Category

Audit / Sample Questions

357 Franchise Field Audit Questions

By | Audit / Sample Questions, Franchise Relationships

Are you looking for inspiration on your field audits? You are not alone. In fact, people have been asking for audit question resources since we started the company 12 years ago.

  • To meet the demand, we created a comprehensive resource, where you will get sample questions from the top franchisors around the world, and much more:
    357 Field Audit Questions including Customer Service, Marketing, Food Safety and Quality, Cleanliness and Management.
  • How to make sure that your questions link back to your processes.
  • How to “audit your audit”, ensuring it is as effective as possible.
  • Where to find your processes – it is easier than you think!

How to Ask the Right Questions on Your Audit

By | Audit / Sample Questions

When you are selling a franchise, what are you actually providing?

  1. A system that is proven to work in providing value to the target market
  2. A brand creating value in the market
  3. Support for the franchisee to succeed better than they would on their own

Today, we are going to take a look at the first point, but asking the right questions on the audit covers all points.

Every franchise that chooses to do in-person audits, is taking on a project that is a costly undertaking, including staffing costs, overhead and travel. It is important then, to make sure that the audit questions are correct, and are actually strengthening the system as a whole.

Recommended Model

Our model is to connect back-end processes to each question.

Back-End Process –> Question

For example, as discussed in our Audit of Your Audit post, a standard such as “Smiling and welcoming guests” could be categorized as “Service” but a better way would be to tag it as “Training: Going above what’s required and wowing the guest”.

Training: Going above what’s required and wowing the guest à Smiling and welcoming guests.

Other Examples

  • HR and Training: Finding the Right People –> Formal staff orientation using orientation checklist
  • HR and Training: Retaining Your Team –> High performing crew members identified for advancement
  • Customer Service: Creating a Memorable Experience –> Prioritizing the guest in front of you
  • Approved Vendors: Using Approved Products –> Authorized snacks sold only

 Where Can You Find Back-End Processes?

The franchisor’s back-end processes are within the DNA of the franchise. This DNA is typically found in the following places:

  • The Franchisee manual: This manual will show exactly the value and recommendations that you give your franchise.
  • Training: For many smaller and emerging systems, the training team is the custodian of all things process related. What franchisees are learning is a great place to find your processes.
  • FDD: Although it will not show all of your systems, the FDD can be a good place to find what is important.
  • Purchasing: for approved vendors for what, the purchasing team can help determine your back-end processes.
  • Safety Regulations: Restaurants will have to comply with local food safety regulations that may not be in the manual, but will be recommended by consultants or internal experts experienced in the space.

Making the Connection

If you are trying to connect an existing audit with existing back end processes, here is a suggested process.

  1. Match questions to existing standards found above. Some questions, such as food safety, can be reviewed by food safety consultants or internal experts.
  2. Fill in the gaps. Did you find some standards that are not being checked by your audit? These are fantastic points to add to your audit to make it more relevant. Or – are there questions currently in your audit that are incredibly relevant, but are not
  3. Remove extraneous questions. If you have questions that are not linking to any sort of process perse, it may be time to remove them.

Are You Ready?

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57 Management Field Audit Questions Your Franchise Needs to Know

By | Audit / Sample Questions, Franchise Relationships

What is a core value that franchisors bring to franchisees? Management, training and systems including Human Resources (HR). Any franchise field audit is not complete without this section included. This post is part of a series on audit questions, that also included:

To wrap this incredibly popular series up, we examined over a dozen audit questionnaires, and found the following great questions that you can add to your audit:

Procedures

  1. Is there a program in place to ensure daily cleanliness, including checklists?
  2. Are monthly inventory counting procedures being completed and records retained?
  3. Is the location using the CRM, and do they have a dedicated CRM person in place?
  4. Are bank deposits made on time?
  5. Management actively monitors culture, and takes steps to further develop a positive one consistent with that of Home Office.
  6. Is there a “complaints or compliments” file?
  7. Adequate travel time in place for all schedules.
  8. Are staffing ratios to standard?

Communications

  1. Are all technical alerts from Home Office being signed for when required?
  2. Are Home Office communications being held and documented?
  3. Does the business owner and management communicate in a respectful manner towards the Home Office staff?
  4. Client schedules sent to staff by Wednesday of every week.
  5. Call monitoring system is in place.

