Green Box and the Future of Pizza & Recycling

By Brian Harris

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It’s no surprise that the American economy is headed towards a green-friendly industrial model. This growing green economy has sparked creative ways to sustainably package and distribute food and other products. The Green Box is an example of innovation in this space. It’s the self-declared “Swiss Army knife of pizza boxes” because it turns the box itself into four separate plates and also acts as a leftover container. Importantly, it cuts down on waste and saves precious resources like water.

Pizza and Going Green

Pizza is a mainstay of American society. Local pizza parlors are friendly places to pop into and get relatively cheap and hot meals. What makes pizza special is its role as the go-to meal for events that feature a large group of people. This includes birthday parties, office parties, graduations, and any corporate-sponsored events looking for a way to feed a lot of people on a budget.

Almost as iconic as the pizza is the pizza box. Think of the last party you attended where pizza was served. Wide-brimmed to fit the largest pies, boxes were stacked with accompanying plates. With the Green Box, however, the boxes fold out and turn into four cardboard plates made to fit a slice or two of pizza. No need to bring out paper plates (cutting recycle in half) or glass dishes (saving water needed to wash dishes).

The Benefits of Going Green

Going green for any company is a trending topic, and a good public relations decision that helps not only the image of a company, but also the customer relationship. Employers who show an interest and care in the environment engage in an international dialogue most recently on display at COP21, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change.

The message about climate change is clear: It’s real, and it’s a problem that boils down to everyday interactions between companies and customers. If you live in California like we do, you don’t need to be reminded how the drought this past summer limited employer resources and inconvenienced the everyday customer.

So what’s the impact of a pizza box anyway? Well if it’s true that 3 billion pizzas are sold in the U.S. each year (that’s nearly 19 pies per person per year), a simple packaging change could have a significant impact.

See Also

Topics: Restaurants

5 Ways to Get More from Your Merchandising Audits

By Scott Hill

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So, you’ve revamped the way your field reps conduct merchandising audits. Now you’re using mobile software to track compliance from product facings and out-of-stocks, to planogram and promotional verification. You’re accounting for all of the merchandising variables… or so you think.

But what about those other store variables that may affect your bottom line? Are your field reps accounting for those as well?

Here are 5 things your reps should document while conducting a merchandising audit.

  1. Neighboring Products
    Two things don’t exist in a vacuum: Art and CPGs. What products are next to yours? This is another variable to account for when determining the best shelf location for your product. Don’t forget to snap a photo!
  2. Marketing Materials
    These materials go beyond the in-store promotions your team created. It can include promotional displays, stickers, posters, signage and radio spots. If you’re paying for this extra exposure, make sure your retail partner is in compliance. A feature like GPS is especially helpful for gathering individual store feedback.
  3. The Premises
    Maybe you’re a company with a food product or beverage, and you’re relying on the retailer to keep it clean and orderly. You have every right to monitor their compliance. Is the floor or restrooms dirty? Are the refrigeration and lights working? Property inspection should be part of your merchandising audit. Problems that extend past your company can be communicated in a professional way, so long as they are reported with photographic evidence.
  4. Knowledge of Average Store Employee
    Just out of curiosity, does the average employee know your product? Can they direct a customer to the correct promotion? Again, this could be more of a retailer issue than a merchandiser issue, but it could be affecting everyone’s bottom line. Be sure to ask your retail partner if you can question their employees in the field. There’s no need to make it the inquisition either—a couple of simple “yes” or “no” questions in your custom-built form will suffice.
  5. Follow Up
    You’ve complete the merchandising audit, so now what? It’s time to assign tasks from your findings. Hopefully your software as real-time exception notifications as well as the ability to assign tasks based on those notifications. Compliance becomes much easier when tasks are assigned to specific stores and senior management can track their progress by region, district, or team.

To watch a video overview of Zenput and learn how the mobile app integrates with CPG operations, click here.

Topics: Retail, CPG

Fast-Food Giants Battle for Consumers’ Breakfast Bucks

By Vladik Rikhter

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Breakfast is no longer just the most important meal of the day—it’s the most talked about meal of the day! The expansion of fast-food breakfast menu items was identified as the “top food story” of the year.

This year’s top headlines included McDonald’s all-day breakfast menu and menu innovations at Taco Bell. Just the other day, I logged onto Facebook and read my friend’s status/rant: “When the hell will Burger King get on the all day breakfast bandwagon? I don’t know if it’s a good thing or bad thing that they don’t... but waking up on a Saturday afternoon and going to get a Croissantwich always feels like a good idea.”

