Tyrone Herdman-Grant, COO of Panarottis, has a simple mantra: In franchising, everything you might experience has already been learnt by someone else, with systems and procedures put in place. The result is that if you concentrate on the basics and get those right, your success as a franchisee is guaranteed.
“The first role of a franchisee is to be on the floor, interacting with customers. Find out how they feel about your offering, and pay attention to the way your staff interact with customers. You’ll quickly pick up if they are offering a quality service or not.”
So, what are the basics? “You need to trade in a clean and hygienic environment at all times, your products need to be of the highest quality and service must always be friendly and efficient,” says Herdman-Grant. “Would you want to sit in your store, eat the food the way it is prepared and presented, and be served by your staff? If the answer is no, or you’re uncertain for any reason, your standards are below par.”
As good as your last meal
As with all established and respected franchise brands, the Panarottis system assists its franchisees with everything from balancing the till with stock, to closing procedures, recipes and staff training. “Franchisees don’t need to reinvent the wheel,” says Herdman-Grant. “However, while we provide the skeleton, it’s our franchisees who add the meat. Store cleanliness, attitude, a focus on the customer — these are all up to the individuals with their feet on the floor.
“We always remind our franchisees that you’re only as good as your last meal served. To keep customers coming back, you need to deliver a quality, value-for-money meal, with excellent service in an enjoyable atmosphere — and then you need to exceed their high expectations the next time they visit the store. You need to be better tomorrow, every time, and that takes dedication, a strong focus on the basics, and an eye for the little things.”
With Panarottis currently experiencing month-on-month double digit growth, the brand is in a position to perhaps rest on its laurels and give itself a pat on the back — which is precisely what Herdman-Grant advocates against.
“As a brand, if you want to keep growing, you need to always put the customer first. From a head office point of view, we undertake to ensure the brand is respected in the market place, which means we purchase quality products. The day we start putting price above quality for example, is the day we should leave this office. Our franchisees know that they are supported by proven systems, loved recipes and great ingredients. From our side, we expect those same franchisees to always keep their customers top of mind, and to pay attention to every detail.”
Franchisees are not alone in this quest. Area managers do monthly planned (and unexpected) drop-ins, weighing every product to ensure there’s no wastage, tasting each product’s freshness, and paying attention to the overall running of the store. A detailed report will then give recommendations, guiding franchisees to stay at the top of their game. It’s a team effort, and everyone ultimately wins.