For virtually everyone in franchising, this was not the way that 2020 was supposed to go. For many of us, the world feels like it has been turned upside down. There are some positive stories. On the franchise development side, we can see there is an anticipated move towards entrepreneurship increasing sales, for example. On the operations side, we are adjusting, and making tweaks to our audits, processes and plans.
Based on real-life examples we are hearing from our customers, here are 7 things that you can do to adapt your operations* in 2020. While many of these involve the pandemic, we also have a legislative change at the end.
1.Enhanced Opening Procedures
Since Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) equipment is required in many areas, you may need to add the purchase of PPE Equipment to your opening procedure.
Add to Opening Checklist:
“Order all required PPE equipment from an approved vendor. This includes hand sanitizer, extra face masks, and a contactless thermometer.”
2. Edited Audit and Projects Sections
Franchisors typically have opening procedures separated out by department. These can include:
The relevant departments will then pay close attention to the sections that have their names on it – building accountability across the system. During the pandemic, many franchisors have had to put staff on furlough, or leave, moving responsibilities from one team to another.
Field support may be covering tasks of a reduced training team. As a result, you may want to move some of those sections of the audits.
“Confirm prices on Catering Menu” > Move from Training to Field Support section.
3. Uniform Changes Adding Face Coverings
Most audits have some questions regarding uniforms. With mask coverings required in some areas, you may want a question added for franchisees in those regions.
Add to Audit:
“Team Member in uniform including face coverings in place. Worn correctly over the nose and mouth.”
4. Signage and Local Mask Regulations
In other areas, customers are required to wear masks indoors. As a result, there may be some additional signage required when people enter the premises.
Add to Self-Assessment:
“If your State/Province/County/Region/City requires customers wearing masks while inside, having the appropriate signs up at all entrances and the POS.”
5. Daily Self-Check Procedures
Some franchisors who are doing in-person audits again, are requiring auditors to perform a daily check on themselves before entering the premises. This is a way to create a virtual paper trail now, and into the future.
Add self-check audit:
Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms associated with COVID 19 – fever, new cough, dry cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, aches, runny nose, or sore throat?
Have you or someone you are in close contact with traveled outside of the country in the last 14 days?
Has someone you are in close contact with tested positive for COVID-19 or shown the symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
6. Edited Franchise Business Plans
Franchise Business Plans that were made in good faith in January, have likely changed. But, the environment in 2020 does not mean that the plan has to be thrown away. At the same time, you want to focus on having a plan that is flexible but still offers some structure.
Before, you were helping your franchisees grow revenue, but now you are supporting them as they weather the storm. You may also have also changed some of your initiatives based on a more socially-distant world.
Objective: “Grow revenue for the franchise.” > Change to “Weather the storm revenue-wise.”
Key Result: “Increase inbound leads by 20%.” > Change to “Increase online leads by 20%.”
Initiative: “Attend 2 Community events/year (fairs, parades, festivals, etc.)” > Change to “Run Instagram campaign with Agency”
7. California Consumer Privacy Act
Not all changes are related to the pandemic. We cannot forget that there was recently important legislation passed in America’s third-largest state. The California Consumer Privacy Act went into effect on January 1, 2020.
Add to Audit for California locations:
“California privacy act information posted in the guests’ view.”
While adjusting can be uncomfortable at times, putting these changes in place sets a strong foundation for your franchisees to succeed through these times. It also gives your franchisees confidence in the system overall.
*Note that all that is written above are suggestions only, and do not qualify as advice. Please advise with local professionals for detailed recommendations.