Dates: Monday, April 8th, Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 at 11:30 Location: Niagara Falls, ON, Canada Hosts: Monday: Jason Kealey, Tuesday: Stefania Sigurdson Forbes
Why Franchisee Scorecards?
One of the biggest trends of 2019 is Franchisee Scorecards. This simple but powerful tool helps you understand what is happening with your franchisees. At these roundtables, we will chat about what metrics are most relevant to franchisors and which ones will drive growth for franchisees.
Clean Juice, the first and only USDA-certified organic juice bar franchise with more than 55 stores in the U.S., has partnered with FranchiseBlast to help deliver, measure and ensure a high-quality guest experience at each store.
By utilizing FranchiseBlast’s powerful software and performance tools, Clean Juice will be able to audit its stores more effectively and ensure the same quality processes it uses for its CCOF and USDA-organic certifications will be used in delivering an unparalleled guest experience that drives results systemwide. FranchiseBlast is set to roll out across Clean Juice’s locations in early February.
“Being the only certified organic concept is what makes us unique,” said Landon Eckles, co-founder of Clean Juice with spouse Kat. “But it’s our brand experience – delivered with speed, a smile and a servant’s heart – that sets us apart in creating our community of loyal guests. This partnership with FranchiseBlast will help us reach a level of excellence we expect.”
While the concept of juicing has been around since the 1970s, the Eckles discovered a market need for an all-organic juice bar and healthier fast food options, especially for young families with children. With no existing concept, they created their own store in Charlotte, North Carolina that ultimately led to franchising and an unrelenting mission to provide communities with a truly healthy and delicious organic product. Earlier this year, the franchise announced the opening of its 50th store and more than 70 in development. It expects to exit the year with more than 100 stores in less than 3 years.
The performance package from FranchiseBlast will also assist the fast-growing company with their store openings. The mobile-friendly app will help them ensure that their brand experience is uniform across all location in accordance with its aggressive development schedule and it will help their associates monitor important key performance indicators and ratios.
“Having a strong brand experience is what keeps customers coming back,” said Dean Hatzitheodosiou, Sr. Business Development Director of FranchiseBlast with a track record of helping companies experience fast growth. “Strong customer retention will help grow both the stores, and the franchise concept itself.”
Brand experience is more than just logo and colors. Clean Juice will also use the stores to monitor important elements such as ensuring:
“Juiceristas” (store associates) educate customers on the product and its health benefits
Guests get a genuine, personal “connection” when they enter and throughout their experience
Product is arranged in an engaging manner with most popular items at eye-level and the retail space is warm, friendly and well-designed
Other important factors for the company that will be consistently monitored include cleanliness, freshness and food-safety, as well as branding.
Clean Juice continues its rapid ascension as the country’s first and only USDA-certified organic juice bar after recently announcing the opening of its 50th store in East Nashville, Tennessee earlier this year. The company has another 70 stores in development and expects to exit 2019 with more than 100 stores operating. For franchising opportunities, please visit: http://www.cleanjuicefranchising.com.
FranchiseBlast’s Scorecards and Franchisee Field Audit Apps empower franchisors to achieve brand consistency across locations. The apps can be used by the franchise business coaches during their field visits or directly by franchisees themselves via self-assessments. Their user-friendly apps are used by over 13,500 locations including Focus Brands, Pita Pit and Liberty Tax Service.
About Clean Juice
Realizing the importance of an organic, plant-based diet, co-founders Landon and Kat Eckles started Clean Juice in 2016 as the first and only USDA-certified organic juice bar franchise. Rooted in “healthy body and a strong spirit” (3 John 1-2) scripture, Clean Juice offers organic açaí bowls, cold-pressed juices, smoothies, and other healthy food to on-the-go families in a warm and welcoming retail experience across the nation. For more information about Clean Juice, its leadership team and its core values, please visit http://www.cleanjuice.com.
Do you want to be a continuous learning franchise? Doing so isn’t natural or organic – it is something to be created and can go against your instincts. Newton’s first law of motion tends to be true in franchising organization – an object that is set in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted on by an external source.
But, if you are committed to serving your community with your franchise, whether it be through ice cream for families or staffing needs for HR professionals, continuous learning will serve you.
Henry Ford said “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether they at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” Building a continuous learning organization also helps you stay competitive in this fast-changing world.
For example, mobile has come up very recently and marketing professionals know that more people now access the web through a mobile device than a traditional desktop, and young people are doing away with e-mail altogether, using just a phone number instead. Dealing with this shift takes the ability to build on what you have, while adapting it for the modern world.
What is a learning organization?
