Unlocking the potential for growth in any brand requires a harmonious relationship between corporate and its franchisees. One key strategy for growth is the integration of cutting-edge technology, a challenge that both parties must address collaboratively in order to achive ultimate success.
While the pandemic forced many restaurant brands to increase their digital capabilities, the industry is not historically known for boldly adopting new technology.
Now, in a time that seems to be dominated by all things artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, restaurant brands are keen to experiment with it, but franchisees might be hesitant given their primary focus is delivering a great customer experience while still dealing with labor shortages.
Supporting Franchisees in Tech Adoption
To encourage franchisees to embrace AI and other technologies, QSRs should offer support to franchisees in the following ways:
- Clearly communicate its benefits. Communicate the benefits of the new solutions and technology in language that will resonate with franchisees: What’s in it for them? Expect that franchisees will have concerns. Being prepared to address them and answer any questions can go a long way in mitigating resistance to new approaches and technologies.
Conversely, be clear about expectations. Can a franchisee opt out, or is adopting the tech a non-negotiable? Ambiguity isn’t helpful; being transparent is. Creating trust and communication with franchisees is time well spent.
- Provide a positive and supportive onboarding experience. Implementing new tools and systems properly requires support throughout the entire process. What training will you provide, and to whom? What about ongoing questions and issues — what mechanisms will you have in place to support any learning curves? How long will that assistance be available to franchisees? Beyond vetting the offerings of any third-party solution provider, be sure providers can deliver exceptional customer service and support.
- Ensure a low barrier to entry. To get the most out of any brand investment, the technology should be easy for franchisees to understand. If it’s overly complicated, the solution will likely either be underutilized or not fully implemented.
- Deliver a quick and seamless implementation process with minimal disruption. Providing that assurance from the onset can generate more enthusiasm from franchisees. Be prepared to state as definitively as possible how implementation will impact the franchisee’s business in terms of downtime or system disruption. Provide assistance and backup as needed, and communicate how long support will be available.
- Cost transparency. Be clear about which party is responsible, the anticipated budget and the anticipated ROI, if possible.
RMS Can Help
For over 25 years, Revenue Management Solutions has helped some of the world’s most recognizable franchise brands and their unit operators improve their decision-making, information sharing and business operations. Along the way, we’ve gained a deep understanding of each party’s goals, unique challenges and communication needs.
As an innovation-embracing company, we look continuously at how we can create new solutions that improve manual and time-consuming processes. One example is metiRi, a financial insights solution for franchise brands. Built to support both brand and franchisee, metiRi has delivered financial success to more than 70,000 restaurant locations in 40-plus countries across 15 languages and 27 currencies.
metiRi empowers multi-unit brands to better understand and manage their financial data and see it all in one place. Operators can replace the complex and tedious cycle of consolidating spreadsheets with immediate access to standardized financial insights.
On average, metiRi users unlock annual cost-saving opportunities of up to $55,500 (or 4% profit margin) per location. Reporting becomes more timely, with more operators participating too. Brands that use metiRi report that more than 80% of unit operators now report monthly financials within just 45 days of month-end, a marked improvement from the industry standard of just 50% of operators reporting annual financials within six months of year-end.
What Makes RMS Different
At RMS, we understand the hesitancy that can come from investing in a new solution. Our metiRi clients — which include 7 of the top 20 fast-food brands — rely on not just our software but also the implementation and on-going support we provide.
If you’re interested in learning more about how metiRi or any of our other tech-enabled solutions can help you drive profits, please reach out. We’re here to help. You can also schedule a demo of any of our solutions.