Capstone – Project

NIU Fall 2019 Live Business Case – Project 2 – TALENT MANAGEMENT (Compensation)

A Collaboration Between

Project Synopsis

Helping a Burger King Franchisee analyze their data, expand the business, create more efficiency, and gain financial clarity through a deep analysis on four different areas:

PROJECT 2: How Can Rock King Plan for the Increasing Minimum Wage Requirements?


Like many restaurants, Rock King relies heavily on employees to serve customers and run the day-to-day activities. Everything from order intake, to food prep, to sanitation is done by a team of 30-40 full-time employees across multiple shifts per store. Most entry-level employees at Rock King make minimum wage, which as of September 1st in Illinois is $8.25 per hour. By January 2020, that will be $9.25, with hopes that by 2025 the minimum wage will be $15. Since Rock King is managing a large team that will most definitely be impacted by this change, employee compensation and the future of Rock King’s talent management protocols have been top-of-mind for leadership since the law past earlier in 2019. Without other changes to the business model, Rock King is concerned that it’ll be extremely difficult to remain profitable with the cost of labor rising by over 15% over the next 5 years. Rock King needs your help analyzing the change in labor laws in hopes of identifying a solution that the business can consider in order to maintain status quo as a profitable business moving forward.

Project Topics

Company Information

CompanyRock King L.P.
StageSmall Business
Hiring PotentialFollow-on Projects, Formal Internship, Entry Level Full-Time

Company Overview

Rock King L.P. owns and operates nine (9) Midwestern Burger King locations Today the Burger King Corporation, its affiliates and its franchisees collectively operate more than 17,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries and U.S. territories, serving over 11 million guests per day and they’re still coming back for that flame-grilled flavor. The Burger King® brand is owned by Restaurant Brands International Inc. (“RBI”), which owns three of the world’s iconic quick service restaurant brands – Burger King®, Tim Hortons®, and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen®. But we still have room to grow – and that’s where you come in. We need strong operations, bold marketing, and the best people around to make these brands great. And if we like what we see, there’s no limit to how far you could go here.

Experiential Learning Program Details

Engagement Format- - -
Students EnrolledN/A
Meeting Day & TimeN/A
Student Time Commitment- Per Week
Company Time Commitment-

Program Timeline

Touchpoints & Assignments Due Date Type

Key Project Milestones

  • September 30, 2019 - PART 1: Understanding Changes in Minimum Wage

    • How is the restaurant industry dealing with minimum wage requirements?
      • Note: Illinois Wage Scale (Is slowly getting to $15 per hour) vs. Iowa (No Minimum Wage Change)
    • Rock King Aims to Spend Exactly 25% of Revenue on Wage. Why is this a requirement? How has this changed over time? How does this differ from other restaurant concepts?




    Suggested Deliverable:

    Milestone Deliverable –Due on September 30th:
    Prepare an in-class presentation on Rock King’s business model and map out your understanding of the upcoming changes in minimum wage.

  • October 21, 2019 - PART 2: Analyzing Cost of Labor For Individual Restaurant (Rockwood)

    • Analyze wage and labor section of historical financials.
    • How does wage differ per position?
    • Are they sticking to the 25% of revenue rule?

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Milestone Deliverable –Due on October 21st:
    Generate financial projections for how Rock King’s business model would change year-over-year with new minimum wage requirements

  • November 11, 2019 - PART 3: Assess Available Alternatives

    • What potential solutions exist to mitigate these upcoming changes in cost structure?
    • How big of a risk is the change in minimum wage to Rock King’s business model?
    • What are the financial implications of the minimum wage change? Is this sustainable for Rock King long-term without making any other adjustments?
    • If adjustments to the business model need to be made, what options exist?
    • What are the cost and benefit implications of your suggestion?


    Suggested Deliverable:

    Milestone Deliverable –Due on November 11th:
    Propose various ideas that may help mitigate costs for the Rock King team to review

  • December 2, 2019 - Final Deliverable

    Prepare a final presentation and paper including an action-plan that would help Rock King maintain its costs with increasing minimum wage requirements

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Presentation and paper

Project Resources

There are no resources currently available

Industry Mentors

There are currently no supervisors assigned.

Academic Mentors

There are currently no supervisors assigned.

Assigned Students

There are currently no students assigned.