A learning culture was defined as “a set of organizational
values, conventions, processes, and practices that encourage individuals—and
the organization as a whole—to increase knowledge, competence, and performance”
by a contributor to Oracle.
When learning is a habit, workers are constantly upping their games in terms of
learning, skills and performance.
The benefits are staggering. According to Pinnacle
a learning organization has the following benefits:
Increases efficiency, productivity, and profit
Improves employee morale
Decreases turnover and boosts employee
Promotes a sense of ownership and accountability
Helps workers adapt to change
Einstein said “once you stop learning you start dying” – so, if you want your business to thrive, start now! How can you transform into a continuous learning franchise?
1. Develop Information Sharing Processes
the heart of the continuous learning experience is to lean through experience.
So – having information sharing processes such as the following can be very helpful:
organization can complement these technological tools with connections. The
annual conference is of course a fantastic way for you to spotlight up and
coming initiatives, along with a regular webinar program. According to INC, strategic
sharing sessions take one training initiative, and spread it across the
team. According to the article:
“Whenan employee wanted to attend a training program outside the office, they had to complete a continuous education request form. Part of this form required them to present a business case explaining how the desired training aligned to the company’s overall mission and how it would enhance the employee’s ability to do their job. In addition, they had to agree to schedule a sharing session with the rest of the company so that the knowledge they acquired didn’t reside only with them. This allowed the information to cascade through the company, and benefit everyone.”
2. Shine the Spotlight on Learning
Learning paths developed by Human Resources are a great way to emphasize learning. Additionally, offering formal training beyond what happens when you are onboarding franchisees is a fantastic way to keep your training fresh.
You can also share the
success that works within the franchising environment. According to INC, sharing
learnings on projects are
“Each quarter, we selected a project team to present on a recently completed project. They had full creative license to present however they chose. Not only did this educate the rest of the company on our skill sets and achievements, it empowered the project managers to look for similar opportunities in their own customer environments.”
In franchising, this could be shining the spotlight on franchisees who have added a new location, or a new service such as off-premise by allowing them to do a webinar, or creating a “step-by-step” manual on how other franchisees can follow suit. Others will be inspired to make it their own, or franchisees will get curious and try something else that will build on the profitability of their business.
3. Recruit Franchisees Who Love to Learn
Our last recommendation is to recruit those who are curious. In franchising, you quickly learn that it is all about having those motivated and energized people as franchisees. Having those who are committed to ongoing education is even better. I have personally witnessed franchisees who were over 70-years-old still taking books worth of notes at the annual convention. If you recruit people who are committed to lifelong learning, creating a learning organization will be that much easier.
The Learning Network Effect
Committing to learning is one of those initiatives that touches everyone in your organization, and the effects can stretch to your customers and suppliers as well. While being a continuous learning organization can go against momentum, it will create a competitive advantage that is uniquely yours.
Over the years, we have seen hundreds of franchise field audit questionnaires. They come in all shapes and sizes and cover many different aspects – in fact we wrote a field audit benchmarks article comprising of just this.
A number of systems have approached us and asked us for ways to improve their audit questionnaire, which they thought was too generous. More specifically, they were seeing all of their franchisees receive 90%+ scores when in fact they sensed that the system average should be more around a 70% or 80%. In fact, the average across all franchise systems we work with is 80% of audits pass and 20% fail.
John Doerr, author of bestseller Measure What Matters famously said “if you always hit 100% of your goals, you are not shooting high enough.” Conversely, if you’re hitting too few of them, you get demotivated. If it is at around 80%, and the goals are meaningful, people will sit up and take notice of those initiatives, and the people in charge of them.
Franchisors have told us that the problem with such high
scores is that franchisees who receive them tend to ignore the recommendations
that are made because they’re already doing exceptionally well. This article lists out a collection of
strategies you can employ to balance out your audit scoring.
Ineffective Strategy: Changing Question Weights
The natural first first reflex is to change the number of points allocated to each question. A critical question will be given more weight than a low impact one. At it’s base, this is a sound strategy when used appropriately.
Imagine you had a questionnaire with 100 questions, worth one
point each. If a franchisee fails a critical question due to having rats taking
over the kitchen, then they still end up having 99%. Sure, maybe the whole audit
fails due to severity rules around such critical questions but when seeing that
score, they’ll think they still did very well, and will be popping the
champagne bottles, when in reality, the brand would be in grave danger.
When faced with this, the reflex is to increase the point
value of this question. Let’s say we make it 10 points. The questionnaire total
is now 109, having moved that question from 1 to 10 points. Fail that question
and you get 99 out of 109, or just under 91%. That’s a big jump and you’re
making progress on being less generous.
