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Yum! Brands acquires omnichannel training platform

workforce management concept

A quick-service conglomerate is bringing leadership development in-house.

Yum! Brands has purchased Heartstyles, a company offering an omnichannel leadership development program, to build the capabilities of employees at corporate and franchised KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell restaurants around the world. 

Created by Stephen Klemich and Mara Klemich, Ph.D., both specialists in personal and cultural transformation, Heartstyles is a hands-on training program. A key component is the Heartstyles Indicator, a statistically-based online self and 360-degree assessment that helps individuals identify insights and action steps to grow and generate positive shifts in attitudes, thinking and behaviors that help them in life and at work. 

With this acquisition, Yum! Brands has initiated multi-year plans to scale Heartstyles and offer it efficiently to its more than 2,000 franchisees who run 98% of its more than 50,000 restaurants. While the Klemichs work to expand Heartstyles within Yum!, the Heartstyles organization and associates will continue to offer their global consultancy services.

“I’m committed to elevating the experience for each of our 40 million customers every day and achieving the kind of unit economics only made possible with an exceptional culture and talent. Scaling Heartstyles globally can help us consistently and measurably strengthen our people-first culture from the corner office to the restaurant,” said David Gibbs, CEO, Yum! Brands. “When we and our franchisees have strong and engaged restaurant general managers, they lead inspired teams, the customers feel it and it positively impacts results. We believe Heartstyles is a powerful tool to help our 2,000 franchisees consistently deliver and sustain a great customer experience and grow restaurant sales.”

“Your culture drives your success. Your people drive your culture. So, knowing what drives your people is imperative,” said Stephen and Mara Klemich, co-founders of Heartstyles. “Leading organizations like Yum! Brands have long known that their people are a unique competitive advantage. The next chapter for Heartstyles is exciting because we know that the scale and resources Yum! Brands offers will allow Heartstyles to reach, develop and transform the potential of more people for years to come.”

Another global quick-service leader, McDonald’s, is also partnering with training experts to roll out omnichannel career development tools. McDonald's has a new career exploration mobile app called “Archways to Careers,” designed to assist store associates with education and career advancement. Built in partnership with the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), a nonprofit adult education and training group, and with support from national success coaching organization InsideTrack, the app serves as a real-time career advising tool.

Yum! Brands Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, has over 50,000 restaurants in more than 150 countries and territories, primarily operating the company’s brands of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.

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