Team Communications

  1. Is the 7 Steps Poster displayed in the center for all staff to see?
  2. Has every member of staff signed a copy of the Rules of Engagement document with copies kept in the center?
  3. Emergency phone numbers listed.
  4. Are team meetings being regularly scheduled?
  5. Are policies and procedures easily accessible?
  6. Does the management team have dependable and regular communication with the owner?
  7. Is the business owner physically in the location on a regular basis?

Compliance

  1. Are all necessary state inspections up to date?
  2. Is there an inspection rating posted in a prominent location?
  3. Is the insurance certificate displayed?
  4. Is payroll compliant with applicable regulations, corporate policy and completed on time as required?
  5. Is the location generally in good standing with the Home Office, financial or otherwise?
  6. Is the location generally in good standing with all strategic partners?
  7. Are finances analyzed on a monthly basis with deficient areas highlighted in action plans?
  8. Are there any specific significant deficiencies that require urgent attention? If so, please describe them here along with a plan on how to address them.

Performance

  1. Is KPI information in use?
  2. Are monthly management financials being sent to Home Office within the appropriate timeline?
  3. Is the franchise business plan reviewed, updated and submitted by March 31st of each year?
  4. Is the minimum performance criteria of 85% of urgent orders completed within one hour?
  5. Are task audits being conducted?
  6. Are there any corporate orders over 1-month old with no action-items in the CRM?
  7. Does management know how the store is trending relative to the current month’s sales targets?
  8. Does management know what last week’s sales were?
  9. Does management know how their store’s performance compares to similar ones?
  10. Are finances analyzed on a monthly basis
  11. Are staff scheduled based on projections?
  12. Review franchisee’s cash flow projections to ensure that they have adequate funds to cover expenses during the summer.

HR and Training

  1. Are all hiring and recruiting processes being followed?
  2. Do all staff have a contract of employment?
  3. Have all staff received and signed for an employment handbook?
  4. Review all job descriptions.
  5. Are job descriptions available to all staff?
  6. All new hire paperwork and background check processed before staff begin training?
  7. Are all performance reviews filled out and turned in on schedule?
  8. Are all personnel files secured in a locked filing cabinet?
  9. Management is following all current mandatory corporate compensation and benefitspolicies including extended health benefits, wages, commissions etc.
  10. Management is in accordance with human rights and employment standards of the region.
  11. Every team member has enrolled in team training and is either on track to, or has already finished their learning plan.
  12. Technical training is occurring on a quarterly basis.

Health and Safety

  1. All accidents being recorded in the center accident book and previous entries available.
  2. Have there been any lost time accidents within the last 12 months?
  3. Is there an appointed First Aider – is the ratio appropriate and information available to all staff?
  4. Emergency phone numbers listed?
  5. Was the safe locked upon arrival?

Last Word

Franchisee audits are much easier when you have the right tools in place. Check out FranchiseBlast’s Auditing software for more information.



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79 Cleanliness Audit Questions Your Franchise Needs to Know

By | Audit / Sample Questions

Do you want to create a welcoming experience for your guests? It is starts with a franchise location that is sparkling clean! This is not only common sense, but it is backed by Science. In fact, according to Psychology Today, people with clean houses are less stressed out, depressed and are even healthier.

“A study led by associate professor NiCole R. Keith, Ph.D., research scientist and professor at Indiana University, found that people with clean houses are healthier than people with messy houses… In fact, house cleanliness was even more of a predictor for physical health than neighborhood walkability.”

After exploring over a dozen audits, we found the 79 best cleanliness audit questions that your franchise needs to know. This is part of a series of audit questions that we have done including Marketing, Food Safety, Food Quality and Customer Service.

Outside

  1. Customer parking clear and adequate with customer parking signs.
  2. Landscaping clean, maintained and trash-free.
  3. The outside area is properly lit.
  4. Sidewalk is clean and weed-free.
  5. Exterior garbage storage is covered and doors kept closed between uses. Dumpster containers are emptied as necessary
  6. and the surrounding area is maitained and clean to avoid attracting pests.
  7. Patio and exterior area walkways are clean, no deep visible traffic stain.
  8. Patio rails, gates, furniture and umbrellas are clean and in good condition.
  9. Drive-through menu board panel, signage and speaker post in good condition.

