Training For Success

For Taco Bell, Innovation Means Constant Focus on 'Back to Basics'

May 11, 2009 

Exterior of a Taco Bell restaurant, Oakdale, Calif. (Modesto Chamber of Commerce file photo)

For most businesses to be considered “progressive” they would need to do something different and uncommon, but it’s also possible to be innovative by simply doing basic things uncommonly well.

That’s exactly how OCAT separates itself from the pack. The Modesto-based company that owns and operates 38 Taco Bell locations in the Central Valley stands out by going back to basics and emphasizing a level of hiring and training that is unparalleled in the industry.

“It’s not so much innovation,” President David Olson explains, “But execution.”

While structured development programs are common in the fast food industry, few can match OCAT’s dedication and focus, particularly for members of management. Expectations of excellence start early on in the interview process, where potential candidates are subject to a review board, or a panel of three interviewers, in order to ensure that the best employees are hired or promoted.

Qualified managers are then trained to run a store through a process that involves hands-on training of necessary skills, classroom education in which they are taught the essentials of the business, and personal attention from Area Coaches. “We spend an awful lot of time and resources to train and educate management,” says Olson.

While the benefits of quality training have a ripple effect that positively impacts store operations, employee retention, and job satisfaction, the real benefit is that better training will always lead to a more satisfied customer. “It’s all about people,” Olson explains, “It’s all focused on taking care of the customers.”

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