Cutting Costs and Optimizing Field Teams
The only way we are going to make it through this COVID-19 crisis is to simultaneously cut costs while pivoting a large portion of our resources to maximize our take-out, drive-thru and delivery sales channels.
If we can do this quickly, we can adapt to the lower sales during this enforced social distancing period and conserve cash. In times like this, cash flow is king.
Also, we need to be realistic about how much of our sales are going to return when we can open our dining rooms again. The word we’re hearing from China is that people are out and about but they aren’t rushing to dine in again. Those traditional dine in sales are trickling in slowly.
One way to immediately cut costs is to optimize your Field Teams by providing them with better technology that allows them to work remotely. This will allow you to simultaneously:
- Increase Area/District Manager patch size by 25 to 100%
- You will get more consistent and frequent interactions with the use of technology
- Reduce head count or shift field team members to new roles
Here is how it could work:
- Repurpose your current field team site visit into a self inspection that can be completed by the In-Store team using the OpsAnalitica Platform.
- This will be scheduled on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis depending on Area/District Manager patch size.
- This in-store self Inspection will be conducted by the restaurant General Manager and cover the normal touch points that an Area/District Manager would inspect in person.
- This Self Inspection will require a lot of mandatory photos that will be taken all around the restaurant.
- The Area/District Manager and the Store Manager will review this inspection together via zoom or video conference meeting.
- Area/District managers can coach on standards and create action plan tasks for the restaurant manager to complete.
The immediate benefits of this approach
- The ability to reduce head count and increase patch size of remaining above store managers will cut costs.
- An Area/District Manager could easily conduct six 1-hour Self Inspection Reviews a day.
- At 6 reviews a day, one Area/District Manager could conduct 30 reviews a week and 120 a month.
- Reduction in wasted travel time:
- Cut wind shield time driving to restaurants – We’ve heard of Area/District Managers spending 25% or more of their time in a week driving to restaurants.
- Cut travel expenses for above store leaders who have patches that require overnight/airline travel.
- More visits: for some large franchise concepts, above store leaders only visit restaurants one time a month to one time a quarter.
- Protect employees health and your brand.
- We are supposed to be socially distancing, requiring an Area/District Manager to be visiting restaurants puts that person in contact with more people than they should be right now.
- The nightmare scenario is an asymptomatic Area/District Manager visiting multiple restaurants and spreading COVID-19 requiring a very public shutdown of those locations.
- Because these reviews are centrally managed you can easily update them and change them to match your current priorities.
- In this rapidly changing times, I would suggest that 80% of the visit be the core inspection, and 20% might change week-to-week based on new priorities.
- Having OpsAnalitica in the restaurants provides you with the ability to collect other data from the restaurant level.
- Our Employee Health Verification and Temperature Form would be the next most important example.
- An ancillary benefit will be that store managers will probably fix issues before they take the photos during their Self Inspections so they will be addressing issues proactively.
- If an issue shows up in a picture that is an immediate coaching moment.
This is scalable above store management. It will allow companies to maintain a corporate presence at the location level, ensuring that corporate standards are being maintained while cutting costs, protecting employee health, and safe guarding the brand.
I also want to make it clear that we believe that Area/District Managers play a vital role in any restaurant company. When it is safe and appropriate to visit restaurants again they will absolutely be going back out.
This type of remote management along with less frequent site visits will allow your future field team to really focus their on-site visits on the restaurants that really need their attention, allowing your Area/District Managers to make a real impact on performance without neglecting their other stores.
Here is a quick webinar describing how this plan could work.
During this crisis we are offering free use and set-up of the OpsAnalitica Platform. We can get you set-up for a test in a matter of 24 to 48 hours. We will also include our COVID-19 Employee Health Verification and Risk Assessment. If you would like to learn more, initiate a chat in the bottom right hand corner of this blog and select sales.