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A New Brand Protection Strategy for Restaurants

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Keith Sayewitz

Managing Director, Restaurant Services

In brief:

  • The restaurant industry’s in-person brand compliance model is unrealistic and outdated, due to the costs and logistics of physically visiting every store.
  • Auxis’ new virtual Audit & Brand Protection Service is revolutionizing how restaurant brands approach operational support, solving the critical challenge of how to visit stores more often and at scale.
  • The result: increased store touches improve control of brand standards, leading to higher revenue, customer loyalty, and franchisee success while virtual delivery lowers costs.

Auxis’ new virtual Audit & Brand Protection model is revolutionizing how restaurants approach the outdated and unrealistic process for brand compliance – helping leading brands boost revenue, customer loyalty, and their bottom lines.

In the ultra-competitive restaurant industry, ideal brand experiences are table stakes. As ongoing inflation pressures people’s wallets – and the cost of eating away from home significantly outpaces grocery store prices (jumping 5.3% vs. 1.7%) – consumers are more discerning about where they spend their dining dollars.

At the same time, 47% of restaurant operators say they expect industry competition to intensify, states the National Restaurant Association’s 2023 State of the Restaurant Industry report.

Brands that excel at customer experience generate 190% higher three-year revenue growth than their peers (Boston Consulting Group “Building Customer Experience for the Future” 2023 report). For brands that don’t, however, the consequences can be hefty: A whopping 73% of consumers say they will abandon a brand they once felt loyal to after a single bad experience – nearly double the amount saying the same in 2021.

But traditionally, most brand protection services follow an in-person model that makes it too expensive and logistically impossible for audit teams to physically set foot at every store location more than once or twice per year. And that’s if cost and travel difficulties allow them to visit at all.

Fortunately, like any outdated process, modernization offers a better solution. By merging the power of digital innovation with the advantages of nearshoring, Auxis’ virtual Audit & Brand Protection Services help ensure ideal brand experiences, food safety, and product quality wherever customers go – in a way that has never been done before in the restaurant industry.

Worker in an office, in front of a monitor and wearing headphones, focused on her daily activity.

How does a digital model deliver brand excellence?

Auxis’ one-of-a-kind digital Audit & Brand Protection solution ensures every store operates at the excellence that brands expect by solving the critical challenge of how to visit locations more often and at scale. Here’s how it works:

Advanced brand protection technology lets you visit your stores as often as you need

Dedicated brand protection coaches work with your training and operations teams to adapt your current program to a virtual model. Auxis’ turnkey solution delivers a wealth of advanced brand protection software to ensure seamless adoption, including scheduling, audit, and video conferencing technology.

Brand protection teams are trained to your brand standards

Coaches trained to your brand standards conduct virtual walk-throughs of store operations – evaluating branding, food handling and preparation, cleanliness, speed of service, and other essential areas. Picture and video evidence of key remediation areas is recorded.

Full evaluation reports close performance gaps

Targeted coaching combines with detailed reporting and follow-ups to close performance gaps. After each audit, coaches send full evaluation reports that include areas for remediation, picture-based evidence, and an overall audit score.

Real-time analytics boost brand quality and sales

Auxis supports restaurants with real-time analytics aimed at boosting brand quality and sales. For example, analyzing and measuring audit results to help identify trends and key areas of improvement by market, or gauge correlations between improved audit scores and sales. The full evaluation report and analytics also work together to help internal operations teams address common issues and trends across stores.

Brand protection solutions are tailored to your needs

Audits are customized to meet the needs of specific brands, restaurant models, and the overall restaurant industry.

Point audits address specific concerns

Auxis coaches can also perform narrowly focused virtual point audits between scheduled visits to address specific concerns: supporting roll out of a new marketing program, for instance, or resolving compliance issues with new brand standards like a new cooking method.

A Quick Look: Virtual vs. In-Person Brand Protection Services

Benefits of a digital brand protection strategy: Higher performance, lower costs

Traditional brand protection efforts are performed by brands’ internal staff or outsourced to third-party providers in the U.S. As margin pressures and rising prices make cost control a top-of-mind concern for restaurant companies, Auxis’ digital approach offers a better cost model.

While onshore labor costs continue to spiral, Auxis leverages the top-tier talent, outstanding multilingual proficiency, labor arbitrage, and time zone compatibility of its long-established nearshore outsourcing platform in Latin America to alleviate pricing pressures while significantly boosting performance.

The result: increased store touches drive better control of brand standards, which leads to higher revenue and customer loyalty. Improving brand experiences also decreases operator churn due to unsuccessful franchised stores.

Brand owners can further realize a significant business case by elevating internal operations teams to higher-value activities, such as working with franchisees to identify and proactively resolve bigger issues that can impact their success.

A major operator of quick-service brands reported a revenue lift of 8.5-12.5% at stores that participate in Auxis’ Audit & Brand Protection Services, overall customer satisfaction scores increasing to 98%, and store touches jumping from 126 to 7,000 per year.

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Why Auxis: Solving brand protection challenges by revolutionizing restaurant support

Fast-changing consumer behavior, low margins, and intense competition demand a new level of quality, value, and convenience across the restaurant industry. And consumers paying higher, inflation-driven menu prices demand excellence in exchange for their loyalty.

But maintaining ideal brand experiences through traditional in-person audits is an unrealistic and outdated operating model. Partnering with Auxis helps restaurant brands pivot toward a modern solution – paving the way for the kind of elevated customer experiences and glowing reviews that lead to higher profitability.

Want to learn more about Auxis Virtual Audit & Brand Protection Services? Schedule a consultation with our Restaurant Services experts today! Or, check out our restaurant industry success stories. To learn more about other restaurant industry services Auxis provides – including POS and IT store support, franchisee care, and customer care – click here.

Written by

Keith Sayewitz
Managing Director, Restaurant Services
Keith leads the Restaurant Vertical for Auxis, spanning across Auxis’ service offerings in BPO, ITO and Digital Transformation. In addition to our traditional offerings, the Restaurant Services line offers unique, industry-specific solutions for Brand Protection Services, Integrated Franchisee and Customer Care, and IT and POS support. Keith has worked extensively across restaurant brands such as Subway, Dunkin’, Jamba, Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon, Moe’s Southwest Grill, McAlister’s Deli, and more. Prior to Auxis, Keith held leadership roles with DHL, KPMG, PRC, and Blockbuster Video, where he specialized in large-scale transformation programs, helping companies modernize their operations through a combination of operating model redesign and technology enablement.

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