The pandemic has revolutionised working culture. We now think nothing of hoping onto Zoom or Teams for a remote meeting with a potential client or franchisee! The use of technology in business has advanced ten-fold in just a couple of years.
For franchised businesses, I would encourage them to go further still. Tech can automate so many processes and the results can include increased efficiency, reduced costs and a more professional approach. The pandemic opened the door to the increased use of technology and now as an industry, we should welcome the latest innovations with open arms. There is almost always a quicker, better way of doing something by harnessing tech correctly.
At Burger & Sauce we love technology! I have to admit my young team are super tech savvy and do put me in the shade on occasions! However, once I can understand what’s possible, I’m all for it.
One of the best tech innovations we use is in our restaurants. We use bespoke software to split orders, delivered to individual workstations in the kitchens. Each kitchen workstation has an iPad. Instructions are then supplied electronically to individual team members to fulfil their part of the order. Information is sent right to their ‘desk’ if you like. It’s quick, clever and efficient. There is no shouting in the kitchen, and everyone knows what they need to do. It makes for a great working atmosphere and staff really like the clear instructions.
We also use an app to track and trace deliveries of ingredients, automate the storage of batch numbers and food temperature checks etc. Workflow is all automated so in the absence of any team member anyone else can check the log to see what tasks or checks need to be completed that day.
We have again taken advantage of technology to develop a secure online portal called ‘Source’ (I do love that name!). Source is a central depository for all franchisee information, operating manuals and marketing assets as well as training materials and anything franchisees need, all in one place.
We also love working with Uber Eats the aggregator which enables our customers to order online or mobile device. This is an essential part of our marketing strategy and works really well for us.
For our franchisees, our adoption of technology means their businesses are extremely easy to run. Processes are smooth and their time is freed up to focus on marketing or customer service to differentiate from the competition.
For other franchise organisations, I would advise considering which elements of your business could be automated through the use of technology. Have a look at what other firms are doing and you could save significant amounts of time through the use of anything from digital bar codes, to automated social media posting platforms, to territory route mapping software to digital accounting packages and much more.
With inflation at an all time high and costs continuing to rise, embracing tech could offer a game-changing opportunity to overhaul efficiency. I believe the next couple of years could be pretty tough for businesses, many of which have already struggled through some big challenges in recent times. Only the leanest, most efficient and most innovative franchises will continue to do well in these demanding conditions. Tech can help alleviate these pressures through streamlined operations.
It can also help with recruitment and retention for example. Everyone who’s ever recruited will know the cost of hiring and training new staff is high. Used properly, tech can mean staff don’t get bogged down in boring, repetitive administrative tasks and so find their jobs satisfying and easy. They tend to stick around!
There is no doubt the business landscape has shifted dramatically over the past few years. However, the upside is that challenges have led to innovation, particularly in the technology arena. Why not investigate how tech could help your franchise?