Front or Front of House (FOH)

  1. Air temperature is set for the comfort of the guest.
  2. Entrance and waiting area clean, tidy and welcoming.
  3. Layout is set as per operations manual.
  4. POS work station clean and organized, no visible clutter in the workspace, online pick-up sign properly displayed.
  5. Customer seating made available while waiting.
  6. All lights and lamps in working order.
  7. Ventilation is adequate: vents, fan guards, ceiling fans and filters are clean.
  8. Windows and ledges clean, streak-free with no physical damage to glass or frame. Main entrance doors and threshholds are in good condition or clean.
  9. Ceiling or ceiling tile areas do not show dust or water damage.
  10. High chairs and booster seating are clean, no broken straps, or visible physical damage.
  11. Tables are maintained clean, no physical damage to laminate or table edging.
  12. Booth seating and chairs clean, materials are clean of dried food, debris or damage.
  13. Paint, walls and chair rails are clean with no physical damage.
  14. Floor tiles, grout lines, baseboards and drains are clean, in good repair and free ofexcessive build-up or standing water.
  15. Beverage systems ice machines do not have mold or dust build up. Top not used for storage.
  16. Display case is clean inside, outside and around.
  17. Pictures and décor is approved, dust-free and straight.
  18. No graffiti present.
  19. Sanitized rags used to wipe down counters and tables.
  20. Garbage containers are cleaned and emptied as needed.
  21. No hand-written signs.
  22. List recommendations to increase visibility of location.

Back or Back of House (BOH)

  1. Walls and ceilings are in good repair and fre of excessive dust and debris.
  2. Ventilation is adequate; vents, fan guards and filters are clean.
  3. Hand mixer clean, in good repair and safely stored when no in use.
  4. Can opener maintained clean, no rust or food debris present.
  5. Knives are clean, no physical damage, properly stored in holders without rust or debris.
  6. Sinks, pans and smallwares washed and sanitized.
  7. Trays and baking sheets are clean and in good condition.
  8. Workshop floor layout as per operations manual?
  9. All lights and lamps and light shields in working order, fully lit and clean?
  10. Counters and island clean and clutter-free.
  11. Oven is clean.
  12. Stainless steel/chrome surfaces polished daily.
  13. Refrigerator and freezer clean and organized.
  14. Pans free from excessive build-up.
  15. Proper dish washing method observed.
  16. Hand-washing sinks are clean and used only for hand-washing.
  17. Hand-washing reminder signs at all sinks.
  18. Under counter area cleaned and organized.
  19. Mop and utility sink clean, organized, in good condition with no standing water.
  20. Approved cleaning and sanitizing products used and labeled.
  21. Back room/off-site storage areas/shelving organized and clean.
  22. Chemical shelf clean and organized.
  23. Exit doors close automatically: secured, without damage.
  24. Location free of other cleaning or maintenance issues. If not, please list below.

Merchandise

  1. Retail area including shelves and displays are clean, dusted and in good repair.
  2. Retail is mechandised according the brand standards.
  3. Retail area only sells approved products.
  4. Only approved displays, shelving and signage are present and in good repair.
  5. Proper min levels are set for all active products in ERP.
  6. Min levels and product mix are actively monitored and adjusted based on product performance, upcoming promotions, seasonal increases etc.
  7. Inventory numbers in ERP are accurate.
  8. Inventory on-hand level appropriate for sales volume.
  9. Retail shelves and displays fully stocked with minimal preventable out-of-stocks.

Restrooms

  1. Restrooms clean (floor, faucets, handles, toilets, trash can) .
  2. Restroom stocked with toilet paper, soap and paper towels.
  3. Employees must wash hands sign posted in bathroom.
  4. Record temperature of hot water in the men’s restroom.
  5. Record temperature of hot water in the women’s restroom.
  6. Deodorizers are stocked and working.
  7. Walls, mirrors, doors and stall partitions are clean and streak-free.
  8. Baby change table is clean and sanitized with liners available. The safety buckle is also in good repair.
  9. No visible political, religious or offensive postings.

Health & Safety

  1. First aid kit onsite and stocked.
  2. Insurance certificate on display and up-to-date.
  3. Crisis event poster properly displayed in kitchen area, replacing any outdated copies.
  4. Wet floor signs are clean and available, used for any spills present. They are stored out of guest view.
  5. Fire extinguishers, serviced and not expired.
  6. Staff in uniform and wearing safety boots when needed.
  7. CO2 tanks are secured in accordance with safety protocols.

