How to Ask the Right Questions on Your Audit

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.

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