What is it about the prompt service of eggs, bacon and biscuits that captures our attention? “The fast-food industry is tapping the ‘want it now’ mentality of today’s consumer by offering greater availability of favorite offerings,” said Grace Leong, CEO and partner of Hunter Public Relations, a public relations agency that commissions a study of the nation’s top food news stories of the year. “Consumers who crave breakfast food in the afternoon no longer feel they should have to wait until tomorrow morning to satisfy it.”

And just how competitive is the fast-food breakfast landscape? AdWeek breaks it down by company. During the first 9 months of 2015, Taco Bell spent $79 million on national and local TV spots focused on breakfast. During the same period, McDonald’s spent $53 million; however, that was before the all-day breakfast announcement. Not to be completely outdone, regional chains also spent a lot on breakfast announcements. These brands included Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s ($18 million), Jack in the Box ($8 million), Chick-fil-A ($6 million), and Bojangles ($3 million). The effectiveness of the campaign is also relevant to market.  For instance, a couple of million for TV spots goes a long way in only four or five target markets.

That got me thinking about other smaller networks of restaurants—those who don’t have a million dollar budget for television and print advertising. How can convenience stores, in particular, make a stand against the QSR giants?

Better Promotions Can Help You Win

Recently, we discussed the “healthy” fast food debate. Fast-food breakfast campaigns all have something in common—no one is really touting the healthy, fresh ingredients.

Let’s face it.  Microwaved eggs and bacon won’t top the list of 2016 diet foods, but in all fairness, neither will real eggs and bacon.  However, real eggs and bacon have the appeal of being made to order with fresh ingredients. “Fresh” doesn’t necessarily have to mean healthy; it just means it should taste better.

Do you have what it takes to contend in the breakfast battle? Maybe your advantage is fresher ingredients with competitive prices. Promote your breakfast offerings inside and outside your store with well-placed signage and menus. Test new items like breakfast burritos and sandwiches, and exercise due diligence during rollouts by checking for compliance across your network.

Customers responded well to McDonald’s all-day breakfast because it’s time-tested and predictable. They know the Egg McMuffin will taste the same no matter what store they visit.

The real question is: Can you build a menu that makes you a breakfast destination? Pardon the egg joke, but you better get crackin’ on finding out what your stores need!

Topics: Restaurants

Performing Regular Delivery Driver Audits Protects Employees and Customers

By Jennifer Hoffman

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What is your corporate policy on delivery drivers? If you’re about to say, “We leave it up to the franchisees,” you may have a $32 million problem on your hands.

That’s how much a jury awarded a family whose relatives were killed in an accident caused by a Domino’s delivery driver in 2012. The delivery driver was cited for speeding, and he drove on worn tires; one was bald. He hydroplaned into oncoming traffic, killing a 65-year-old woman and leaving her 70-year-old husband with a permanent traumatic brain injury. The settlement was later overturned by justices in an appeal court, after the victim’s brother had been awarded $6 million in a pre-trial settlement.

“Based on the record before us, we conclude that the evidence is legally insufficient to support the jury’s finding that Domino’s controlled or had the right to control the details of the injury-producing acts or omissions of [the franchisee] and its employees,” the court’s opinion stated.

The attorney who represented Domino’s during the appeal pointed out that the company’s handbook does not have specific rules on inspecting driver’s vehicles. So, by the letter of the law, Domino’s was not liable. However, that reasoning only goes so far on a human level. The public expects more, as evidenced by the initial verdict.

Why weren’t there corporate rules on driver safety? Why weren’t they enforced?

Auditing Drivers Can Save Lives

Vehicles associated with your brand are moving billboards. While food delivery companies can’t take ownership of vehicles used by franchisees—nor can they tell franchisees whom to hire—they can create an enforceable policy on vehicle safety. Just like a franchisee has a responsibility to report sales and set up promotional materials, they would also report the status of vehicles.

The franchisee would use a simple question/answer checklist covering four key areas.

1. Exterior

  1. Does the vehicle have a good general appearance?
  2. Are the bumpers present and acceptable?
  3. Are the windshield wipers operable?
  4. Are external mirrors in place and adjusted?
  5. Is the license tag present and valid?

2. Tires

  1. Do the brakes work?
  2. Are tires in good condition?
  3. Do the tires have tread?
  4. Are rims present?

3. Lights

  1. Do the headlights work?
  2. Do turn signals work?
  3. Do back-up lights work?
  4. Do emergency flashers/hazards work?
  5. Does interior lighting work?

