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Brand Audit: How Often Should You Visit Your Stores?


Keith Sayewitz

Commercial Managing Director & Restaurant Vertical Leader

In brief:

  • The traditional, in-person approach to brand compliance is outdated and unrealistic, letting cost and geography dictate how often brands can visit their stores.
  • Without strong controls, it’s easy for restaurant brand standards to slip at individual stores – hurting customer loyalty and revenue.
  • Auxis’ virtual Audit & Brand Protection Services provides a revolutionary alternative that enables brands to easily and cost-effectively touch their stores as often as they need to ensure ideal brand experiences.

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. And 94% of consumers say they have avoided businesses like restaurants after reading a negative customer feedback in an online review, according to a Nation’s Restaurant News report. 

Establishing and maintaining restaurant brand standards is vital to creating dining experiences that increase both customer loyalty and revenue. But without strong controls, it’s easy for standards to slip – especially as restaurants confront industry-wide staffing shortages.

Auxis’ one-of-a-kind virtual Audit & Brand Protection Services makes it possible for brands to visit every location as often as needed to ensure ideal brand experiences, food safety, and product quality wherever customers go. Our comprehensive brand audit framework provides a revolutionary alternative to the expensive, outdated, and unrealistic in-person compliance model, leveraging advanced technology and staff trained to a brand’s standards at Auxis’ nearshore outsourcing platform to ensure highly effective audits.

But now that the sky’s the limit, how do you determine the right number of touches to maximize your brand’s strengths and keep your restaurants operating at the excellence today’s customers demand?

How often should restaurants conduct a brand audit?

Traditionally, the brand audit process is performed by brands’ internal staff or outsourced to third-party providers. But requiring teams to physically set foot in every store makes it difficult to tightly control brand performance – becoming too expensive and logistically impossible to touch each location more than once or twice a year, if at all.

Imagine the owner of a single restaurant. How frequently would that person want to visit their own brand to keep customers raving after every dining experience – ensuring the right tools and systems stay in place, the operations manual is followed correctly, and staff perform their jobs to the highest standards?

By merging digital innovation with the advantages of nearshoring, Auxis’ virtual Audit & Brand Protection model ensures restaurant brands can achieve that same robust control by solving the critical challenge of how to visit stores more often and at scale in a way that has never been done before in the restaurant industry. 

Leveraging Auxis’ model and driving down brand audit costs further enables restaurant companies to re-envision the role of regional staff – shifting their responsibilities to higher-level brand strategy tasks while still achieving significant cost savings.

How virtual teams deliver a highly successful brand audit

Choose any brand audit frequency 

Auxis’ virtual brand compliance solution typically starts with quarterly visits, but brands can choose any frequency they desire to achieve the best results.  

Top-tier talent at lower costs 

Amid restaurants’ margin pressures, increasing brand assessment opportunities comes at a lower cost. Leveraging the top-tier talent, labor arbitrage, and time zone compatibility of Auxis’ long-established nearshore outsourcing platform in Latin America eliminates travel expenses and high U.S. labor costs associated with in-person brand protection models.  

Comprehensive brand audits 

Dedicated coaches trained to a brand’s specific standards conduct a virtual walk-through of store operations that evaluates branding, food handling and preparation, cleanliness, speed of service, and other essential areas. 

Customized to your needs 

Brand audits are customized to meet the needs of specific brands, target customers, restaurant models, and the overall restaurant industry.   

Detailed reporting 

Targeted coaching combines with detailed reporting and follow-ups to close performance gaps. 

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Virtual point audits and analytics: Achieving your full brand promise

Between scheduled visits, brands can benefit from narrowly focused virtual point audits aimed at addressing specific concerns. For example, marketing audits can support roll out of new marketing initiatives or brand values for their target market, maximizing results by ensuring the right stickers are on the door, the right promotional materials are at the register, the right information is on the menu board, and more. 

Point audits also can help resolve common issues across stores, such as compliance with a new cooking method.  

Auxis further helps restaurant companies gain a competitive advantage with real-time analytics aimed at boosting brand quality and sales. For example, analyzing and measuring brand audit results to help identify key areas of improvement by market, or gauge correlations between improved audit scores and sales data.   

Combined with the brand audit report, analytics can also help refocus internal branding and operations teams on higher-value work, such as proactively addressing common issues and trends across stores. 

Frequent store touches help drive franchisee success

In a market saturated with restaurant opportunities for potential franchisees, strong brand protection capabilities create an additional value proposition that most brands cannot match. It does not equate to looking over a franchisee’s shoulder, rather it helps support franchisee success as industry statistics from sources ranging from the National Restaurant Association to FSR magazine estimate that 20% of restaurants achieve long-term sustainability. 

It only takes something as simple as a slip in cleanliness standards to impact customer perception. Nine out of 10 Americans say the cleanliness of a restaurant is an essential factor in determining if they will become repeat customers – no matter how tasty the food, according to a LinkedIn report. 

Frequent store touches from brand protection coaches help multi-store franchisees ensure local managers and staff consistently meet brand standards. Supporting a stable franchisee network is critical for restaurant brands, avoiding the high costs of franchisee churn. 

Why Auxis: Don’t let cost and geography dictate how often you visit your stores

Ideal brand experiences directly correlate to a strong bottom line: Brands that deliver excellent customer experiences generate 190% higher three-year revenue growth than their peers (Boston Consulting Group “Building Customer Experience for the Future” 2023 report).  

After all, happy customers become loyal customers who visit more and give glowing endorsements that drive additional business.  

Cost and geography should not control how often brand protection teams can visit their restaurants. Auxis’ virtual Audit & Brand Protection Services enable brands to reinforce their standards as frequently as needed to ensure consistency and quality across the board. 

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.

Written by

Commercial Managing Director & Restaurant Vertical Leader
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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