3 Objectives to Improve Promotional and LTO Compliance

By Samantha Negraval

March roars in like a lion, as do promotions and limited-time offers. You and your team have planned for weeks, leading up to what seems like a blitz of a rollout. However, it’s important not to lose sight of store-level compliance during this busy time, as it can have a significant impact on your bottom line.  

If you’ve ever struggled to maintain store compliance during new product or promotional rollouts, you’re in good company. According to the results of a recent survey conducted by Zenput, only 1 in 3 respondents relayed that they have “very clear visibility” into individual restaurant compliance. Similarly, only 1 in 3 restaurant operators described new product rollouts and LTOs as “very effective.”

Other key findings of the survey indicate compliance struggle:   

  • Only 18% of respondents are able to “very quickly” identify store-level issues that may require fixing or some form of intervention.
  • Just 1 in 4 reported that audits were performed “very effectively” in terms of timeliness and issue resolution.
  • A majority, 2 out of 3, said it takes anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks to address issues once they’re identified in their stores.

A promotion or LTO is designed to drive foot traffic while increasing brand awareness. Your marketing spend is up, and you simply can’t afford to lose a whole week or more to address compliance issues. There has to be a better way, and there is by focusing on three objectives prior to your next major promotion:

Dig Deep in Your Micro Market

More brands are testing “micro-LTOs,” or regional versions of national promotions. On a smaller scale, they can study the success and stumbling blocks of any promotion. Delivery and set-up are tweaked, menu changes are made, and key takeaways from staff training are documented now in order to apply them on a larger scale.

The micro-LTO also presents an opportunity to make sure you have the right organization structure to support promotions. A successful rollout will start from the top down, and that may involve some corporate-level training prior to store-level training. Make sure you have a dedicated team in place to oversee the promotions. Of course, it’s easier to communicate and collaborate if your team is streamlining training on digital platforms.

Digitize Your Processes

It’s time to bring promotional compliance to the cloud. By doing so, you will integrate assigned tasks and follow-ups, which will improve efficiencies and problem resolution.

Following the testing period, management can identify and communicate the promotion’s key tasks for success. Typically, directives would come in the form of checklist audits that regional managers can verify as they walk through the store. Cloud storage even provides an opportunity to upload a photo or video to verify compliance or call attention to a problem.

Go Mobile

Join the majority of your peers, 92%, who said they’re either using mobile tech today to enable their store operations or have plans to do so in the near future. Most cloud-based software is mobile-friendly, allowing the user to be alerted to important issues that come to light through the audit. Perhaps you set up an audit of supplies during the first week to ensure that busy stores that were stocked earlier in the week make it through a busy weekend. All stores must be in compliance by verifying the number of SKUs. Imagine receiving notifications that store #27 didn’t verify their promotional signage or store #18 didn’t receive a key shipment. Mobile technology enables you to quickly take action and resolve these problems.

Ready to close the gaps in your promotional execution? Zenput’s operations execution platform makes it easy to roll out and enforce compliance with the processes that are critical to improving customer experiences and performance across your stores. Learn more about task management.

 

Samantha Negraval

An unabashed Millennial consumer, Sam has researched and reported on the convenience retail and foodservice industries since 2012. She is a former editor of Convenience Store News magazine and has contributed to the Today in Food newsletter and annual Food Industry Review, both published by The Food Institute. She’s also the senior content strategist for Eatisserie, a startup that connects specialty food vendors to passionate foodies.

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