Last Word

When doing your cleanliness audit, it is great to have tasks that you can assign and track to franchisees, their staff or others on your home office team. FranchiseBlast’s Audit app has this functionality and much more.



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59 Customer Service Audit Questions Your Franchise Needs to Know

By | Audit / Sample Questions, Brand Consistency

Some call it customer service, others call it guest experience. No matter what, understanding the end-to-end experience that you are giving customers is key to keeping them coming back again and again. But, when was the last time you reviewed your service audit? We researched over a dozen audits, and found some of the most relevant questions in them to effectively manage service. Please note that these audits come from an array of businesses, including restaurant, both table service and QSR, salon and education. This is part of a larger series including questions on Marketing, Food Safety and Food Quality.

Overall

  1. Hours of operation current and posted.
  2. The store atmosphere – energy is positive.
  3. Staff is engaged in “guest first” culture.
  4. Employee teamwork, positive attitude and high morale apparent.
  5. Proper staffing levels to handle current sales volume.
  6. Manager present and on the dining room floor and conducts table visits.
  7. Manager conducting shift huddles every shift.
  8. Manager visibly leading shift and coaching team through peak periods.
  9. Music style playing in keeping with brand standards.
  10. Sound quality good and all speakers are working.
  11. Temperature is appropriate for the time of year.
  12. Additional information available on nutrition and allergies – take picture.

Timing

  1. Was there a sense of urgency while making products?
  2. Dine-in food order – record time off of timer.
  3. Dine-in coffee order – record time off of timer.
  4. Drive-through food order – record time off of timer.
  5. Drive-through coffee order – record time off of timer.
  6. How long does it take to make a smoothie – record time off of timer.

Uniform

  1. Each crew member wearing an approved uniformed shirt and it is clean and crisp – provide picture.
  2. Each crew member wearing pants or shorts, consistent with uniform policy.
  3. Each crew member wearing an approved hat or visor.
  4. Each crew member wearing an approved apron which is crisp and presentable.

Quality

  1. Focused service on the guest in front of crew member.
  2. Genuinely interested in customer and natural.
  3. Knowledge of ingredients and able to suggest toppings.
  4. More than two plates are delivered on trays.
  5. All drinks are delivered using a tray.
  6. Teachers are applying lesson standards according to the curriculum for the appropriate level.
  7. Teachers are giving proper assistance for students including on the spot corrections.
  8. Lesson equipment in good condition.
  9. Teachers are rotating at correct times during lessons.
  10. Reception team properly handing the guest off to the stylist with an introduction.
  11. Reception is checking notes in the CRM regarding the guest’s previous experience.
  12. There are no magazines older than two months and no newspapers older than one day.
  13. All tablets are clean, charged, functioning and have cool apps installed.
  14. Refills are offered on the dining room floor.

Promotional

  1. Customer asked if they have a rewards program card or app.
  2. Process stamp card or introduce new guests to the loyalty program.
  3. Upselling opportunities are consistently observed; friendly in nature to assist building in store sales.
  4. Utilize suggestive selling and talking points at POS.
  5. Sampling program implemented.
  6. Customer informed of upcoming promotions.

Experience Management

  1. Customer feedback management in place.
  2. Has more than 20 guest experience reviews.
  3. Store resolves complaints within 48 hours.
  4. Store has an over 70 NPS score in the last 30 days.
  5. Feedback is actively being used to adjust and improve the guest experience.

Exit

  1. Guests are thanked upon leaving the counter or exiting the building.
  2. Team members using the guest’s name during check-out process.
  3. Thoughtful closing: close the transaction in a friendly manner.
  4. Any notes that might make the guest’s next visit better is getting added to the CRM.

Question for You

Now that you have looked at the questions from our research, we have a question for you. Are you integrating timers, pictures and forced tasks into your audits? You can do this using the Field Audit app with FranchiseBlast. With a 30-day free trial, it is simple to see what our audits can do for you.



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54 Food Quality Questions that Your Franchise Needs to Know

By | Audit / Sample Questions, Restaurant

Every restaurant has their own unique flavor, and it is the dozens of little details that make it right. Although different systems have their own recipes, there are certain things, such as fresh water and food temperatures that are relevant to everyone.

