We support young Australians to be their best

Message from Rob Phipps, Chief People Officer

We are passionate in our belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to be the best they can possibly be. That’s why we’re deeply committed to creating a workplace that gives young Australians, who are hungry for an opportunity, employment, together with the life skills they need to reach their full potential.

We put our people first and feed their desire to learn from us and from each other, through the bonds of a close-knit team. Together, our people create memorable experiences every day for our customers.

Tasmanian 22-year-old, Todd Patterson, has developed a successful career at KFC after facing some challenging life circumstances. After falling out with his family at age 17 he battled homelessness and joblessness - but says that the silver lining of his struggle is that he can give others like him hope for a better life. Realising he was travelling along a downward spiral, Todd spoke to Youth Connections at the Department of Human Services, who put him in touch with Whitelion, a not-for-profit organisation that provides specialist services to young people in the Youth Justice system.

Through the Whitelion Employment Program, Todd began working at KFC Kingsmeadow in Tasmania as a full-time Team Member, before moving to the KFC Mowbray store. In just a few years, Todd has progressed to become Assistant Restaurant Manager at KFC Mowbray, and has dreams of opening his own franchise.

KFC has been a proud partner of Whitelion for 17 years and employs approximately 40% of the young people in Whitelion’s Employment Program. Todd says that the program turned his life around and put him on the path to success.

"Whitelion was a stepping stone to starting my career at KFC and has shown me that with the right motivation and mindset, I can do anything,” Todd said.

Todd Patterson, Assistant Restaurant Manager
KFC Australia

Building People and Capability

Training and development

Most young students enter this industry but don’t see it as a place to build a career. However, KFC Australia opens the door to many opportunities beyond the day-to-day job activities of a Team Member, teaching life skills that are crucial to any person in the workforce such as: high standards, time management skills, strong work ethic, front line customer service and educating our team in a structured modern way through our nationally accredited training cooks. In addition we give access to training and development and provide long lasting management careers at every level.

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Yum! Restaurants Australia has been recognised as a Registered Training Organisation by the Australian government for more than a decade, investing over $15 million in training annually. This gives employees the opportunity to learn valuable life skills training while at the same time providing training to do their jobs in our restaurants.

Our people also have the chance to complete our exclusive Master of Retail Management, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program developed specifically for Yum!, in partnership with the University of Wollongong’s Sydney Business School. Ten graduate employees in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide have completed the MBA so far, helping them develop strategies for dealing with issues unique to the retail sector.

Within KFC Australia’s flexible work environment, education assistance is available to all employees at our company-owned stores. Our Education Assistance Programme provides up to $1,000 for continued tertiary study for approved courses. Assistance may help cover course expenses such as Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) fees or non-HECS courses, textbooks, study or examination leave. We also cover the costs for employees to complete a Certificate IV in Retail Services.

To date approximately 500 employees have received support through our Education Assistance and Masters of Retail Management Programmes.

“Having worked for both KFC company-owned and franchise stores, I have experienced both sides of this business, and the immense opportunities that KFC can offer.

I started as a Team Member while still in school and KFC fostered my development through the ranks to Restaurant Manager and then Area Manager, where I earned my career highlight of being recognised as the 2013 ‘Area Manager of the Year’.

KFC runs great in house training programs and are strong supporters of any external training you wish to undertake, allowing you to develop in both practice and theory.

KFC’s focus on perpetual development has not only benefitted me, but has allowed me to train others, and develop their careers.

From school students experiencing customer service, university students gaining management training or international students learning English and the Australian work force. It is so rewarding to continue to offer these employees the development and opportunities that KFC gave me.

The culture at KFC is ‘People-First’. They develop us to be the best we can be, providing a support network that is second to none.”

Therese Frangie, Area Manager
Mykspen Pty Ltd (KFC Franchisee)

Graduate Leadership Programme

Our Graduate Leadership Programme (GLP) provides a structured career path for tertiary qualified Restaurant General Managers prior to assuming a key field management position (such as Area Coach or People Excellence Coach). The GLP builds critical leadership skills, presentation and time management skills, while also broadening business knowledge across a variety of roles, building resilience, strategic insight and front line management skills. During the GLP, graduates have the opportunity to rotate through different roles over a three-to-four year period to help skill them in a broad range of areas, and set them up for success along the career path they would like to pursue.

Medina started her career as a KFC Team Member in 2006 at the age of 15, working part time at KFC Merrylands while she completed high school. Medina continued taking advantage of KFC’s flexible work plan while completing a Bachelor of Business and Commerce – International Business at the University of Western Sydney.

Medina was soon promoted to Restaurant General Manager, managing a multi-million dollar retail business with 50+ staff, serving over 3,000 customers weekly. During this time Medina fostered a positive work culture by partnering with the Make a Wish Foundation to drive local philanthropic efforts, and also increased employment opportunities for underprivileged families and teenagers in the local area.

Medina won the 2013 Young Retailer of the Year Award for Innovation, in recognition of her positive impact on the KFC Merrylands store and surrounding community. In 2014, she entered KFC’s Graduate Leadership Programme, where she is building her knowledge in operations, development, financial management, HR and marketing across the entire business.

