Franchising is a lucrative model, but all it takes is one store doing things incorrectly to permanently affect the perception of a given brand. That’s why most franchisors conduct site visits: to make sure each store is doing its best to meet brand-wide standards.

Site-visit checklists are an area that, like so many facets of restaurant operations, are ripe for digitization. Brands jotting down notes on a clipboard are missing an opportunity to create necessary changes and monitor progress in real time.

“Ensuring consistency is one of the hardest things for restaurant businesses, but especially for chains in growth mode,” says Ray Abramson, chief operating officer of MeazureUp. “If brands are still using paper checklists, one way to improve consistency is to instead use a digital tool that helps track what a store is doing in real time and helps you respond quickly to anything that needs attention.”

Here’s a look at three quick-service brands who have recently made the switch toward digitizing the site-visit process—why they switched, and what the results have been.

Image credits:Adobe Stock

Great Harvest Bread Company

Unit Count: 180+

Great Harvest Bread Company has a long, proud history of giving franchisees the runway they need to adapt the coffeehouse-meets-bakery-style brand to reflect the city or town a location inhabits. As the brand ramps up for a new growth phase, it is finding that it needs new guardrails in place to ensure brand-wide consistency.

This led the brand to implementing MeazureUp’s AuditApp, which brand leaders use to evaluate a store’s performance. That feedback is immediately compiled into an automated email sent to the implicated parties: the franchisee, store manager, and executives in the c-suite.

“One of the things I love most about AuditApp is that we’ve been using it long enough where we’ve developed a history at each location,” Ferretti says. “I can go back and see what’s being followed up on, what’s gotten done, and where improvements are still needed. Even if I can’t physically be in a store, the visual aspect of it helps me see what stores are looking like. That’s huge.”

Image credits:Great Harvest Bread Company

Bahama Buck’s

Unit Count: 100+

Cierra Miller, shop performance manager at Bahama Buck’s, estimates that she spends about 50 percent of her time on the road, visiting the frozen dessert brand’s 100-plus locations and evaluating operational competencies. She says the brand’s goal, however lofty, is to achieve 100 percent compliance across all of its units when it comes to the way products are prepared and stores are operated and managed.

She says, undoubtedly, MeazureUp’s AuditApp has helped her brand get a bit closer to that goal. She especially compliments the platform’s ease-of-use.

“It just gives us such a better snapshot of our brand,” Miller says. “That dashboard on the back end is a great way for us to see on a higher level what’s going on at all of our shops. Previously we didn’t have that aggregate data but now we can drill down and say, ‘Okay, these are the issues. This is where we need to focus.’”

Image credits:Bahama Buck’s

Johnny’s New York Style Pizza

Unit Count: 70+

Dustin Jones heads up the field operations management at Johnny’s New York Style Pizza, a 70-plus unit franchise that spans six southeastern states. Because of its wide footprint, it can be a challenge to keep tabs on each store.

Jones enjoys that MeazureUp’s AuditApp allows him to take photos and upload them to a central dashboard to help display something they noticed—say, if a given style of pizza consistently had too many onions on it.

“MeazureUp is tremendous,” Jones says. “It’s truly been a game changer for us. There are so many features I could talk about that I enjoy, but ultimately the data it collects and puts together is invaluable. I was working at the store level when we used to do paper checklists, and I feel very confident in saying using digital checklists has helped us become way better at what we do.”

Image credits:Adobe Stock

Personal Touch

All three multi-unit brands know a thing or two about delivering a great customer experience, and they all agree on something beyond MeazureUp’s ability to make their brands’ better at what they do. Jones, Miller, and Ferretti all voice emphatic reviews of the MeazureUp team’s personal touch in helping compile site-visit checklists.

“It’s incredible working with MeazureUp,” Jones says. “The whole team at MeazureUp makes it so easy to remove and add things and change the point structure next to each item to make sure everybody knows how high a priority it should be. It’s hard for me to imagine there’s a better platform out there. At the end of the day it makes my job visiting these stores and maintaining consistency in my brand, it makes it that much easier for me.”

For more on MeazureUp, visit the company’s website.

Image credits:Adobe Stock
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