How Krystal Achieves Brand Consistency with Automated Quality Assessments

    Krystal’s Above Store Leaders found a better way to make assessments—and plan adjustments in real time.
    Sponsored Content | November 29, 2022
    Krystal location
    Krystal

    With around 300 locations across the Southeast U.S., 106 of which are franchises, Krystal Restaurants counts on frequent quality assessments to ensure guests have comparable encounters with the brand no matter where they go. The brand felt there was room to improve with respect to its limited auditing platform. It didn’t have a way to close the loop on assigned items, so incident resolution was time-consuming and accuracy wasn’t guaranteed.

    Without closing the loop on proposed changes, of course, there wasn’t much of an incentive to suggest changes in the first place. This led to inconsistencies in what was being assessed from operator to operator—a potentially risky situation. Krystal’s Above Store Leaders, who work to ensure consistency across the brand, needed a way to get more visibility, consistency, and tools to make corrective actions, as well as a better means of detecting patterns to improve. 

    “We needed an audit platform that would provide us real-time assessments and the ability for instantly creating action plans with action items and timelines,” says Thomas Stager, president of Krystal Restaurants. This meant finding software that anyone on the team could access to help follow up on to-do lists and ensure suggested changes actually take place. It also wanted users to be able to take photos and notes, so that Above Store Leaders could track issues by status and evaluate whether they were marked correctly.

    Stager’s deep experience in the restaurant industry led the team to consider MeazureUp, a real-time process control monitoring system that specializes in ensuring consistency across multi-unit enterprises. 

    “Our interest in MeazureUp came about as we worked to find a structured platform that would aid our Above Store Leaders to drive performance and improvement with consistent visits,” says Ralph McKee, director of operations services for Krystal. “We considered 10 different platforms along with the one we were using as we searched for potential use.” 

    All Krystal operators soon began using MeazureUp’s AuditApp, a digital on-site quality check that leverages automation for compliance and brand consistency. It allows the brand to monitor the impact of activities at each location in real time—such as new food items or product launches, financial improvements, and operational standards. MeazureUp also grants platform access to everyone on the team. McKee says this has opened the lines of communication between each location and Above Store Leaders, leading to faster and more accurate incident resolution.

    Krystal’s Above Store Leaders also use the tool to take notes, photos, and write comments as they make their visits. Above Store Leaders assign tasks within AuditApp to complete items noted on visits, as well as dates for completion. Through photos, comments, and corrective actions, Krystal can get a clearer idea of store-level issues and work faster to mitigate them.

    “We can view and advise on visit frequency, items that may show a pattern across our brand, and track improvements with the benefit of graphs and reporting tools,” McKee says. “For our Above Store Leaders, this platform is consistent, complete, and can build plans for follow-up to improve with checkpoints for completion on those plans.” 

    Management has also gained instant visibility into data from every location—and the ability to make necessary adjustments faster. For example, if data shows the team needs to follow-up on promotions in their first week, they can act immediately. McKee says Krystal has seen improvements in a number of key metrics since adopting the AuditApp tool, including health department scores, guest satisfaction, deposits, and cash loss.

    “We can quickly recognize potential needs, as well as where we are performing at a high level,” Stager says. “MeazureUp is GPS and time-stamped enabled on each visit, giving us the ability to maintain consistency and deliver timely reviews and visits with email summaries sent both to stores and Above Store Leaders.”

    Krystal franchisees and managers use these records to substantiate both micro and macro-level adjustments to their operations with MeazureUp’s reviews that look across the brand from both a company and a franchise operation standpoint. Not only can brand management check in on stores at any time—their automated assessments also help them attain consistency in store operational performance.

    “MeazureUp has been a solid upgrade to aid us in executing at a high level,” Stager says. 

    For more on AuditApp, visit the MeazureUp website.