4. Interior

  1. Are seatbelts present and operable?
  2. Is the rearview mirror present?
  3. Are the windows clear of objects?
  4. Does the horn work?

The audit would account for both esthetics and safety/regulatory aspects. It would require driver participation and take just a few minutes to complete. The franchise owner should also be guided on what to do if an answer comes back “no” during the audit. For instance, if the driver’s seatbelt is missing, the brakes aren’t working, or headlights are out, this car shouldn’t be on the road.

If the car is dirty on the outside or the car has a cracked rim, the franchisee may make the determination that the car may be driven that night. However, the driver—who typically has the responsibility to repair their own vehicle—would be given a timeframe before the next audit to repair the car. If a franchisee is not compliant in submitting audit results, it would then be the corporation’s responsibility to take action.

The Takeaway

Establishing the framework to audit franchisee vehicles will require the help of an attorney. Franchisees’ rights would have to be clearly stated. However, an attorney’s fees are worth it if it will spare the organization millions of dollars in legal settlements and negativity publicity.

Having a mobile auditing tool will help centralize the process for both franchisees and the parent company. When safety is a shared responsibility, why not share the same view on operational tasks?

Sample Delivery Vehicle Inspection Form

Topics: Restaurants

Pizza Hut’s $5 Flavor Menu Raises Stakes in QSR Competition

By Brian Harris

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For Pizza Hut, a new year has meant a new opportunity to redefine value for customers. This opportunity is evident in the new $5 Flavor Menu.

“Our intent was to create the most flavor-filled and broadly appealing value menu ever in the food category, and we think we’ve done that with the $5 Flavor Menu,” said Jeff Fox, Pizza Hut chief brand and concept officer.

Fox acknowledged that value meals “don’t really happen” in the pizza category. While many brands offer carry-out or online ordering specials, Pizza Hut has curated a menu of customer favorites. Customer can order any two of seven items for $5 each. So there’s the catch in a way—the customer will spend a minimum of $10. They can order a medium one-topping pizza with the gamut of ingredients, crusts, and sauces. They can then add a variety of appetizers and snacks, including Hershey’s Cookie, Hershey’s Brownie, WingStreet wings, Tuscani Pasta, and breadsticks.

What’s the Strategy?

Whenever a brand drops prices or introduces a new value menu, it’s in the context of a larger strategy. Imagine all the QSR players are sitting around a card table. McDonald’s raised everyone by rolling out its McPick 2 Menu. It replaces the underperforming Dollar Menu and allows customers to pay $2 for two of the following: a McChicken, a McDouble, small fries, or mozzarella sticks. The same day McPick 2 debuted, Pizza Hut launched its $5 flavor menu; they’re competing for the same customer.

You may recall Wendy’s launching a 4 for $4 Meal in October. Customers may choose from a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, chicken nuggets, fries, and a drink. In a move that seems like a direct response to Wendy’s, Burger King has just launched a 5 for $4 Deal, including a bacon cheeseburger, crispy chicken nuggets, small fries, small drink, and a chocolate chip cookie.

Meanwhile, Pizza Hut must compete in a separate but related battle among pizza companies.

Thrillist points out that the $5 Flavor Menu directly competes with Domino’s successful $5.99 menu and Little Caesar’s $5 Hot-N-Ready menu. This option will of course put pressure on Papa John’s.

So, that’s what the current landscape looks like, and now Pizza Hut’s deal makes a great deal of sense.

May the Best Quality and Customer Service Win!

The customer is the real winner in this game. As Business Insider explains, the reason for the rise of the bargain menu is twofold (and highly customer-centric):

  1. Customers want to save money in the New Year and one way is by saving money with bargain meals at quick-service chains.
  2. Fast-food companies aim to compete for the position of best value chain while turning a profit.

But getting more customers in the door with cheaper food is not a golden ticket to victory. Customers expect quality customer service and a clean, friendly environment when they visit you store. They expect consistency in how the pizza looks and tastes.

Fast-food competitors may beat Pizza Hut on price, but Pizza Hut can have an advantage by regularly promoting fresh ingredients on its menu. And if Pizza Hut wants to compete in its own category, it can offer superior delivery service.

If Pizza Hut is willing to roll up its sleeves to make a value pie, is it willing to audit its network to better understand operations?

