Industry News | November 29, 2012

Pal's Sudden Service Credited for Millions in Growth for A&W

One of Canada's fastest-growing quick-service restaurant chains, with more than 700 restaurants, has significantly reduced its drive-thru service times by 33 percent using what was learned at Pal’s Business Excellence Institute (BEI).  

As a result, A&W Canada has increased drive-thru sales by approximately $45 million dollars over the past few years since implementing procedures learned at Pal’s BEI. 

“From the outset, restaurants who began to execute these measures immediately started to see improved operations, and as a result, improved sales,” says Neil Farmer, VP of operations for A&E Canada. “It became clear, in all of our franchisees, that this small investment was translating into tremendous sales growth for everyone who was doing it.” 

He says every one of the restaurants that implemented the improvements has sustained the gain.

Farmer says his company heard about Pal’s BEI from another well-known foodservice brand, Coca-Cola.

Since 2006, A&W has sent around 50 of its employees to Pal’s BEI, everyone from all corporate executives and district managers to franchise operators.

Aside from increased revenue, the company is seeing other tangible successes. A&W has been named one of "Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies" for the past several years, an award sponsored by the business section of one of the National Dailies.

Pal’s BEI is a result of the regional quick-service chain, Pal’s Sudden Service, being awarded the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, which is awarded for being among the best-managed companies in the nation.

In fact, Pal’s was the first restaurant to win the prestigious award. The President of the United States presents the award for a company’s achievements in performance excellence. 

A client of Pal’s BEI, K&N Management of Texas, has become only the second restaurant to ever win the award.

After a company wins the award, it is encouraged to share the secrets of its success. And that’s what Pal’s is doing through Pal’s BEI.

Restaurants aren’t the only type of business to go through classes at the Kingsport, Tennessee, location. Leaders from various industries are learning how to be extraordinary in leadership and operational excellence in just two days through the institute.

One hundred percent of the companies that have attended Pal’s BEI this year have taken back and applied one or more ideas in four weeks. Many take away more than 20 ideas for improvement.

“I don’t think it matters what industry you are in; just because we are in the restaurant business you shouldn’t carry around the notion that this is just for restaurants,” Farmer says. “The courses aren’t about food; they are about best business practices and manufacturing principals, that when implemented in any industry, you’ll see an improvement.”

David McClaskey, president of Pal’s Business Excellence Institute, says Pal’s BEI has helped industry leaders from the fields of healthcare, convenience stores, manufacturing, and, of course, foodservice.

The classes include both interactive discussions and site visits for a behind-the-scenes look at a Pal’s restaurant so you can see the principles talked about in actual use.