Rise Southern Biscuits and Righteous Chicken, the nation’s fastest growing biscuits and fried chicken concept, is tackling the labor shortage crisis thanks to a tech-forward approach to contactless ordering, including an in-store kiosk and innovative heated locker system installation. Early this year, Rise installed a unique, heated locker system and touchscreen ordering kiosk at its 932-square-foot location in downtown Durham, North Carolina. Not only has it streamlined in-store and online ordering experience for guests while keeping delivery and to-go orders hot and fresh, but early data shows that it has helped Rise increase sales and build tremendous operational efficiencies into its labor model.

Where many quick service restaurants aim to keep their labor cost percentages around 25% of sales, Rise’s efficient model helped keep the downtown Durham location’s labor cost percentage at an average of 18.18% throughout the first half of 2021, even dipping as low as 16.14%. The ordering efficiencies helped Rise reduce the number of employees required per shift to a minimum of three staff members, not only exponentially saving on daily labor costs but allowing staff to focus on food quality and speed of service.

“We knew the locker system and ordering kiosks would be a great concept to reduce guest and employee interactions during the pandemic, but after evaluating the ROI in only a few months, we quickly realized it’s helping our bottom line, increasing convenience for our guests and allowing our employees to perform their jobs more effectively,” said Rise Founder and CEO Tom Ferguson. “We’re encouraging new and existing franchisees to take advantage of this new feature that has been an absolute gamechanger for our corporate stores.”

While it was initially designed to enhance contactless ordering options for guests, when the installation showed near-immediate ROI Ferguson installed the system at two additional corporate locations in March. Additional revenue generating opportunities came from built-in suggestive selling within the digital ordering platform, allowing guests to add complementary items to their tickets based on their orders and historical preferences. Guests have also grown accustomed to the ordering experience at Rise and Ferguson anecdotally said they value the little to no wait time for pick-up orders. Rise is giving all franchise locations the opportunity to opt into the locker system model.

“If there’s one thing that an entrepreneur knows, it’s that the numbers don’t lie,” said Dan Rowe, CEO of Fransmart, Rise’s franchise development partner. “Rise has seen great success thanks to its profitable model, popular concept and focus on innovation, convenience and consistency. This is a brand to not just watch, but to invest in and be a part of.”

Recently named to QSR magazine’s 40/40 List for 2021: America’s Hottest Startup Fast Casuals, Rise is partnered with Fransmart, the industry-leading franchise development company behind household brands like Five Guys Burgers & Fries and The Halal Guys, as its exclusive franchising partner to grow the brand.

Rise is actively looking for experienced multi-unit foodservice operators to develop additional franchises in major markets across the United States. 

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