In the big picture, having high quality food not only helps your franchise, but it also helps families in your community. Having a quality meal at a restaurant can help children try new foods and a family “tradition” of eating out can foster bonds and even enhance brain health.

According to the family dinner project, “recent studies link regular family meals with the kinds of behaviors that parents want for their children: higher grade-point averages, resilience and self-esteem. Additionally, family meals are linked to lower rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, eating disorders and depression.”

We explored dozens of food quality audits and took a look at questions that are most relevant to a general audience. While it is important that each question connect to a back-end process, we thought these questions could serve as inspiration, to ensure that your guests get that great experience that keeps them coming back for more. We also have related posts on Food Safety Audits and Marketing Audits in this popular series.

Big Picture

  1. All food is prepared and served according to current, approved operational standards as defined in the recipe manual and training guides.
  2. No unapproved ingredients or menu items present or being served. All food supplied comes from the approved supply chain including produce.
  3. All branded proprietary food products, ingredients and packaging fully utilized.
  4. Any cheat sheets in use are accessible, accurate and clean.
  5. All required menu items are available.
  6. Pastries look eye appealing with a minimum of 3 and are made fresh daily.
  7. Appropriate system in place to track 2-hour shelf-life of coffee pots.

Recipe

  1. Observe and verify recipe accuracy and presentation.
  2. Timers are programmed correctly and are in use according to “items sold” projections.
  3. Chicken nuggets are being dipped and agitated in milk wash properly.
  4. Chicken nuggets being breaded and put on colored tray properly.
  5. Chicken nuggets being put into fryers properly.
  6. Fried foods are draining for at least 15 seconds.
  7. Pizza recipes and assembly are correct with ingredients evenly spread to ensure “flavor in every bite”.
  8. Dough tastes to recipe standards.
  9. Donut fillings were prepped according to recipe standards.
  10. No pre-making of product.
  11. Was product being held for next-day sale or consumption?
  12. Frosting light and fluffy – not a glaze – no time temperature abuse apparent.
  13. All recipes followed for dough and toppings.

Warm and Hot

  1. Rice is moist, fluffy, served with slotted spoon and does not exceed 12-hour life.
  2. Steak is moist, a good color with steak sauce flavor evident, served with 2 oz spoon and does not exceed 1-hour life.
  3. Chicken is diced in 1/2″, not overcooked and caramel in color, served with a 2 oz spoon and does not exceed 1-hour life.
  4. Bacon is brown in color cooked crisp without white spots and free of clumps served with a 2 oz spoon and does not exceed 6-hour life.
  5. Record the weight of a random meat portion. Medium: 2.2 oz. Large: 4.4 oz
  6. Order a random sandwich. Check weight and compare to standard. Take picture.
  7. Soups should be monitored throughout the shift, stirred, hydrated as needed to keep the original consistency and prevent scorching. Pans with scorching on the sides must be changed out as needed.
  8. Brewer calibrated and clean, including spray heads.
  9. Espresso machine is kept clean, steam wands sanitized after every use.
  10. All selections of coffee offered at appropriate time of day.
  11. Coffee grind is accurate.
  12. Check coffee flavor – ensure there is no evidence of grounds.
  13. Final bake temperature is verified for all products with a calibrated digital thermometer.

Cool and Cold

  1. Chips are fresh tasting, crisp, properly salted with consistent color.
  2. Water filtration in use, cartridges must be dated when changed (every 6 months to a year), filters clean.
  3. Shaved meats are sliced as thin as possible without shredding.
  4. Bun interior characteristics feel soft and moist and have an open, honeycombed grain structure.
  5. Bun top exteriors have smooth surface with no significant cracks or ridges.
  6. Mayo properly spread and going from “coast-to-coast”.
  7. Creamer carafes are stored appropriately and meet temperature requirements.
  8. Ice machine producing flaked ice in an appropriate volume, kept clean.
  9. Ice tea bubbler clean and in good repair.
  10. Proper ice tea procedure followed with flavor check.
  11. Donut standards followed on handling, cooking and assembly.
  12. Lettuce standards followed on storage, presentation and assembly.
  13. Buns are being buttered according to procedure.
  14. Cookies are baked to standard, chewy and moist, baked daily and properly dated (24 hours)
  15. All baked goods selections meet quality, weight and presentation requirements.
  16. Fruit donuts ONLY strawberry, lemon and raspberry.
  17. Pastry eats moist throughout without being over or under done.
  18. Proper amount of frosting used on pastries – it is evenly spread and appears moist.

