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Fast-Food Management

Fast-Food Management by Jerry M. Newman, Ph.D., SUNY distinguished teaching professor in the University at Buffalo School of Management explores employee motivation and management structures in fast food chains. "My Secret Life on the McJob: Lessons from Behind the Counter Guaranteed to Supersize Any Management Style" (McGraw-Hill) is based on the author's undercover experiences of assembly line employment at fast food chains Burger King, Wendy's, Arby's, Krystal and McDonald's. He considers the considerable differences between these broadly similar competitors and draws parallels with management techniques applicable to companies of all types and size.

Contrasting his approach to that of Eric Schlosser in "Fast Food Nation," or Morgan Spurlock in "SuperSize Me," Jerry Newman's anecdotal and acute observational style offers insights into how corporate edicts and management demands translate into employee behaviour. He notes the impact of positive and negative management styles, and finds that, despite high turnover and repetitive tasks his fellow employees "consistently produce, aren't afraid of hard work and thrive under pressure". The book concludes that the ultimate key to creating a positive and high-performing workplace is great leadership, whatever the setting.

My Secret Life on the McJob

My Secret Life on the McJob: Lessons from Behind the Counter Guaranteed to Supersize Any Management Style

by Jerry Newman
Jerry Newman, a college professor who has taught business courses for nearly 30 years, went undercover as a bottom-rung worker for the biggest names in fast food, including McDonald's and Burger King. Newman found that fast-food chains were the perfect petri dishes for covert research: High-pressure, high-volume businesses with high-employee turnover. The pecking order was also crystal clear, from fry cook all the way up to store manager.
Of the seven restaurants where Newman worked, some were high-morale, high-productivity machines. Others were miserable, misplaced circles of hell. Yet one common trait stuck out from them all: Each restaurant's respective manager determined the climate of the work environment.
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