New Coca-Cola Leader Lab Aims to Develop Foodservice Leaders

Free program gives foodservice, on-premise partners a way to inspire an emerging Gen Z leadership cohort in their career growth
An image from video content for Coca-Cola's Leader Lab program
Photograph courtesy of Coca-Cola

A new, free Coca-Cola Leader Lab program aims to address a significant issue facing the future of foodservice: attracting, developing and retaining an engaged frontline workforce.

Labor challenges, particularly the high turnover rates of frontline service employees, continue to be primary concerns of the foodservice industry, said Atlanta-based Coca-Cola.

“As labor remains a challenge across the industry, it’s critical for operators to think about how they are attracting and developing talent,” said Dagmar Boggs, Coca-Cola’s president of foodservice and on-premise for North America. “As a partner to the industry, Coca-Cola is providing restaurant operators a tangible solution that will help solve this issue, at no cost.”

The program offers actionable, entertaining video content (pictured) easily accessible on mobile devices, Boggs said. “The Coca-Cola Leader Lab equips frontline leaders with the skills they need to grow in their careers. This program gives operators a way to meaningfully invest in the frontline individuals responsible for driving their customer loyalty and experience.”

Coca-Cola saw a tangible opportunity to support its foodservice and on-premise partners in solving this issue, the company said.

“No single foodservice brand can fix this problem on their own,” Doggs said. “As more of Gen Z enters the workforce and steps into leadership roles, the entire industry needs to think about how they are attracting and developing their current and future frontline talent. As a total business partner dedicated to helping our customers grow their brands, Coca-Cola is uniquely positioned to provide an industry-wide solution that will help equip and transform our current and future foodservice leaders.”

The program is hosted on an easy-to-navigate website, and its quick-hitting, “bingeable” video modules account for the minimal margin of time foodservice employees have for additional training, Coke said.

The six training modules are:

  1. Casting vision: Starting a leadership growth journey by knowing the direction and why.
  2. Critical thinking: Turning obstacles into opportunities that improve team performance.
  3. Communication: Communicating in a way that is simple, specific and connects to both hearts and minds.
  4. Conflict resolution: Understanding conflict types and how to create a plan for resolution.
  5. Collaboration: Knowing how, where and when to include others.
  6. Coaching mentality: Embracing different perspectives and actions to achieve specific results.

There also is an optional add-on module on culture building.

“It’s no secret that a brand’s customer experience will never be better than its employee experience,” Boggs said. “Employees are naturally wired for growth, and there’s a critical need for foodservice brands to improve how they engage and foster the professional growth of their frontline teams. Coca-Cola Leader Lab gives our partners a meaningful way to invest in the frontline individuals directly responsible for driving their customer loyalty.”

The lab is free to all Coca-Cola’s foodservice and on-premise partners. To learn more and sign up for the program, click here.

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