Repairs and maintenance can be a massive challenge for growing restaurant brands. As a brand begins to expand, a facilities management team gets stretched thin by the widening footprint. As restaurant operators know, equipment downtime can lead to fewer sales and stressed-out employees left trying to fill the gaps.
“I’m working with a brand right now that’s growing crazy fast,” says Zach Cummings, national account manager at Smart Care Solutions. “For context, this is a brand that has over 4,000 international locations—they know what scale looks like. They now have over 100 locations in the U.S. and trying to find consistency across all types of locations and geographies is a massive challenge.”
This is where Smart Care Solutions comes in. A national repairs and maintenance company with over 1,400 CFESA-certified and highly trained technicians across the country, Smart Care Solutions can help brands reduce equipment downtime and maximize savings. Each technician is trained to work on a wide array of OEMs and different pieces of equipment, from walk-in coolers to soda fountains and deep fryers.
One advantage that Smart Care Solutions has over competitors, Cummings says, is its direct alignment with equipment manufacturers. Those relationships give the company the subject matter expertise necessary to fix equipment with factory parts rather than temporarily fixing it with off-standard parts.
“When you rely on our competitors, you end up with a lot of symptom fixing,” Cummings says. “Our technicians are actually addressing the root of the problem so that your equipment experiences less downtime over its total life cycle.”
Another way Smart Care Solutions has been able to stand out amongst the competition is due to the institutional knowledge built up within the organization over the years. Smart Care Solutions has acquired a number of former competitors that specialize in certain pieces of equipment—say, a specific oven used by every kitchen belonging to a top-10 quick-service brand—and integrated those employees and their expertise into the service provided to each restaurant client. If a technician is having an issue with a specific milkshake machine, for example, they have no shortage of colleagues across the country who can help troubleshoot the issue.
And yet, local technicians still have a personal touch, allowing them to build up a rapport with restaurant operators and a working knowledge of the equipment in their store. That gives the technician the advantage of knowing exactly what the piece of equipment looks like, where it is located in the restaurant, and what may have happened to it.
“The more we know about the restaurant, the more it benefits the customer,” says Travis Wolfe, technician with Smart Care Solutions. “If I know exactly which tools to bring to a job because I’ve been in that restaurant before, it’s only going to increase that first-time fix rate.”
That local knowledge is paired with Smart Care Solutions’ national footprint and best-in-class technology: detailed reporting and transparency into things like billing and which repairs have been made at which restaurant. Suddenly, a centralized facilities management team knows exactly what is going on in each of their stores—there’s no need to guess or wonder. That’s the type of thing that helps brands expand at their own speed, eliminating what would otherwise be one more headache for quick-service brands in growth mode.
“There are only a few companies capable of our size, scale, scope,” Cummings says. “A lot of who we compete with are local vendors, with maybe five techs that cover something in a small part of the country. What we are is a big, broad company with the capability to help your brand no matter where or how large it grows.”
For more on increasing your first-time fix rate, visit the Smart Care Solutions website.