The restaurant industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, but many businesses are starting to rebound. To recover, brands have evolved and made effective changes to meet ongoing challenges, impacting the enterprise level while providing operators with the tools to succeed. At Bojangles, it became clear that the old tactics weren’t enough and we had to change our approach. To provide operators with more support than before, we have introduced new technologies, prioritized omnichannel strategies, implemented a more personalized training and operating system, and adjusted our support for franchisees. When we adapt our strategy, we tend to ask ourselves: why is adaptability so important?
Optimize your business
It’s no secret that we are part of a complex and ever-changing industry. This has become even more evident throughout the pandemic as business models and many consumer preferences have changed. While challenging, the pandemic has forced brands to re-evaluate their current practices and modify them as needed to optimize operations and help franchisees survive. At Bojangles, we have recognized the need to improve areas of our business to help our operators succeed. Some of these changes included:
- Advance technology to provide customers with exceptional delivery options as well as more comprehensive access to the brand’s customer app.
- Launch industry-leading human resources departments to enable a more positive experience for operators and staff.
- The evolution of supply chain support, which includes direct negotiations with suppliers to ensure both quality and safety at all sites.
- Improve marketing tactics to stand out and attract new consumers.
- Build a local real estate committee to advise operators and help them select the best location at the best price.
Crisis situations often give brands the opportunity to take a step back and assess what is working and what needs to be changed. As we move forward, it is imperative that our industry remains adaptable and open to optimization, as we are sure to face additional challenges in the months and years to come.
Brand accessibility is key
Recognizing a need for change shows your corporate team and your franchisees a commitment to do what is necessary to overcome the challenges. Maintaining the trust of your team and existing franchisees, while being adaptable to potential operators will help the brand grow and excel. At all times, brands have had to develop strategies to help franchisees navigate the complexities of the pandemic, which is not an easy thing to do. To meet changing consumer preferences, some brands have had to completely change their business model, while others have stepped up their off-site menu strategy, reworked or evolved their technology capabilities.
At Bojangles, we recognized our customers’ desire for brand access and focused on creating the most seamless, convenient and easy customer experience. As a result, we’ve improved our app, strengthened our technology focus, and dug into omnichannel to allow our customers to access our brand how and when they want, while driving sales during such a slow time. previous.
It is imperative that brand leaders continuously implement changes to make the brand more accessible. Catering concepts that facilitate access to and frequentation of the brand by their customers are the ones that will prevail.
Preparing employees for success
In such a competitive and fast-paced environment, you must remain open to change, but remember that adaptation will – in many cases – require your frontline workers to learn new systems and operations. Without well-trained staff, your brand is doomed and each location is a representation of the larger system.
We recognized the need to introduce a new, revamped support strategy, which consisted of more personalized and improved training. We began sending our support teams to newly franchised locations for immersive in-person staff and management trainings, in-house product testing, development training practices and more. Following this initial training, we continued to refine each operator’s specific support strategy based on their individual needs and maintained a close, transparent and communicative relationship with them throughout their growth with the brand. By making relevant and constructive changes, you are able to strengthen your brand, while adapting to changing business environments, which will ultimately lead to increased growth and profitability.
Change can be frightening, but it’s remarkable how well our industry has adapted to the challenges that have come our way. As we move forward, brands will need to remain open to change to successfully optimize their businesses, make their brands more accessible, and ensure their people are prepared. We can’t control every challenge we face, but we can control our response.