EXECUTIVE INSIGHTS | Staff Reporter, Australia

Mark Buckland, managing director of The Healthy Habits

On driving real change, his business philosophies and his previous life as a lawyer.

QSR Media: What makes you excited about your position?

Mark Buckland: It would have to be the chance to drive real change in the QSR industry. Some of the things that Healthy Habits is starting to do in the fast food space just has not been done anywhere else and this is just so exciting.

QSR Media: What 3 goals are you focused on?

Buckland: We are a young business and there’s lots of opportunity but for 2015 the focusses are store growth, building brand awareness and revamping our menu range in collaboration with our brand partners.

QSR Media: What long-term changes are you planning on?

Buckland: Our key long term challenge is changing the brand, its menu and the dialogue in the industry to a discussion on what is healthy fast food and really taking the product leadership position in that space. This involves a lot of work and revamping of our menu but we have started the hard work and we are excited about where it will lead.

QSR Media: What are your key business philosophies?

Buckland: My key philosophies I summarise in the acronym ICE: Integrity, Curiosity and Exactness. Having been trained as a lawyer integrity is key to me – your word is your bond when you practice and I carry this philosophy over into business. Curiosity is critical because it allows me to look at everything with fresh eyes and ask the hard questions that get the creative juices going: ‘why’ and ‘what if’. Finally, exactness is essential. You can have all the ideas in the world but if you cannot translate them into action and then sweat the details so what you do is as perfect as it can be, then you might as well not turn up for work. There is joy in doing something right.

QSR Media: What previous positions prepared you for this one and how?

Buckland: As strange as it may sound, my previous life as a lawyer has prepared me perfectly for this role. I was fortunate enough to train with a lawyer who believed, truly believed, in the mantra that the customer is always right and who emphasised a relentless work ethic. This really has helped me focus in this role to get to know the customer and then work unflinchingly to make the changes necessary to see that the customer’s needs are met.

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