See Also:

How to Perform a Pizza Franchise Inspection

Topics: Franchise, Restaurants

The ‘Healthy’ Fast Food Debate

By Jennifer Hoffman

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If I went to a healthy fast food chain, could I order some jumbo shrimp? Not to be flippant, but it seems like an oxymoron. For too long, “healthy” and “fast” have been opposite terms in the food industry.

Chipotle gained a reputation for healthier ingredients, but then saw the tide of public opinion turn because of the 1,000-calorie counts on burritos. As this article points out, proponents of so-called ‘healthy’ fast food have high expectations. They expect to conquer obesity, solve global warming, and end factory farming, all while providing a nutritious and tasty meal.

However, they still can’t beat fast food’s speed and convenience, nor can they beat the cost. Fresh foods are labor intensive and cost more than their fast-food counterparts to ship, store, and prepare. Not to hammer Chipotle, but they know the struggles with fresh foods well after a brand-damaging E.coli outbreak in several states. Whole Foods may have gotten the nickname “whole paycheck,” but consider this fact: Sweetgarden’s salads are five to 13 times more expensive than a McDouble from the dollar menu.

Is Healthy Food Actually Healthy?

Here’s a fact that that will validate your childhood phobias:  Lyfe Kitchen’s Brussels sprouts are 53% fat. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a study that found that eating more vegetables resulted in consuming more calories and sodium overall. When we eat tomatoes outside of our home, we typically consume an extra 364 calories; at home, they’re only 59 additional calories.

“Expecting the fast-food sector to help solve the obesity crisis is like asking bars to promote sobriety,” writes Arun Gupta for the Washington Post. Though he doesn’t expressly say it, it can be assumed that he also means the fast-casual sector. The only way consumers can truly eat healthy is by reading nutritional information carefully and skipping anything saucy, salty, or fatty.

How Brands Can Stand Out

Think your offerings are better and healthier than any fast-casual or fast-food chain? It’s time to promote it—literally shout it from the rooftops over the crowded field of opponents.

Make sure nutritional information, from packaging to menu boards, is accurate and clearly displayed. Audit your locations for compliance because brand statements are always strongest in unison.

Remember: The squeaky wheel gets the non-fat substitute for oil!

Topics: Restaurants

The Case for Routine Hardware Security Audits and Inspections

By Vladik Rikhter

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Part of modern day security is a company’s ability to combat scams that aim to take advantage of customers. It’s in the best interest of any company because a brand’s success is often built on basic trust. When customers shop at a store or eat at a restaurant, they expect a secure transaction.

For some companies, changing technology has made it more difficult to keep up with scammers. The problems for a company’s image are two-fold:

  1. Scams display weaknesses in security systems.
  2. Reports of customers being scammed spread rapidly around the Internet.

It’s now more important than ever to make sure that your business is up to date with technology auditing, and keep customers informed of breaches in security.

How Skimming Works

Most of the scams that occur inside retail locations require inside knowledge of the company’s mechanics. The thieves open the card processing terminals at a checkout lane and install a skimming device that sits underneath the keypad. The apparatus then steals account data when customers swipe their cards at the register.

Sometimes, thieves place a hidden camera in order to record personal identification numbers. The camera may be hidden in the ATM, or even just to the side inside a plastic case holding other items. Other skimmers install a fake PIN pad over the actual keyboard to capture the PIN directly, so a camera is not needed.

Regardless, employees and managers should be trained on how to detect ATM tampering. It comes down to knowing what to look for when inspecting machines. PC Magazine offers more specifics here.

If a breach is confirmed, companies must be fully transparent in notifying customers. Here’s a case-in-point:

Safeway Loses Safety Points

In some parts of Colorado and California, the grocery chain Safeway recently had issues with scammers who “skim” for PIN and credit card numbers.

The company released a statement concerning the fraud:

"Like all responsible business owners, our store teams routinely inspect all point-of-sale devices and discovered the three skimmers during these inspections. When our store teams find evidence of criminal activity like this, we have been able to pinpoint with surveillance video when the devices were installed and how many transactions were processed.”

To Safeway’s credit, the breach was detected during a routine audit. However, the company chose not to notify customers immediately, deferring the problem to banks. A spokesperson said Safeway’s internal security team did not want to alarm customers and possibly compromise the investigation. However, that decision backfired with some customers.

“Oh boy does this tick me off!” wrote Larry Taylor of Lakewood, Co. “I've been shopping at the Safeway at Garrison and Colfax for about 15 years. I'm stunned that they found skimmers and didn't bother to let any of us know. Looks like it’s Soopers from now on!”