“KFC has provided me with great opportunities to study and work simultaneously, furthering my career in business and leadership, as well as allowing me to pursue my passion for supporting underprivileged youth and communities.”

Medina Cicak, Human Resources Officer
KFC Australia

Our Culture

Training and Development

Our culture of reward and recognition empowers individuals with the confidence necessary to be valuable contributors to society. As a people-focused business, we are committed to building long-term relationships with its employees and giving everyone from all walks of life the opportunity to reach their full potential. We have one of the lowest staff turnovers – approximately 50% – in an industry known as the ‘100% turnover industry’.

We take care to coach and develop our people and celebrate their achievements no matter how big or small.

We have some formal recognition programs including the ‘Champions Club’, which annually awards the top 5% of Restaurant General Managers with a once-in-a-lifetime experience with their partner.

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As an employee of KFC Australia, Restaurant General Managers at our company-owned stores are able to benefit from a range of exciting reward initiatives including:

  • Operations Incentive Plan – a competitive incentive plan which provides a quarterly reward for performance based on people, customer, sales and profit measures.
  • Restaurant General Managers (RGMs) are also in a position to become owners and share in Yum!’s financial success. The ‘Yumbucks’ scheme rewards RGMs with stock appreciation rights in Yum! on appointment to that position (and annually on achievement of growth objectives).
  • All permanent Team Members, Restaurant Management and Support Centre employees are eligible to become shareholders in Yum! through the award winning Yum! Stock Ownership Programme.
  • Staff receive a 15% discount on the purchase price of Yum! Stock. This plan was the 2012 recipient of Employee Ownership Australia and New Zealand’s Award for the Most Effective and Innovative Communications Programme. It was recognised for providing employees with a creative and comprehensive understanding of the benefits of share ownership. Importantly, it was also applauded for its unique share ownership offering to permanent Team Members – the future leaders of our business!

Customer Maniacs

Annually, we continually train around 30,000 company and franchise associate staff to become Customer Maniacs, empowered to do whatever they can to serve and satisfy our customers.

All new employees are initially trained in Team Member orientation, where they learn about food safety and quality and customer service through our CHAMPS principles:

C = Cleanliness (restaurants)
H = Hospitality (employees)
A = Accuracy (orders)
M = Maintenance (facilities)
P = Product (quality)
S = Speed (of service)


Each year, KFC Australia runs an industry-leading retail training program, CHAMPS Team Challenge (CTC) designed to test and improve quality and customer service at KFC, while also recognising and rewarding KFC’s top employees.

Now in its 29th year, CTC runs over a three to six month period, with teams selected at each of KFC’s stores around the country competing against one another in state events. The top teams from each state are then selected to compete in a finals event held at a new location every year in August.

At the 2014 CTC event on Saturday 16th August, challengers were flown to the Gold Coast where they battled it out for 6 hours, competing in tasks that emulated their daily in-store duties, including everything from food quality and packing products to customer service, front of house set up and cleaning.

KFC Dee Why was announced as the overall winners, taking home the prestigious title of the National Brand Champions for 2014.

CTC is one of KFC’s many training and development programs designed to deliver valuable skills to young Australians. It ensures employees maintain high quality service and deliver great tasting food for the two million customers that visit KFC stores each week.

Employee Wellbeing

Wellness Initiative

In August 2012, KFC Australia launched a Wellness Initiative to help employees learn more about healthy living. Through a series of online training models, the initiative helps employees improve their work life balance, providing wellness assessments and tips on healthy eating.

As part of the initiative, employees are also offered free access to healthcare providers who screen for cardiovascular issues and diabetes.

It is currently made available to Restaurant General Managers at approximately 150 company-owned stores around Australia. We are exploring the option to expand the program to Assistant Store Managers and franchisees in 2014.

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Flexible working

We are proud of our fair and flexible workplace with ample growth opportunities for parents. We provide paid parental leave benefits above the statutory requirements and ‘transition back to work’ arrangements for female employees returning from maternity leave.

Consequently approximately 80% of women who take maternity leave return to work and more than 50% of all permanent management and administration positions are held by females. We also have a range of flexible benefits including carers leave and employees have the opportunity to purchase additional leave to accommodate their personal commitments and promote a healthy work life balance.

“I’ve been working at KFC for 23 years, starting at my local KFC restaurant at the age of 14 in a casual position. I have continued to grow my career at Yum! and in 2013, was promoted to Franchisee Business Coach after returning from maternity leave. Despite needing to take time off to have my second child and support my family, KFC acknowledged my previous years of work and allowed me to progress my career without hesitation.

The company has always been supportive of returning mums. Recognising that being a mother of two young and very active boys, KFC has given me flexible working hours to allow me to pursue my career aspirations as well as be the mum I want to be.

My new position meant I would be travelling more than my previous role and within this promotion held more responsibility. However, I have a flexible roster and I’m not tied down to a Monday to Friday, nine-to-five position. I am able to work around my children and husband’s schedules so not to miss out on any important milestones, like Easter hat parades or story time at pre-school.”

Belinda Spiteri, Franchisee Business Coach
KFC Australia