- Yum has completed an acquisition of Heartstyles, a leadership development company that offers hands-on training, according to a company release.
- A component of this program is the Heartstyles Indicator, an "online self and 360-degree assessment that helps individuals identify insights and action steps to grow and generate positive shifts in attitude, thinking and behaviors that help them in life and work."
- Yum sees this investment as one that will "allow the company to scale the program globally to build heart-led restaurant leaders and elevate the customer experience," Yum told Restaurant Dive in an email.
Yum has been a particularly active acquirer over the last few years, buying The Habit Burger in January for $375 million. In 2018, it invested $200 million in Grubhub and its Pizza Hut brand bought QuikOrder. Acquisitions will continue to be a growth strategy for the company going forward as well.
"We'll also continue to consider acquisitions and strategic partnerships that allow us to unlock value and expand our capability," Yum CEO David Gibbs said during a February earnings call.
When it came to its Habit Burger acquisition, the company viewed the burger brand as something with strong growth potential and a lot of upside, CFO Chris Turner said during the earnings call.
Its possible that similar reasoning was behind the Heartstyles buy, although it's unusual for a restaurant company to buy a leadership development firm instead of another restaurant brand.
With culture being a top priority for Yum, it makes sense that it would invest heavily in further developing its leadership and learning programs, which have been a prominent focus for the company. Retaining restaurant general managers, a growing concern for the industry, also results in better restaurant operations overall, which can help boost sales and productivity.
The acquisition is part of Yum Brands' strategy to strengthen its culture and talent as a growth driver and long-term competitive advantage. The acquisition allows Yum to expand its existing portfolio of people development programs offered to leaders across the organization, the company told Restaurant Dive.
It has already initiated a multi-year plan to scale Heartstyles and offer it to over 2,000 franchisees that run 98% of the company’s 50,000 restaurants, according to the press release.