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2000 Competitive Advantage Optimas Award Profile Jamba Juice

Awarded to a department that has recognized issues for the organization and helped it maintain or develop a competitive advantage.

July 28, 2000
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Jamba Juice

Real HR: Jamba Juice sells fruit smoothies and soup, but the chain competes with other fast food outlets for managerial talent.

How can the company attract and retain the best in an industry known for low wages and high turnover?

Real Impact: HR has driven heavy investment in its employees. The investment starts with an intensive five-week training program for managers. A compensation strategy rewards managers for developing employees and for staying with Jamba, and profit sharing encourages them to think like managers.

Line employees are rewarded with generous benefit packages. These HR strategies are paying off: Sales increased more than 4000% from 1993 to 1997.

Jamba has become the national leader in its product category with more than 250 stores in 15 states. Its most loyal customers frequent the stores about 16 times a month, which is unheard of in fast food.

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