Growth is the hallmark of any successful business, but it also comes with many challenges. Managing numerous locations is a juggling act with each day serving up its own unique obstacles. However, there’s good news for franchisees and multi-location business owners. The internet of things, commonly known as IoT, has the power to transform operations and make location expansion more manageable. Connected equipment ensures that critical tasks are being completed on time and provides the foresight to run a more agile operation.
A Promising Outlook
According to the IFA’s 2022 Franchising Economic Outlook report, after the 2020 shutdowns caused by the pandemic, output for franchises rebounded by more than 16% in 2021, and franchise growth is expected to expand by 2.2% in 2022. And while The Great Resignation rages on, experts predict it could lead to a small business revolution and eventual location expansions. Even fast casual and chain restaurants are poised to boom, with local and regional chains continuing to pop up in new locales across the country.
With this predicted growth, operations leaders need to be on their toes now more than ever. To successfully scale a business, it’s crucial that operations, performance, and compliance are consistent. By tapping into the power of automation, business owners have a better chance of remaining competitive and delivering a quality experience across multiple locations.
Here are six reasons to use connected equipment for supporting location growth.
1. Ensure your customers receive a consistent experience
Humans are creatures of habit. They crave consistency, especially when it comes to their favorite fast food order or retail shopping experience. However, delivering the same experience across hundreds of locations is challenging. Solutions like Open Kitchen and SiteSage make it possible to provide consistent performance. From making sure food is always cooked to the correct temperature and the lights stay on, to ensuring the HVAC units are running optimally, creating a comfortable environment, connected equipment makes it so operations teams and employees have less to worry about.
2. Gain the ability to prioritize location attention and maintenance
When managing hundreds of locations, prioritization is the key to success. Connected equipment provides greater visibility over assets like refrigeration units, HVAC systems, lighting, and kitchen equipment. As a result, foodservice and retail establishments gain the ability to prioritize equipment maintenance and can respond proactively rather than reactively.
3. Strategize maintenance repair plans and budgets
Connected equipment provides a broader facility overview. That, paired with key insights into critical equipment, makes it easier to plan and strategize for the future. Facility managers and key decision-makers gain a better understanding of the big picture and can manage energy usage and equipment efficiency across each location to maximize cost savings.
4. Automate food and recipe distribution
Distributing recipes is a time-intensive task. Ensuring hundreds of locations and employees are all on the same page can be a quality assurance nightmare. Automated menu and recipe distribution offer vast time and money savings, especially for food service establishments with multiple locations. Solutions like Open Kitchen make it possible to push recipes directly from the cloud, eliminating a lot of stress.
5. Increase compliance with food checklists
Food retailers can improve operations, reduce spoilage, and increase food safety by using temperature tracking, real-time alerts, and digital checklists. For example, solutions like Open Kitchen enhance operational efficiencies and improve food and facility safety.
6. Decrease labor costs
By creating more automation during times of growth, business owners are able to save on labor costs. This is especially important during a time when employee retention is challenging.
Location growth is exciting, but it requires planning and support. Harnessing the power of IoT makes it easier to deliver a quality experience across multiple locations. With connected equipment, both operations leaders and employees can trust that critical tasks are being completed on time and that operations will run more smoothly.
Interested in learning more about how IoT can support your location growth? Start a conversation with a member of our team.