Week Two…

Today, I had the opportunity to make biscuits at work. Well, biscuits did I make! Over 750. That’s more than I imagined I could ever make in one day. After breakfast, I cleaned the grill. It became a very pretty silver. Yesterday, I was supposed to make biscuits, but ended up working in the kitchen instead. I’m feeling much more at home this week, and next week will be even better.

The things I thought I would have a difficult time changing have turned out to be quite easy. It’s the things I didn’t even think about, the things that were 2nd nature, that give me the hardest time. Such as the placement of the screens in the kitchen. You wouldn’t think that a screen right in front of your face would be difficult to look at. And it’s not, really. Not when things are slow. Get a rush and it’s a whole different ballgame. My head just naturally turns to the transfer cabinet (formerly known as the heatchute) searching for a screen that is not there. Then I snap back to look straight ahead and there it is. This of course takes precious seconds that can not be regained. BK got a new register system a few weeks before I left. So, in my mind are 3 different systems. BK’s old, BK’s new, and Hardee’s. I search and search, then finally find the item I need to ring up, only to look up at the Guest to see them starring at me blankly. The thing I’m having the hardest time with is suggestive selling. BK ingrains in you to say as little as possible as to get the Guest in and out as fast as possible. “Can I take your order? Coke for your drink? Is your screen correct?” That is a typical BK Drive-Thru experience. Hardee’s is much more involved. Twelve words minimum in the initial greeting alone (Hi welcome to Hardee’s, would you like to try our <special item> today?). When a sandwich is ordered, you suggest a combo, then ask what kind of fries, then an upsizing, then a pie, then ask if the screen is correct. All of this is as much a given as “breathe in, breathe out”. And it’s what makes Hardee’s great.



A few weeks ago, I decided to change jobs. I have left Burger King and am now with Hardee’s. Many things are the same, many things are different. I worked as a Breakfast manager for Hardee’s 15 years ago, so I have a vague knowledge of the system. I have been with Burger King for almost 5 years and, although I needed the change, some things are hard to let go of. For example, today during a quite busy breakfast, I kept asking for CiniMinis. the Kitchen Leader looked at me like she didn’t understand me, so I repeated it. Then she and the GM began laughing. Needless to say, BK has CiniMinis. HARDEE’S has Cinnamon N’ Raisin Biscuits. Goof up #1. Five years of saying CiniMinis may be a difficult habit to break, but the change I’ve made in my life is so amazing! The people I work with in the training store are some of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet, and they are quite patient with me as I ring up gravy biscuits for here when they are supposed to be to go. This may seem like no big deal, but gravy to dine in is packaged differently than gravy to go. And because of food cost issues, having 3 gravies to dine in that you just don’t need is a big issue. There are times during the day that I feel right at home, and other times that I feel like a little lost puppy. But, it’s only the 3rd full day, so I know I will be on auto pilot by next week. It’s race week, so I’m spending all of my time on the front line. Next week, I hope to get into the kitchen, my home away from home. I’m eager to begin making sandwiches, learning the prep routines, hold times, cook times, shelf lives, etc.

Change is scary. I left a job I was very good at, I knew exactly what to do when, and knew absolutely EVERYTHING about BK. But sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone to grow, and making this change is the best thing I could have ever done for myself and my family.


There once was a woman who woke up one morning,
looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head.
Well,” she said, “I think I’ll braid my hair today?”
So she did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up,
looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head.
“H-M-M,” she said,
“I think I’ll part my hair down the middle today?”
So she did and she had a grand day.

The next day she woke up,
looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head.
“Well,” she said,
“today I’m going to wear my hair in a pony tail.”
So she did and she had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up,
looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn’t a single hair on her head.
“YEA!” she exclaimed,
“I don’t have to fix my hair today!”

Attitude is everything.

Be kinder than necessary,
for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Live simply,

Love generously,

Care deeply,

Speak kindly…….

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass.

It’s about learning to dance in the rain.

(~author unknown~)

Every little step counts

A staircase composed of very small steps can reach just as high as a staircase made of large steps, and the climb is much more manageable. Every little step counts. Doing just a little is infinitely more rewarding than doing nothing. And just a little can quickly lead to just a little more.

Five minutes a day adds up to two and a half hours a month, and thirty hours over the course of a year. If you spend those five minutes each day making minor improvements, they can steadily bring about major accomplishments.

Offer one small gesture of kindness each day and multiply it over the course of a lifetime. You’ll find your world filled with rich, rewarding and genuine relationships.

Every little step counts, because the little steps are usually the ones that actually get taken. There’s virtually no risk, and yet the rewards, over time, can be enormous.

What one little step would make life better for you this very day? Get in the habit of taking small positive steps, and you’ll create big, lasting success.

— Ralph Marston

Keep On

Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down.

Charles F. Kettering


Today, EcoSure visited my store. Burger King has been using EcoSure as a measurement of how well we are doing on our Clean & Safe Platform. They have a list of 12 Criticals, each of which contain several checks. In most stores they are viewed as tyrants who keep searching until they find something, no matter how small.

At one store I was in, we were checking to be sure all the handwashing sinks were stocked. We got to the third sink and a crewmember had just washed their hands, using the last squirt of soap. Because the dispenser was empty at the time our inspector got to the sink, we got a critical. One critical and you fail. Period. It does not matter if the crewmember was getting another box to fill the dispenser. In the world of EcoSure, there is no leeway, no common sense to say “ok, this just happened, let’s see how it is handled to see if it is corrected.” Each item is taken entirely by itself, as if anything in the restaurant world is an entity of it’s own not effected by anything around it. At that time, I was one of thousands of general managers thinking….why do we need EcoSure? They intimidate people to get the result we all want, a cleaner safer place for our guests to dine.

Now, three years later, when my First Assistant called to say we had gotten 2 criticals, I was not in tears as I was at the previous store. Burger King has an 8-step process of handwashing. Leave one step out, it is a critical. A crewmember was washing her hands and didn’t use the nail brush. My First Assistant corrected her at the sink and she repeated the process, correctly. This is called Teach & Coach, another BK Platform. Our inspector counted it a critical because it wasn’t done correctly at the beginning. Our other critical is that a non-critical on our last Health Dept. visit was not corrected in 10 days. The TN Health Dept. gives us 30 days to correct non-criticals, but EcoSure doesn’t. So because the shelves we had ordered have not come in yet, we suffer the consequences.

My management team and crew made me extremely proud today in that the only thing we could control was the nail brush, and it was corrected instantly with the Teach & Coach method. Yes, we will wear the “failure” for 12 months before receiving another visit. We will also know that we followed prodecure on the other 11 things and did what was right when one thing was left out. I say AWESOME JOB!


Until you make peace with who you are … you’ll never be content with what you have.

Doris Mortman