Many customers saw a company trying to protect themselves—not their security.

The Takeaway

  • Companies should make sure their ATM security is up to date and audited on a regular basis to detect fraud.
  • Tampering is detectable and employees should be trained to detect when an ATM has been tampered with.
  • Regular, routine auditing means less risk for your brand in the long run.
  • Be sure to have a plan for how your company would react in a security breach, keeping in mind that full transparency with your customers is a priority.   

Topics: Retail, Grocery

Drone vs. Ground Delivery: Where Does Convenience Retail Stand?

By Scott Hill

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You may remember the classic line from “A Christmas Story”: You’ll shoot your eye out, kid! A 2015 version might be, “You’ll take a power line down, kid!”

Drones are increasingly in demand, in fact topping eBay’s list of The Hottest Holiday Gifts of 2015. They’ve captured the imagination of kids and adults alike. Now, these remote-controlled flying devices are also on the radar of today’s largest companies.

Amazon delivery drones will soon be taking a test flight in the city of Chiba, Japan, where the government declared the city’s airspace a deregulated zone. Meanwhile, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, wants to begin delivering packages via drones to consumers by 2017, while Walmart has applied to U.S. regulators for permission to test drones for home delivery.

These companies will have to overcome many hurdles, given the Federal Aviation Administration’s strict regulations on American airspace’s. Drone delivery may be a reality in Europe first where companies will find a more relaxed regulatory environment. But according to one aerial vehicle interviewed by Time, U.S. customers shouldn’t hold their breath. He foresees drone delivery being as common as Fedex or UPS by the late 21st century. In other words, he doesn’t think we’ll be alive to see it!

It also raises the question, by the time drone delivery becomes legal and regulated, will customers still care? Will some new innovation have taken its place?

The Immediate Future is Better Logistics

The other day, a friend of mine posted on his Facebook, “Should I tip the Prime Now driver for delivering a $1.89 Powerade?” I read, laughed, and knew that the future had arrived. (If you research this topic, you’ll see this is up for debate. )

In the immediate future, ground logistics take precedence. Instead of looking to the sky right now, c-store retailers would be better positioned to keep their eyes on the road. They should start to study companies like UPS, who are investing big money in technologies like Orion that mathematically determine the most fuel efficient ways to deliver goods.

7-Eleven has taken an early lead on home delivery, partnering with startups DoorDash in five cities and Tapingo in college markets.

Here are two important questions convenience retailers need to consider when thinking about delivery:

  1. If you were to offer a delivery service, would you be able to move goods from the floor quickly and complete the order accurately?
  2. Even delivery services from Amazon Prime Now take an hour or two. Is it going to be possible to reduce that window to the amount of time it takes an employee from the corner store to deliver?

That’s where convenience stores are uniquely positioned and can profit in the short and long term. Geographically, they have more locations and can beat larger retailers, Internet or big box, in a foot race.

If your convenience store network can handle it, you may want to start weighing your options for local delivery. Buy the drone for the office this year, but consider buying into technology that can help you understand your operations better.

Topics: Retail, C-store

McDonald’s All-Day Breakfast: A Glimmer of Hope in Uphill Battle

By Jennifer Hoffman

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In October, McDonald’s introduced its All-Day Breakfast menu. It was a bold comeback move for one of America’s iconic fast-food chains. It was a way for McDonald’s, the QSR breakfast leader, to differentiate themselves from competitors at a time when sales were slipping and more stores were closing than opening.

While it’s still too early for McDonald’s to officially tell us (Q4 2015 results have not been released) a recent consumer study has shown promising results. Conducted by market research firm NPD Group Inc., the survey revealed that one-third of customers who bought McDonald’s breakfast beyond regular hours had not visited the restaurant in the month before the launch of this initiative. In addition, 61% of customers who purchased breakfast items during lunch hours also purchased non-breakfast items.

So there you have it: There’s evidence that McDonald’s strategy of offering breakfast all day is attracting absent customers and driving sales of non-breakfast items. For now, the strategy appears to be working.

Better Customer Service Still Needed

If you’re like me, you occasionally stop in McDonald’s, and when you have, you’ve experienced a poor customer service experience. This has been a problem plaguing the chain. I’m more of a “foot traffic” shopper—whether it’s the bank or a drive-thru food establishment, I prefer to park my car and walk into the store. Apparently, I’m in the minority with stepping foot inside a McDonald’s. About 70% of sales are from the drive-thru.

