Pre-event planning Yum Restaurants International's portfolio includes KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. The KFC Champions Club was launched with a South African safari trip in 2010, aiming to incentivise Yum's top-achieving restaurant general managers (RGMs).
The company wanted an alternative destination for the 2011 trip, planned for 15 UK KFC RGMs and 15 European KFC and Pizza Hut RGMs.
Operations and events head Leigh Acutt began planning the event in June 2010, and worked with Conference Initiatives on the accommodation, local DMC SNTTA on the itinerary and travel consultancy Portman Travel on booking the flights.
Objectives: Acutt says the event's objectives were "to inspire and motivate the RGMs to drive sales and run great restaurants. KFC feels really strongly about recognition and thanking staff for their hard work, so as much as the Champions Club helps motivate staff, it also recognises those top managers within the business."
Challenges: As some delegates were attending for a second year, the destination needed to be different from the previous year's. Acutt says "finding a 'wow' destination within a tight budget" was also a key challenge. She adds: "With the rising cost of flights to these destinations, I am left with less money to play with for the on-the-ground itinerary and accommodation."
Solution: Dubai was chosen for its six-hour flight time and wide range of incentive options.
While the tight budget remained a challenge, Acutt says: "With so much to offer in Dubai, finding an action-packed itinerary is not difficult."
The Media One Hotel was selected for its central location. Group activities included a city tour with a gold souks visit, and a dhow dinner cruise. Delegates also enjoyed skiing at Ski Dubai at Emirates Mall, dinner at the Buddha Bar, a visit to Karama and Dubai Mall, and a desert safari and drinks with sand boarding. "This was followed by dinner at Al Hadheerah at Bab Al Shams - it was absolutely brilliant," says Acutt. "You cannot leave Dubai without a visit to the Burj Khalifa - the views were breathtaking."
Client verdict: Acutt says: "I have a great relationship with Conference Initiatives.
It is a small agency and it understands KFC's needs, so I would definitely use it again. The incentive trip was a huge success and within the budget."
Post-event analysis: The company did not carry out post-event surveys, but unofficial verbal feedback was gathered from the delegates.
"The Champions Club overseas incentive has created an all-year-round 'buzz' within KFC UKI," says Acutt. "This incentive is open to all RGMs and everyone wants to stand up in front of their peers and be acknowledged with the biggest accolade - to be a member of the Champions Club. Attending these amazing trips is the cherry on the top."
KFC is currently planning its 2012 trip and the destination will be announced at the RGM conference on 31 January.
Company: Yum Restaurants International
Event: Champions Club incentive
Group size: 30
Agency: Conference Initiatives
Date: 2-6 May 2011
Venue: Media One Hotel, Dubai
- June 2010: Planning starts on the 2011 event
- July 2010: Destination and hotel are confirmed
- 1 February 2011: The winners are at the RGM conference at Celtic Manor
- 2 May: Event begins