Temperature-Specific

  1. Macaroni and Cheese: 160F-170F
  2. Sliced Tomato: 35F-45F
  3. Coffee Brew Temp: 190F-200F
  4. Coffee Serving Temp: 170F-178F

While your individual food quality audit will be associated with your own brand and recipes, we hope that these sample questions have served as some inspiration.



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50 Food Safety Audit Questions Your Franchise Needs to Know

By | Audit / Sample Questions, Restaurant

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data from the year 2000, “foodborne disease causes approximately 76 million illnesses; 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths here in the U.S. each year.” Food safety has therefore become central to the food experience for all restaurants.

Food safety leader Steritech says “Today, more than ever before, food safety violations are top of mind with your customers. Consumers don’t hesitate to share their experiences — a single negative food safety incident can pose serious risks to your bottom line and your brand.”

According to food inspectors Noraxx, there is a high cost to “good enough” when it comes to food safety. “In a heartbeat, that one bad experience could undo all the good will that might have taken months or years to build up.”

We researched over a dozen audits on food safety, and found questions that you could find useful as you update your food safety audit.

Temperature Control

  1. Cold foods maintained at 41 degrees or below in all cold-holding devices including refrigerators, storage devices and ice-wells.
  2. Hot foods maintained at 140 degrees or above.
  3. Refrigeration records are available and complete.
  4. Proper cooling methods (placing food in shallow pans or using cooling wands etc.) are used for foods that require time/temperature control for safety.
  5. Frozen foods are held solidly frozen so that they are hard to the touch.

Food Handling

  1. Date marking is applied at time of preparation to ready-to-eat food prepared on site and intended to be held cold more than 24 hours and does not exceed a 7-day shelf-life.
  2. Food products dated, and not held past their expiration date.
  3. Discard policy is being followed – old food is “wasted” during inspection.
  4. Received food put away promptly.
  5. All ingredients are refrigerated when not in use.
  6. Foods are from commercial suppliers. Foods and packaging are in sound condition.
  7. Foods and food-contact packaging are stored at least six inches off of the floor.
  8. Fruits and vegetables are properly washed prior to processing and serving.
  9. Produce wash procedures are executed properly and have the correct concentration.
  10. Foods are properly protected from contamination.
  11. Staff know the proper procedures for preparing gluten-free menu items.

Equipment and Utensils

  1. Food-contact surfaces properly sanitized (at least every 4 hours during continuous use).
  2. Food-contact surfaces of equipment and utensils durable, non-toxic, easily cleanable and in good condition.
  3. Utensils in the prep area are clean and well-maintained.
  4. There is a dedicated thermometer available in the kitchen area for verifying temperatures – which is clean and well maintained.
  5. Fire extinguisher – accessible with inspection dates.
  6. First aid kit – stocked and easily accessible.
  7. Wiping cloths are kept clean and dry or else immersed in properly diluted sanitizer. Separate cloths are used for wiping food-contact and non-food-contact surfaces.
  8. Disposable cutlery – stored in a sanitary manner with all handles facing the same way.
  9. Sanitizer test kits are open and readily available for use.

Personal Hygiene

  1. No bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods. Disposable gloves worn when handling them.
  2. Eating, drinking and tobacco use restricted to non-food areas. Drinking allowed from cups with a lid and straw and stored so they cannot contaminate the food-contact surfaces.
  3. All hand sinks have hot and cold water available.
  4. Every employee has a branded hat and long hair is tied up.
  5. Employees, including drivers, are not wearing outdoor clothes in the food preparation area.
  6. Jewelry on the hands and wrists is limited to a plain ring with no set stones.
  7. Associates frequently washing hands to standard using correct hand washing steps.
  8. Associates not displaying symptoms of illness.