But my perspective as a customer inside the store has been revealing. I can sum it up in one word: confusion. There’s just poor communication between staff members on who is doing what. And while it’s great to see managers actively helping their employees, they also look stressed out and pulled in too many directions. Most recently, a frazzled manager—not a regular employee—filled my order and it was incorrect. That was after someone who placed an order after me received hers first.

Wait time and order accuracy continue to be sticking points for McDonald’s customer service. It’s been a cumulative problem that the chain is finally now addressing it at a store level. There’s a new policy called “ask, ask, tell” which provides three opportunities for employees to check the customer’s order. It’s a step in the right direction, but now it needs to be implemented.

Supporting Employees is Key

How did McDonald’s know that all-day breakfast was a good bet? It looked at the number of people tweeting about it. It was a problem that was measured.

Imagine if you measured the feedback of the people who know your business the best—your employees. The frazzled manager could report in real-time what is happening in her store and where she needs help. With measurable results, you could start to see patterns across your stores. You could even observe and document whether or not a new policy like “ask, ask, tell” is being implemented. You could begin to address employee training and understaffing problems.

When you operate a network of stores, whether it’s 10 or 10,000+ like McDonald’s, you can only attempt to fix what you understand. You can only understand what has been measured and communicated. It’s time to open the door to better communication between store-level operations and senior management.

Topics: Restaurants

3 Things to Remember When Managing Seasonal Staff

By Brian Harris

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It’s a time of year when the retail world kicks into high gear. More registers are open, lines are longer, and more customers need assistance. As a result, more labor is hired around the holidays.

This year, the number of hires by companies has risen. According to a recent survey, 67% of retailers said they are hiring more workers than last year. In addition, 83% of the seasonal hires will be located in brick-and-mortar stores to accommodate the uptick in customer demand.

That’s good news for the industry. The other good news is that employers are hiring at a higher wage. Wal-Mart started the trend earlier this year by raising their hiring wage to $9.  Target and TJX Companies Inc., owner of both T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s, followed suit.

So, if you’re a retailer paying more for a larger staff, how do you make sure you get the most bang for your buck?

Here are 3 tips to remember when managing seasonal staff:

1. Train your staff to adhere to branding and customer service standards

  • Just because some of your staff may only be with you for a few weeks, doesn’t mean you should toss out your employee training. Just make it relevant to your short-term goals in the holiday season.
  • Get to the point: What is the core message of your brand? What do you expect of your staff when they are walking the retail floor or helping a customer?
  • Customer service is key. It’s reflective of the company in the larger sense. If customers don’t get the respect that they feel they deserve, they won’t come back.  

2. Prioritize transparency/communication to ensure everyone is on the same page and employees aren't overlapping or idle.

  • Evenly distribute your staff through your store and assign specific tasks to each employee. You may also want to post your store’s employee schedule in common areas like the break room.
  • Managers should regularly check for compliance. Check that each employee is completing their assigned task, whether it’s manning cash registers, stocking shelves, checking inventory, or preparing food.
  • Report individual problems and address them as they arise. Don’t say, “Ah, well this employee won’t even be here in a month. Why bother?” That managerial attitude can big cumulative losses across multiple stores. If you’re holding up your end of the deal as an employer, make sure employees are giving you their best effort.

3. Smart planning to ensure you have extra staff on hand to clean bathrooms or keep up with rearranging high-traffic displays for the influx of shoppers.

  • Part of running the front of a store is the back of the store. Your employees know when you are disorganized; it’s a quality that can disenfranchise some. Organization should come from the top down. It starts with keeping track of your staff’s schedule and activity and trickles down to the “little things” like keeping a tidy breakroom.
  • Don’t neglect your restrooms, both for employees and for the public. Especially if you’re in the foodservice business, nothing damages a brand faster than a disgusting restroom.
  • Follow your store’s planogram. Hopefully, it has been organized in a way that accommodates for higher customer traffic. If a fire exit is blocked, or a store is above capacity, the store may get fined or, worse yet, it could get shut down as a result of an impromptu audit.

The Takeaway

The holiday season should be a time of growth and prosperity, and for retailers, it’s often the most profitable time of the year. When hiring employees it’s important to recognize the challenges that come with an influx of both customers and employees.

Even if you’re a large big-box retailer, there are ways to operate your store like a small business with heightened accountability. It’s a matter of having the right tools.

Explore Zenput and learn how our service can raise the bar on retail operations.

Learn more about our customers and our mobile app. Give us a call and ask a question, or schedule a live demo today.

Topics: Retail