Life in the franchise ownership business is ever-changing - a day-to-day experience by which Diane Dorner said keeps the job far from boring or mundane.
Dorner, a local marketing manager for CR Restaurant, a Baltimore-based franchisee of 30 Burger King establishments, said each day a new challenge is faced, and "just when you think you've seen or heard it all, something else comes up."
CR Restaurant operates 12 local Burger King restaurants in central Pennsylvania from its 573 E. Third St. branch - three of which are in the immediate area: Maynard Street, Washington Boulevard and in the Lycoming Crossing Shopping Center in Muncy Township. It maintains the other 18 fast-food burger joints in the Baltimore area.
Dorner's experience in the franchise business is deeply rooted.
With a degree in food and hospitality management from Pennsylvania College of Technology, the marketing manager said she began her career as an assistant manager for the Maynard Street location in 1979 - the company's first restaurant opened under a previous owner.
"I kind of worked my way up through the ranks," she added.
CR Restaurant, a Baltimore-based Burger King franchisee with a branch located at 573 E. Third St., operates 12 regional Burger King restaurants. Three of them are here in the county on Washington Boulevard, Lycoming Crossing Shopping Center and - as seen above - Maynard Street.
At the time, Dorner said there was very little development surrounding the restaurant on Maynard Street. Of the three, it has risen to be the area's busiest location, as "that area has grown tremendously," Dorner said, as it sits situated close to Penn College and among a cluster of other small businesses.
In addition, the company absorbed its Washington Boulevard operation in 1984.
Locally, the company employs some 130 people, 10 of which hold full-time management positions.
The total number of employees grew by about 40 last August, when the company acquired its third location here in the county at the Lycoming Crossing Shopping Center.
Its third location enabled those looking for jobs in a tough economic environment the chance to obtain a livelihood.
Not only did the company and area experience some form of employment growth, Dorner said over the last two years, its restaurants are retaining employees and witnessing a significant drop in its turnover rate.
"We were always having issues looking for help," she said. "The last two years it's changed so much. (Now) with the economy, we have no problem."
Despite owning a portion of a larger corporation, franchise owners and operators are expected to pay corporate royalties and advertising costs, she said, as well as follow a set of procedures and the purchase of certain products.
"They don't tell you who to hire and how many people you need," she gave as a for instance. "That's up to you individually. You can typically set your own prices, except when they do a national program."
As it's based locally, Dorner said the local arm of the franchisee maintains a sense of philanthropy, such as giving $1,000 scholarships to students in Penn College's food and hospitality management program, some involvement at Lycoming College and now looking to participate more in the eastern end of the county with its most recent addition.
In overseeing three supervisors, Dorner said she strives to sustain focus on customer service from employee friendliness, cleanliness of the buildings and food service.
"We're trying very hard to get that message out that they (customers) are the most important one," she said. "We just try to be the stand-out leader."
Above all else, Dorner and her brigade of employees, consistently strive to keep patrons hungry for more.