Restaurant traffic is waning, with a dismal 1 percent increase over the past several years. In February alone, traffic fell 3.1 percent, causing restaurants to fear for what’s to come over the remainder of the year. Now, more than ever, is the time to stand out from the masses by making the dining experience the key differentiator from other restaurants.

We are no longer in an era where phenomenal food is the end all be all in the restaurant business. The experience that diners have while at a restaurant has become mission critical to stay afloat. Maintaining consistency in products, ensuring high food quality, and complying to tedious corporate guidelines at every store location can be a rather daunting task. To make matters worse, it’s even more difficult when field teams and franchise business consultants are tethered to slow, manual processes and lack the ability to quickly and efficiently collect and share valuable data in real time.

With new restaurants popping up on a daily basis, there are now more than a million restaurants in the U.S., giving consumers more and more options to choose from. In order to stay ahead in the crowded market, quality and consistency make up the secret sauce to maintaining a successful brand, and keeping new and existing customers coming back.

Retail execution software can tangibly improve customer experience by ensuring consistency with products and services, verifying corporate standards are met and eliminating inefficiencies. Here are three benefits that execution management software offers to quick-service, full-service, and fast-casual restaurants:

Take Inefficient Processes Out of the Equation

It’s nearly impossible for field teams and franchise business consultants to relay valuable, timely information to key decision makers without a quick and efficient workflow set in place. Process inefficiency is far too common in the restaurant industry, caused by bulky, non user-friendly data platforms and slow and inefficient manual workflows. This often creates chaos as frontline workers end up wasting hours a day compiling notes by hand, taking photos, and manually submitting data and inconclusive updates into a spreadsheet.

Through the use of execution management software, restaurants can use a single, easy to use platform to collect data, capture images, process reports, and share critical information with all key stakeholders. Having a quick and easy way to collect data, allows field teams and franchise business consultants to audit the quality of food and service, while simultaneously giving them more time to visit multiple restaurants in a workday.

Ensuring Product and Service Consistency

If there is one thing restaurants need to get right, it should hands down be consistency within their brand. As stated quite a few times throughout this article, brand consistency is crucial to the dining experience, especially for those in the fast-casual and quick-service industry. Consistency can be everything from the quality of the food and presentation, to restaurant signage and server interactions. All of these elements should remain consistent across locations. Think of it this way, if a diner’s favorite restaurant is Shake Shack in Chicago, they will expect to have the same experience when they visit Shake Shack while on vacation in Denver.

However, maintaining consistency across restaurants when franchises have 50 to 100 or even more locations can be quite challenging. Which is where execution management software comes in to save the day. It puts ease in routine quality checks and makes it easy for field teams and franchise business consultants who often don’t have enough time to conduct additional audits each week.

Adhering to Daunting Corporate Standards

Seventy-five percent of customers say they would stop patronizing a business after one single, poor interaction. One bad interaction/experience can turn a once loyal customer away forever. Which is where corporate standards come in. Corporate standards detailing quality and service guidelines ensure that customers are enjoying the best dining experience they possibly can. By deviating from these standards, it not only reflects poorly on that individual restaurant, but on the entire restaurant chain.

It’s extremely important for field reps to keep tabs and make sure that all corporate standards are consistently met. From signage to product quality, to cleanliness, execution management software provides a tool to ensure this happens with ease and the faith of knowing that numbers are correct. By using the right solution, restaurants are able to quickly support quality control audits to make sure that all restaurant employees are adhering to corporate standards and representing the franchise in the best way possible. With instantaneous documentations, administrators are given information on compliance at a store level.

Chris Kampfe serves as the Vice President of Marketing at GoSpotCheck, a simple, integrated enterprise SaaS platform for companies with complex operations that need to quickly collect field data and drive improved, verified execution from their teams. Based in Denver, Chris’ efforts are focused on SaaS marketing, demand generation and account based marketing. 
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