Fast-casual vegan restaurant brand Veggie Grill has a nationwide footprint, with stores from California to Boston. Having stores so geographically dispersed made managing each physical restaurant, and all of the revenue producing assets within them, a headache for brand leadership. They found it challenging to identify reliable service providers, and to keep tabs on how much progress was being made after a service call was placed.
“We didn’t always have somebody to oversee our vendors before,” says Alex Gama, director of operations at Veggie Grill. “Sometimes I think vendors took advantage of us because we did not have the time to come and check on them.”
The resulting fallout is likely familiar to many brands. When complications with repairs and maintenance arise, it can take management away from its most important job—facilitating a great customer service experience. If those issues snowball further, they can be elevated to the C-suite, which ends up compromising brand leadership’s ability to focus on more important goals, like how and where to grow a brand.
“When you’re chasing your tail because you’re getting non responses from providers on small issues with repairs and maintenance, then what you’re not doing is being strategic, and focusing on all of the things that help grow your business,” says Michael Roberts, senior director of business development with ServiceChannel. “There’s also a huge quality of life component for you and your management team. If you can get all of that mundane stuff off your plate, your teams are going to have higher morale.”
For many of these reasons, Veggie Grill recently converted to ServiceChannel Managed, a facilities management services platform that streamlines repairs and maintenance. Gama estimates that ServiceChannel Managed has reduced spending on kitchen equipment maintenance by 30 percent, and refrigeration maintenance by 40 percent.
“When you put the numbers on the paper, you can see that it pays for itself,” Gama says. “You don’t have to worry about the day-to-day operation of managing a platform. It’s really easy for us to get that call in, push that through, ServiceChannel will take care of it and invoice us later. It was easy to see it was the best bet for the money.”
Here’s how ServiceChannel Managed works: When a restaurant has an issue come up, they report the problem straight through the ServiceChannel Managed mobile app. ServiceChannel aggregates over two decades’ worth of data regarding the performance of certain vendors, ranking each on metrics like on-time arrival, first-time completion rate, speed, cost, and overall quality of work. Based on that data, the platform dispatches a reliable vendor to come to the store and make the needed repairs. Further, the platform handles all invoicing and payments so that both the brand and the service provider have a complete record of the completed work, what asset was repaired, and that the payment was settled.
One thing that operators like most about ServiceChannel Managed is the transparency provided to them, which shows exactly how each repair went and holds vendors accountable. As Roberts points out, not every repair and maintenance technician is incentivized to get things right on the first visit. In fact, it’s quite the opposite—If they are being charged by the hour, the technician might intentionally take more than one visit to the restaurant in order to achieve a higher bill. When restaurants partner with ServiceChannel, they can rest assured that the technician has every reason to want to do the best and most efficient job possible.
“It’s allowed us to be able to focus on the other side of the business,” Gama says. “There is so much more these days that everyone has one their plate, but this has allowed us to not have to worry about whether a drain needs to be unclogged—it’s huge knowing that ServiceChannel is doing that for you, and you’re saving money and improving your service in the process. It’s a huge win-win, a no-brainer.”
For more on growing your business and focusing on the customer experience, visit the ServiceChannel Managed web page.