Best Practice Hamburger

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Balanced Scorecard REPORT
INSIGHT, EXPERIENCE & IDEAS FOR STRATEGY-FOCUSED ORGANIZATIONS Article Reprint No. B0307B

The Best-Practice Hamburger: How Wendy’s Enhances Performance with Its BSC by Judith A. Ross

HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL PUBLISHING

This article is made available to you with compliments of Harvard Business School Publishing in conjunction with APQC. Further posting, copying , or distributing is a copyright infringement.

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The Best-Practice Hamburger: How Wendy’s Enhances Performance with Its BSC by Judith A. Ross, Contributing Writer

Years ago, in the famous TV commercial, the little old lady demanded, “Where’s the beef?” For Wendy’s, the beef isn’t just in its hamburgers. The fast-food giant has a long tradition of quality and substantiality — in its operations, customer management, and strategic focus. True to the company’s philosophy of proactive improvement, Wendy’s Balanced Scorecard adoption is all about enhancement. Its results are all about extraordinary performance — at a time of industry saturation, unprecedented losses, and consumer malaise. For Wendy’s International, one of the world’s largest restaurant operating and franchising companies, the commitment to continuous improvement was nothing new. So in 2000, when Wendy’s board charged new CEO Jack Schuessler with creating a new strategic plan, turning to the Balanced Scorecard was only natural. Schuessler and his team saw in the BSC a way to measure intangible assets like human capital and customer focus. More important, it turns out, by providing a consolidated process for tracking strategically relevant data, the BSC has helped the fastfood giant gain ground — in innovating new products, boosting customer satisfaction, and maintaining operational excellence. While sluggish growth and competition from new quarters trounces bottom lines across the fastfood industry, Wendy’s today is in the enviable position of attracting new customers in droves. With $9.4 billion in 2002 sales, Wendy’s International — the numberthree burger chain after McDonald’s and Burger King — encompasses more than 8,800 restaurants and three brands throughout 26 countries: Wendy’s, Tim Hortons, and the recently acquired Baja Fresh Mexican Grill. At Wendy’s North America, the traditional emphasis on burgers was recently expanded to include sophisticated, freshly made salads. Tim Hortons,...
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