Cleaning

  1. Chemical sanitizer solutions at proper concentration and temperature per label instructions.
  2. Original containers of toxic materials have a legible manufacturer’s label. Bleach not allowed or approved in restaurants.
  3. Interior garbage containers are cleaned and emptied as needed.
  4. Exterior garbage storage is covered and doors kept closed between uses. Containers are emptied as necessary and the surrounding area is maintained clean to avoid pests.
  5. Sinks – not used for prep and dishwashing at the same time.
  6. Floor – clean under shelving.

Facilities and Controls

  1. Ventilation is adequate: vents, fans and guards are clean.
  2. Plumbing provides adequate pressure.
  3. Pest prevention program is effective.
  4. Floors, walls, and ceilings are smooth, easily cleanable and in good repair.
  5. Potable water is available from the public water system or a non-public system that is properly maintained.
  6. Air gaps/backflow prevention devices are in place where required. Sewage disposal systems, including grease traps, are operating properly.
  7. Mop sink is clean and in working condition, with mops and mop buckets hung or stored properly.
  8. Back door area – clean and organized.
  9. Shelving – clean/organized/no rust/sufficient.
  10. All employees preparing food have a valid food handlers certificate on-site.
  11. National food safety certifications posted.

Food safety audits are an important part of franchising. That is why FranchiseBlast has integrations with food safety leaders such as Steritech and Noraxx.

*The questions in this post are for information only. To do a compliant food safety audit, please consult a certified professional.



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58 Marketing Audit Questions Your Franchise Needs to Grow

By | Audit / Sample Questions
Franchise Marketing Audit

Often forgotten but more important than ever is the Marketing section of the franchisee audit. Based on our research, the franchisee success on the Marketing audit, especially the section on planning, can actually predict growth. Based on popular demand, we did an extensive review of over 50 audit questionnaires from a half-dozen industries and came up with the best Marketing questions for you to add to your annual audit checklist.

Basics

  1. Exterior signage, clean, illuminated and in “like new” condition.
  2. Menu panels, clean and and in “like new” condition.
  3. Store decorated appropriately for the season.
  4. Television clean, in good working order, and playing approved images and footage only.
  5. All national campaign elements are present and in-store POP follows brand standards, placement guidelines and is clean with no damage.
  6. Uniforms are to standard – managers and associates.
  7. Name tags clean and professionally presented.
  8. Approved music playing.

Planning

  1. Franchisee provided completed quarterly marketing plan to coach by submission deadline.
  2. Competitive analysis completed in the last 12 months, using the proper form.
  3. Franchisee has used the approved forecasting tool for their marketing plan during high season.
  4. Franchisee submitted up-to-date crisis communication plan.
  5. Franchisee has the marketing collatoral required to execute on their marketing plan (coupons, signage, giveaways)
  6. Franchisee doing a live event during high season.
  7. Franchisee taking part in community events during high season.
  8. Franchisee has visited 5-10 local businesses to connect with the community.
  9. Marketing plan identifies a budget each month.
  10. Current national promotions leveraged in marketing plans.
  11. Current national platforms leveraged in marketing plans.
  12. Staff meetings are scheduled to review upcoming promotions.
  13. Franchisee and/or marketing staff attended any required training.

Print and Signage

  1. All marketing material complies with brand standard and is posted in the appropriate location.
  2. Current marketing materials being used.
  3. Hours of operation posted on doors and accurate.
  4. Promotional tents available at each table.
  5. Branded vans using approved graphics and PMS colors.
  6. Branded napkins being used.
  7. Branded trays are made available.
  8. No hand-written or typed signs in guest view.
  9. Posted media stories up to brand standards.
  10. Online ordering “call-out” available.
  11. Every off-premise bag contains marketing materials.
  12. Off-premise packaging quality standards being used.
  13. Gift card program in place.
  14. Only current and approved merchandising elements available.
  15. Franchise operator decal displayed at front entrance.
  16. Loyalty program materials have prominent placement.

Social and Online

  1. Franchisee posted a minimum of 3x/week to Facebook.
  2. Franchisee had one positive online review/month.
  3. Franchisee used on-brand content and held to on-brand Facebook strategy.
  4. Franchisee maintained updated hours and pricing on local website.
  5. Franchisee has 2 posts regarding seasonal marketing campaign on Social Media.
  6. Franchisee is familiar with Social Media posting tool and knows where to find additional resources.
  7. Franchisee boosted a minimum of 1x/week on Facebook.
  8. Social media channels monitored and comments were responded to in a timely manner.