The problem with this strategy is you can’t do it too often.
If you do, then you end up with a similar problem because the critical
questions rarely fail. As an example, imagine that you want the top ten
questions to be worth ten points, and you leave the other 90 questions at their
standard one-point value. Your total point value is now 190. Fail one critical
and you’re back to almost 95%. In other words, you just halved your gains in
the context of improving the questionnaire to be less generous.
Additionally, because your critical questions rarely fail,
you’ve made things worse for the other regular questions. Fail a regular
question and now you have 99.5% instead of 99%.
As you can see, this drives average audit scores up and reduces failure
Don’t misinterpret the comments above as saying you should
never change question weights. We believe questions should be weighted based on
their importance. The lesson we are communicating here is that it isn’t
typically the solution to this particular problem.
Strategy #1: Calibrate Your Coaches
Before making any changes to your questionnaire, you need to
make sure that your coaches are evaluating the questions properly according to
the same guidelines. This may imply having a meeting with the whole team and
defining much more specific documentation about each question to quantify the
criteria for a passing value.
If you balance this with real data, you can ask people if
they think that it’s normal that a certain question is passing 95% of the time.
Perhaps the team will discover that certain standards were simply too easy to attain,
and the bar can be moved up.
A simple conversation with the team to be stricter may be a
very easy way to get started on this problem.
Strategy #2: Add Questions that Will Fail Often
Sometimes auditors will sense that the questionnaire is
dated and overlooks certain areas that would normally be failing often. In Strategy
#1, you defined stricter standards; now you are expressing those standards as
new questions instead of different evaluation criteria. This is a good start, though
it’s not as effective as the next idea.
Strategy #3: Prune Questions
Another data-driven initiative revolves around pruning
questions that never fail from your audit. If you run a report and see that a
certain question has rarely failed across hundreds of audits, perhaps it’s time
to consider retiring this question completely. Not only does this reduce the
point total but it makes the coach’s visit faster. We are naturally driven to
add more to a questionnaire, but it is good practice to review what you can
remove once per year so the whole process becomes both manageable and
This is usually easier said than done as it is very
difficult to remove completely valid questions from a questionnaire. After all,
questions in an audit come to symbolize the priorities of the organization such
as quality and customer satisfaction.
Strategy #4: Create Specific Questionnaires for Areas of Concern
Most franchise systems have two main questionnaires, one for
a thorough annual review and a shorter one for more frequent visits. However,
we’ve seen the average franchise has 6 questionnaires in our platform and that
is because they have started utilizing the tool in various other use cases from
store openings to limited time offer validation for the Marketing team.
In the context of our discussion, imagine a franchise has a
lengthy questionnaire featuring 400 questions on quality, service, cleanliness,
marketing, food safety and franchise coaching. Now imagine it has identified a
large weakness or risk around food safety and their annual field audits are not
helping drive the scores up, even if there are 100 questions on this specific
matter in the audit questionnaire.
One initiative could be to create a new questionnaire,
focused exclusively on food safety. This signals the message that food safety
is so important that you’re doing audits exclusively on this matter.
Additionally, because this was your main weakness, it usually implies scores
will be lower. They aren’t brought back up by passing questions in other
Strategy #5: Implement Penalty Scoring
There is probably no better technique to reduce scores quickly than making use of penalty scoring. It unfortunately comes with the trade-off of being more confusing to explain to the franchisees, especially when they are accustomed to receiving high scores.
The way penalty scoring works is as follows: Imagine you
have a questionnaire or a section that has 100 questions worth 1 point each. Instead
of subtracting failures from the maximum total of points (100), remove them
from an arbitrary other number, such as 50.
If you fail one question worth one point, you get 98% (49/50). You’ve
just made your questionnaire 2x stricter. If you fail 10, you get 80% instead
If you chose to deduct points from 25 instead, you’ve doubled it again. If you fail 20 questions worth one point, you lose 20 points out of 25, leaving you with 5/25 or 20%. Compare this to the original situation where failing 20 questions would leave you with 80%. If you are going to roll out such a drastic change, it must be accompanied with change management and buy in from the franchisees.
Most Important Lesson: Get your Franchisee Advisory Council (FAC) Involved
When making changes to the questionnaire like this, it’s important to get the FAC involved. They need to understand there’s a problem with the status quo and that problem can negatively impact their bottom line if it’s not addressed. If people are ignoring food safety because the audit scores are too high, they risk getting people sick and that will damage the brand. Involve them in the questionnaire design process and do a few test runs with them to ensure you have their buy-in.