Dunkin’ Donuts Restaurants’ Organizational Design

In this scenario, the author has been assigned as a district manager for five new Dunkin’ Donuts locations that will open within the next two years. The position comes with the authority and responsibility to staff, structure, and operate these facilities after they have been completed. The goal is to expand their business and ensure that it experiences stable growth. To begin hiring personnel, it is first necessary to determine the organizational and job designs for the new locations. It will help the author identify the important positions as well as their responsibilities as well as set the structure and hierarchy of the franchise stores. Then, it becomes possible to hire people who suit their positions and perform excellently as a result. This paper will describe the author’s considerations regarding both job and organizational designs as well as the decisions made.

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Job Design

There are several different and conflicting approaches to job design that emphasize various values. Sharma (2016) lists three main paradigms in thought surrounding the topic: techno-economic appraisal, the human relations approach, and the job characteristics approach. The first focuses on the general efficiency of people as agents who do their jobs in return for money. It is sometimes criticized for its refusal to acknowledge people and their emotions, which is likely to create dissatisfaction in the long term. The second method addresses the issue and proposes that employees whose social and psychological needs are met perform well. The third and final theory concentrates on experienced meaningfulness and responsibility as well as knowledge of results. The latter two are indicative of modern perspectives on labor and used by numerous old and new companies, but they are inappropriate in this case because of their requirements.

Dunkin’ Donuts manufactures a specific selection of variants of the titular food as well as other desserts and refreshments. The recipes are the same across every franchise of the company, and so, it is easy to train employees using standardized resources. A person can learn to bake specific menu items or sell them quickly, enabling the company to hire people without experience or ones who cannot manage to work full-time hours. The human relations and job characteristics approaches complicate this paradigm because they promote the tendency to give workers varied duties and generally enrich their jobs to improve satisfaction (Kalat, 2017). As such, it will take longer and cost more to train them, which is problematic considering the fast-food industry’s high turnover rates. The techno-economic appraisal method is the optimal job design configuration for the task.

Overall, the jobs at the Dunkin’ Donuts franchises will constitute four different categories: unskilled blue collars, semiskilled blue collars, frontline white collars, and professionals. The unskilled blue collar staff will be cleaners and delivery workers, who do not require qualifications beyond possessing a driver’s license for the appropriate vehicle type. The kitchen workers will be the semiskilled blue collars, as they will have the necessary knowledge to manage the location and cook the various foods sold at the franchise’s stores. The company will use an internal promotion mechanism to create leadership and a hierarchy in the kitchen. However, employees will receive the position based on their performance, experience, and natural talent. As such, they will remain semiskilled blue collars because the positions do not require particular specialized expertise that can distinguish them from the other staff.

The cashiers who interact with customers, take their orders, relay them to the kitchen, and give the customers their food will be white collar frontline staff. They will not require any specific qualifications other than the ability to manage stress and a personality type that can serve people well. They do not require professional expertise to do their jobs, but as they learn their jobs and possibly go through training, they may earn the position of a manager, as well. With that said, there will still be a need for specialist staff to oversee the entire location, people who have a background in management. Eventually, it will be possible to train current staff to take these positions, but initially, the district manager should hire experienced workers immediately. This job design should be sufficient to cover the needs of each restaurant.

Organizational Design

There are several different ways to organize individual stores under the author’s management, depending on its goals and market. Baack, Reilly, and Minnick (2014) highlight the simple structure, the machine bureaucracy, the professional bureaucracy, the divisional structure, and the adhocracy as potential organizational design approaches. The first is used for smaller organizations, where everyone reports to the owner or manager, and there is little formalization. The second is standardized and focuses on routine tasks with a chain of command and a central authority. The third employs skilled professionals who standardize and formalize themselves via various certifications. The fourth is a set of autonomous units, typically machine bureaucracies, that are coordinated by a central office. Finally, adhocracies are dynamic and informal, with decentralized decision making and temporary nature.

The five locations under the author’s management should operate independently but report to the same central authority figure. As such, the design of the entire system is best suited for the divisional structure approach. Many other franchises use this method due to their nature, and so, it has proven to be highly effective with time. However, Anderson (2018) notes that companies in similar fields do not necessarily have to adopt the same organizational structure. There may be some deviations in the organizational design of the specific stores in the district that will help them operate better. They are relatively small and do not employ many high-skill employees, and so, professional bureaucracy, divisional structure, and adhocracy are inappropriate on the scale of the individual shop. As such, it is necessary to decide between the two structures based on their benefits and issues.

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The simple structure is the most accessible to employees, as it does not involve excessive effort to understand and navigate. Everyone will report to the restaurant manager, who will be responsible for resolving issues and comprehending the location’s performance. The workload should not be excessively large, considering the relatively small staff numbers. However, there is no formality in such a system, which can be problematic if the Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee office demands formal documentation. The manager may be overburdened while trying to compile performance data into the necessary formats, and the enterprise’s size does not warrant the hiring of a dedicated accountant. The machine bureaucracy design may alleviate the difficulty by distributing the workload around different employees. However, it has some issues that complicate the decision and ensure that it is not necessarily the better option.

Machine bureaucracies rely on standardization of procedures and reporting, which can be beneficial when compiling data. They also allow employees to have a degree of autonomy and not need to consult the manager to order ingredients. The operations of a Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant are mostly routine, with few unexpected outliers. The stability is highly beneficial to the rigid structure promoted by the approach, which can have difficulties adapting to unusual situations. However, the design also complicates the work of every employee, who has to use the mandated channels, fill the required paperwork, and generally operate within the system. Ultimately, this system is better despite its issues because, as Stanford (2018) notes, one has to make tradeoffs with design choices. Compliance with the broader franchise is more important than the ease and simplicity of operation, and much of the paperwork can be automated.


Dunkin’ Donuts franchise stores typically operate routinely, employ low-skilled staff with high turnover, and operate independently from each other. As such, the techno-economic appraisal job design should be the most appropriate to the situation. Most employees intend to leave eventually to pursue a career that suits their qualifications better, and there is no reason to accommodate them excessively to foster loyalty. Concerning the organizational design of the district, the five stores should be arranged in a divisional structure, with each location being a machine bureaucracy. The former suits the situation correctly, and the latter has a potential alternative in the simple structure approach. However, ultimately, machine bureaucracy is superior because it reduces the burden on the restaurant manager and makes it easier to comply with the franchisee’s requirements.


Anderson, D. L. (2018). Organization design: Creating strategic and agile organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Baack, D., Reilly, M., & Minnick, C. (2014). The five functions of effective management (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education.

Kalat, J. W. (2017). Introduction to psychology (11th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

Sharma, F. C. (2016). Human resource management. Agra, India: SBPD Publications.

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Stanford, M. (2018). Organization design: The practitioner’s guide (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

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