The stakes are high. With many franchises in the foodservice business earning billions of dollars per year, the industry is extremely lucrative to say the least. Considering the massive potential for success, it’s no surprise that new competitors keep popping up on the radar hoping to give long-standing businesses a run for their money. Due to the increase in the amount of business-savvy opportunists jumping on the franchise bandwagon (or, quite literally, food wagon), many franchises are faced with the same question: “How can I set myself apart from the competition and, most importantly, keep customers coming back?”
Consumer priorities are shifting, and the foodservice industry is reacting
Due to the massive variety of choices in the foodservice industry, consumers are becoming more conscious about the choices they’re making and will often weigh their options before making a decision. And while an array of various factors plays a role in the decision making process, priorities are seemingly shifting from cost to class. Now more than ever, customers are putting more importance on topics such as customer service quality, employee friendliness, and personalized offers. And although almost all businesses offer coupons, not all businesses deliver an exceptional customer service.
Finding out what customers really want might seem daunting at first – especially to large-scale franchises with millions of customers to please. However, if expansion, success, and increasing profits are at the top of your wish list – it’s imperative to first determine your customers’ wish list. A new era is dawning; an era in which the voice of the customer not only matters, but much rather has become the heart of the matter.
The requirements of ideal enterprise feedback management for franchises
Collecting feedback in franchises used to be a difficult task, especially if every location used their own individual tool: a common mistake which made the cross-evaluation of all stores a lengthy chore, something top performers and CEOs simply didn’t have time for.
Fortunately, the technology making feedback management quick, simple, and affordable now exists. There are many aspects of centralized EFM systems that can be managed and adapted according to developing needs, including the size of the account. The food service industry is experiencing rapid growth, and finding a scalable solution able to expand with it can initially seem like an overwhelming task. New locations are constantly being opened, menu options continue to rapidly change and expand, and new regulations are made by the minute.
Franchisers need an easily expandable system capable of growing along with each new location to eliminate unused capacities and unnecessary costs.
How franchises in the food service industry benefit from enterprise feedback management
Several franchises are already reacting to the shift in consumer priorities. Coffee Fellows, a popular and successful coffee franchise with over 100 locations, poses a great example of how customer feedback can strengthen the bond and create a bridge between company and customer.
Coffee Fellows uses flyers, receipts, and table displays to find participants for their customer satisfaction measurement. However, as the name implies, the majority of diners at fast food chains don’t have the time to answer irrelevant questions, making it important to adapt the large-scale surveying methods to customers’ lifestyles to ensure success. To equip businesses with the customer feedback they need to improve, every company touch point should be used to communicate with customers in a precise manner. Whether customers are at the register or restroom, or are using a service, like a customer hotline or information desk – willing participants should be enabled to voice their opinion regardless of where they are.
Coffee Fellows uses its EFM system to consistently collect feedback from customers in all of their 100+ stores. Each location’s survey is assigned to one centralized account for organized feedback management. Those employees granted access to the results can review the performance of individual stores for easy comparison, or evaluate the entire organization’s results for valuable insight into overall business performance.
More importantly, the results reveal what’s really important to food service industry customers – friendly faces, high quality food and drinks, and great service. The knowledge Coffee Fellows gains through customer feedback enables them to adapt their services and products to fulfill customer wishes, making customers happier than ever which, in turn, makes them more willing to spend more on the products and services they’re so satisfied with.
The future of enterprise feedback management for franchises in the food service industry
Enterprise feedback management systems are rising in popularity as many franchises are realizing just how important the voice of the customer is to stay influential in today’s fiercely competitive food service industry.
Feedback is no longer an option or something that can be swept under the rug. It’s the future of the industry – of all industries. Stretching from food trucks to fast food franchises to fast casual restaurant chains – all types of business models in the food service industry are feeling the effects of the shift in consumer priorities. That’s exactly what enterprise feedback management systems are here to do – to reliably determine your customers’ priorities so you not only stay on top of the game – but one step ahead of it.
Connect with the author, Robyn Mize.