David Novak, CEO of Yum! Brands opens up about growing their brand internationally, catering to diverse local markets, all while investing in important leadership strategies to drive success. The Yum! Brands name may not be familiar to most, but everyone certainly knows of their portfolio. The company operates KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell with more than 1.4 million employees across 117 countries. Novak says although the brand’s heritage comes from the United States, each restaurant has seen continuous growth in foreign markets, specifically China, India, and more recently, Africa averaging 13% growth each year.
Novak contributes this success to many best practices he’s curated over the years, touching on 5 key points he strives to focus on with each new store. They include, creating a culture where everyone makes a difference, driving customer focus, differentiating your brand in all that you do, build continuity in people and process, and striving to do better every year. He believes with these 5 best practices at the forefront of their growth strategy, the company will continue to build what Novak calls, the “Yum! Dynasty”.
David Novak attributes the continuous growth of their restaurants in foreign markets from investing in local management teams, who know and understand the customer’s wants and preferences. This means from country to country, many of what Novak calls, “hero products” such as pan pizza at Pizza Hut is available, but there is a slight difference in the type and variety of product to satisfy each local market’s food culture.
Not only is David Novak an internationally successful CEO, but he is a distinguished author as well. A lover of leadership and growth strategy, his book Taking People With You is codified with his practical insights and leadership strategies he has used to train his staff over the past 15 years. Novak felt it was his duty to share his CEO insights and help other executives, while giving back to the community. That spirit of giving is made clear, with all proceeds from the book being donated to contribute to ending hunger on a worldwide scale.
From delicious tacos to oven fresh pizza, Yum! Brands continues to grow and become the defining company that feeds the world. Access this week’s episode available on demand now.