EDITORS NOTE: David Rydeen iscurrently the national director ofsafety and security for Papa JohnsInternational. Over the past twelveyears, he has held several positionsin the companys risk management,people (HR), and operationsdepartments. Rydeen is responsiblefor all the safety and security issuesfor all domestic operations, includingsecurity for the forty-acre headquarterscampus as well as directing the disasterrecovery program. He began his careerin claims with Liberty Mutual andChubb. Rydeen sits on the board ofdirectors for the National Food ServiceSecurity Council (NFSSC).
EDITOR: Help us know more about Papa Johns, in addition to the factthat your pizza is just a phone call away from people in most U.S. cities.
RYDEEN: Our company was started about twenty-three years ago ina broom closet in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Its a long-told story aboutour founder, John Schnatter. He was working at his fathers bar at thetime, Micks Lounge. John knocked out a broom closet in the bar, puta pizza oven in there, and started selling pizzas. Gradually, he had thisidea of growing a pizza chain. Of course, there were a lot of competitorsand there still are. So he decided he would deliver a superior product,focusing on better ingredients, better pizza. Thats what hes done.Over that time, weve grown to over 3,000 locations in 50 states and 32international markets.
EDITOR: And now youre based in Louisville?
RYDEEN: Were based in Louisville, Kentucky, just across the river fromJeffersonville.
EDITOR: How would you describe your role as the senior executive forPapa Johns safety and security?
RYDEEN: My role is to ensure we always look out for our team memberssafety and security. I spend most of my time proactively looking at wherewe put our locations, how we put security equipment in those locations,plus the training and processes we implement in the restaurants. Imconcerned with how our safety and security makes sense operationally,because we dont want to create undue burdens or just make work.
EDITOR: What are the types of incidents that Papa Johns mostoften encounters?
RYDEEN: We deliver pizzas, so one of the most commonincidents we deal with is automobile accidents. We are alsoa cash business, so the next biggest issue is delivery-driverrobberies. When we have an incident, part of my job is toquestion what we could have done differently to prevent thatincident from occurring.
EDITOR: Tell us how your function is organized.
RYDEEN: I report directly to the senior vice president ofoperations rather than HR, legal, or risk management. As a partof our operations team, I coordinate the safety and securityprogram across functions, using HR and other resources in thefield.
EDITOR: So, if there were a need for an investigation of anemployee in the field, you would not be doing it.
RYDEEN: Correct. I would have a local field representativehandle it. We have directors of operations and also peopleservices directors, some of whom have investigations training. Iwould coach them through the process and help them preparereports.
EDITOR: As basically a one-man organization, outsourcing andvender relationships must be important to you.
RYDEEN: Absolutely. For example, over time we have developed detailed specifications for all of the security equipment that goesinto a restaurant. This includes where we want the equipment tobe going and specifically where within each restaurant we wantit installed. We have a vendor that installs that equipment andthey outsource some of this work to other vendors around thecountry. Following our specifications gives us assurance that wehave consistency across the field.
EDITOR: How do you handle the franchise restaurants?
RYDEEN: Our franchisees are organizations that have their ownresources. I dont typically get involved in investigations on thefranchise side. What I do is present them with information abouthow we do it or provide them with solutions that we have usedor vendors that we have used in the past. Its up to them todecide whether or not to use our suggestions or whether theygo out on their own and seek their own vendors or solutions.
Over time we have developed a standard security package,including clear policies, that we install in every restaurant. Alocal owner would, therefore, know what type of approach totake for a specific issue at a specific site. It might involve doingmore or less, depending on the situation. I spend a lot of timedeveloping those system guidelines.
EDITOR: Do you have a role in the international business?
RYDEEN: For the most part, they are franchisees and so my roleis limited. Im available for consultation. We also do senior-leveltraining in which they can participate. However, we are awarethat there are different cultures and standards around the world.
EDITOR: I hear you saying there is a significant commitmentto training within your company and, obviously, you have a bigrole in that.
RYDEEN: I look at the front side of safety and security, and thatincludes the safety and security aspects of operations training. Ihave the opportunity to contribute to all aspects of operationsfrom a safety and security perspective, even to looking at thepromotions of managers in terms of their performance on safetyand security
EDITOR: Are your training programs on-line or delivered inclassrooms?
RYDEEN: Most are sent out in interactive DVD format. We arecurrently looking at going on-line.
EDITOR: Is the training predominantly for managers or allemployees?
RYDEEN: We have management-level training as well asteam-member training. We also have the directors of operationsconduct new team member orientation for all new local teammembers, both hourly and salaried. The training covers allaspects of what is expected, from handling cash to team andcustomer safety. The safety and security message is integratedinto the training curriculum and not presented as a separatemessage.
EDITOR: What is the typical staff structure of a Papa Johnsrestaurant?
RYDEEN: A restaurant has a general manager and he or shemight have one or two assistant general managers. Thosepositions are salaried. Then there are shift managers, counterservers, and delivery drivers, all of whom are hourly teammembers. We typically have a staff of twenty to twenty-fivepeople per location. Our model is built around pick-up anddelivery with very limited dine-in service.
