in-process picture, gives you a sense of what our conversations look like.)

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