Dustin Jones heads up the field operations management at Johnny’s New York Style Pizza, a 64-unit franchise that spans six southeastern states. Because of its wide footprint, it can be a challenge to keep tabs on each store and ensure brand-wide consistency. That’s especially true now, Jones says, as his team tries to navigate the ongoing labor crisis and ensure employees are being properly trained in order to uphold the image the brand has been building since it first opened its doors in 1977.
“One of the things I consistently hear from franchisees is that we are hands-on as a franchise company,” Jones says. “That’s something we take great pride in because we don’t have a ton of people dedicated to our franchise field operations. Of course, the quality of franchisees that we have certainly helps out—we know we have somebody in the store everyday who is doing the right things and making sure we’re firing on all cylinders.”
Still, like many brands, Johnny’s New York Style Pizza uses quarterly site visits as a way to uphold the hands-on style it has developed a reputation for as a franchisor. Jones is the one who often finds himself on the road, tasked with compiling checklists that help give franchisees and store managers insights into things that might need to be tweaked or changed. Jones uses AuditApp, a digital site visit checklist made by MeazureUp, to help conduct these visits.
The app helps digitize what used to be done on paper, compiling data that helps the brand flag if any issues that come up are one-offs in need of correction, or systemic breakdowns where training processes have to be rethought. The app automatically compiles and sends emails to the parties implicated. Field operations managers like Jones can even 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.”
One of the reasons Jones views MeazureUp as an indispensable tool, especially now, is because it acts as a safety net in the face of unprecedented turnover in the industry. With so much time spent training new employees, it’s important to make sure everybody is being trained correctly, Jones says.
“One of the reasons it’s so hard to train employees right now is because an operator, whose sole focus may have been training their staff in the past, when they are short staffed, they don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to that,” Jones says. “I think any tool you can use to have another set of eyes on newer employees is going to help reaffirm they are doing things correctly.”
Jones also lauds how user friendly the AuditApp is, saying just about anybody could figure out how to fill out the questionnaires in a matter of minutes. He also relays that he “can’t imagine working with another program” in order to uphold his brand’s ongoing quest to be a hands-on franchisor that takes great pride in its consistency from store to store.
“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 getting more out of site visits, visit the MeazureUp website.