EDITOR: Do you have a background screening process thatwould include driving history?
RYDEEN: Yes, we have a screening process for our drivers aswell other team members.
EDITOR: How do you measure the effectiveness of a store froman operational safety and security standpoint?
RYDEEN: There are a lot of ways to measure performance ina restaurantcustomer service, customer complaints, sales,profitability, et cetera. We have a database covering all of ourstores that tracks their effectiveness. Weve also added auditfunctionality that allows us to look at orders coming in and goingout and to spot abnormalities, such as deep discounts, overrides,and zeroed outs. So, we look at the best-to-the-worst restaurantsin terms of specific measurements.
Then there are store visits. As you park your car in arestaurant parking lot and walk toward the restaurant, you learna lot about that restaurant because you can see if the parking lotis clean, if the window ledges are clean, if the doors are clean.You know if someone takes pride in what they do and whethertheyre running a business or just collecting a paycheck.
EDITOR: Are there common technologies that Papa Johnsuses in providing a safe environment, such as CCTV or dataapplications?
RYDEEN: A major advantage is that we have a commoncomputer system across all of our restaurants. It is an internallydeveloped and supported point-of-sale system. This systemsupports the common store database. We have a daily, uniformview of all the stores in terms of sales, labor, food, as well as theaudit function. Weve realized that instead of providing storeoperators with different information or different formattedinformation, providing the same information in a format theyreused to looking at makes their job that much easier.
EDITOR: Do you provide advice and consulting to the fieldoperators on disaster management or crisis management, suchas issues related to hurricanes, tornadoes, and so forth?
RYDEEN: We have a restaurant disaster recovery plan thatsspecific to each restaurant in each region. We also work closelywith our public relations department to set up communicationprocesses for our franchisees. We learned a lot from HurricaneKatrina. We purchased satellite telephones so we now have thecapability to communicate if we have another disaster. I alsomanage the corporate-wide disaster recovery program for ourheadquarters operations at the corporate campus.
The key to disaster recovery and crisis management is havinga plan, working the plan, and communicate, communicate,communicate. After Katrina, we were literally doing conferencecalls every 24 hours. Sometimes, we did not have much newinformation to communicate, but the point was that we werecommunicating every 24 hours.
EDITOR: As you look internally, are there new initiatives,whether in training or technology, that youre hopeful couldincrease the effectiveness of your safety and security?
RYDEEN: One area is CCTV. When the black-and-white camerasfirst went into retail shops, the goal was simply robberyprevention. Then CCTV became recognized as a way to preventsome of the internal theft. Today, we are recognizing that we canalso use cameras to look at productivity issues and customerservice issues. So I think we will see more operations-drivencamera installations. Most of the new camera systems can beaccessed over the Internet. You can access them at any time andlook at what is going on in your restaurants.
EDITOR: How did you get to Papa Johns?
RYDEEN: Actually, I came out of the insurance industry. I was inclaims and loss prevention on the property/casualty insuranceside. Through a friend, I met John Schnatter, the founder of PapaJohns, about thirteen years ago and he hired me. My originalresponsibility was in risk management to build the companyssafety program. Over the years, my role has expanded to includesafety and security. This broadening of responsibility is a trendover the past decade throughout the retail industry.
EDITOR: When young pe
ople ask you how to get into retailsecurity, safety, or loss prevention, how do you answer?
RYDEEN: Look for those opportunities. If you have a specificinterest in one or more of those areas, you need to communicatethat upwards. And when, for example, a field-based positionbecomes available, take it. Many positions start in one specificarea and morph into something else entirely. There are differentback doors into very interesting careers. The traditional frontdoor career of getting a degree in criminology, becoming apolice officer, then a detective, and then going into privateindustry works, but it is not the only path. Also, there are greatopportunities in the insurance industry in loss prevention, safety,and security
EDITOR: When you started assimilating the securityresponsibility, did you do anything in particular to educateyourself on security?
RYDEEN: I luckily had a great mentor here who was director ofsecurity. He helped me learn the security side of the businessfrom the ground up. Another big help to me was a long-timesenior field operations fellow who would talk about needing tobe a part of the team, even to the point of looking like a partof the team instead of coming into the field in a suit and tie.He also taught me that you need to be ready and able to makepizzas or help out with anything at a moments notice. As amatter of fact, I was at a restaurant in Nashville recently and for afew hours I made some pizzas.
Its important not to get trapped in the perception of beingonly a security person or a safety person. Look at and leverageyour transferable skills. Look for opportunities from yourcompany for more and different training, particularly subjectslike management, project management, effective presentations,or business writing. If you can do all of these things well, Idont know that theres a job you couldnt take on in mostorganizations.
EDITOR: Any final word of advice?
RYDEEN: Think about what you are trying to accomplish in yourcareer and look for mentors to help you. There are a lot of greatpeople in this business; people with great knowledge. They aremore than willing to share it.