Campaign

  1. Franchisee participated in the National Marketing campaign.
  2. Campaign details printed and posted.
  3. Prize awarded to customer.
  4. Approved display rack has current POP.
  5. Monthly POP clearly advertised on the menu board.

Compliance

  1. Franchisee reads all head office communications.
  2. Franchisee only used approved offers.
  3. Franchisee requested approval before marketing additional offers.
  4. Franchisee maintained a positive, respectful relationship with franchise marketing team (no incidents reported since last reporting period).
  5. Marketing material purchased through approved vendors.
  6. Franchisee spends $x/month in the community, above AdFund spend, as per the agreement.
  7. Franchisee is familiar with most recent campaign.
  8. Product knowledge questionnaire – all associates and managers have completed it.

If you are as enthusiastic about Marketing Audits as we are, feel free to connect with us at ssigurdsonforbes@franchiseblast.com!



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Impactful Field Audit Questions: Part 1

By | Audit / Sample Questions

ImprimirWe took a step back and observed how some franchise systems were leveraging our franchise field audits app to make a substantial impact on their franchisee’s performance.

We believe that being impactful is much more important than simply ensuring compliance, which is the traditional perceived benefit of a field audit. Compliance has its place but we’ve discovered that forward-thinking franchisees share the belief that their auditors should be coaches not cops, increasing franchisee engagement and improving unit-level economics.

As such, we decided to start a series of articles tying some interesting field audit questions to their concrete impact on the bottom line. Today we launch Part 1 and will write additional articles in this series over time.  We’d be happy to hear your suggestions concerning impactful field audit questions. If you have a good story to share, please reach out!

 

  1. Are perishables used on a first in first out (FIFO) basis?
  2. Is staff suggesting an upsell or cross-sell?
  3. Is the collateral for the latest marketing campaign present?

 

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Impactful Field Audit Questions: Is the Marketing Collateral Up To Date?

By | Audit / Sample Questions

Female Baker Delivering Cakes Standing In Front Of VanThis article is part of our series about impactful field audit questions. With this series, we connect the dots between individual questions in an audit and their concrete measurable impact on the franchisee’s performance. We shouldn’t forget that one of the true goals of a franchisee field audit is to improve unit-level economics. Although seemingly innocuous, these questions have a direct impact on performance.

Question: “Is the collateral for the latest marketing campaign present?”

Although many field audit questions concern the conformity to the brand standards to ensure that customers receive a consistent experience across locations, this one is of particular interest. This specific question focuses on the latest campaign and is a better indicator of how well the franchisee is executing, rather than simply making sure the contractor used the right paint colour during construction.

Ensuring that each marketing campaign is properly executed is critical to the franchisee’s performance. If the franchisees are not picking up the ball and executing, the hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions!) spent by the franchisor to create and broadcast a new marketing campaign or limited time offer go to waste. These campaigns are created to attract customers by offering something new or different; fail to execute and there will be no impact: the opportunity cost can be quite substantial. From the franchisee’s perspective, performance may seem normal but will slowly decrease over time because being “good enough” is no longer sufficient in today’s competitive environment.

It’s beneficial to have a second pair of eyes evaluate each location – that’s one of the core benefits of a field audit. If you see the same thing day in and day out, you might not notice these areas for improvement. This leads us to:

Related Question: “Catering brochure is available next to the cash register?”

If you’re in the location doing the same thing every single day, you might not notice that you ran out of brochures. If you’re not advertising that you offer catering services, new customers may not be aware and this revenue stream will dry up over time.

As an example, imagine that catering sales drop by 20% because of poor execution. In a location generating $500,000 per year where catering accounts for 20% of the revenue, that’s a $20,000 drop. This is more than the total annual profit, given the industry’s slim 3.5% profit margins!

Furthermore, since the average 7% royalty is based on sales, this means an average 275 location chain would end up losing $385,000 in royalty revenue over the year and may have to let go a few people. Obviously, such a large drop would imply horrible execution across the entire system. In reality, this is just one of the 50 plus elements which can potentially go awry in each location. Continuous attention to detail is key and a properly structured field audit program is definitely a big part of the solution.

Both of these issues are very visual – we recommend that users of our field audit app snap pictures when failures occur to paint an accurate portrait of the compliance issue.

 



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