Restaurant chains today face increasing competition not just from other direct competitors but from alternatives like high-end take out and food retailers to premium home food delivery services. Even entertainment options battling for consumers’ time and dollars are in the mix today. Binging on Netflix typically means eating on the couch - and not sitting down for a restaurant meal.
That makes delivering a superior customer experience all the more important for restaurant chains today. One international chain (and ServiceChannel customer), Bloomin’ Brands, was recently featured in STORES Magazine (the magazine of the National Retail Foundation).
The article highlighted how the casual dining company relies on a data-focused approach to cut costs and better serve its million of customers across 1,500 locations across the country and in 20 countries with well known restaurant brands like Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar.
According to STORES:
Cost savings and efficiencies were on the table when Bloomin’ Brands got together with ServiceChannel. “We spoke to numerous companies, including retail/restaurant and service provider/contractors,” says Jon Ahrendt, director of facilities at Bloomin’ Brands. “We attended multiple trade shows and observed how prolific ServiceChannel was in the contractor community. Service providers were proudly messaging they were on ServiceChannel. We saw and heard the stories about how easy it was to use and that it helped both sides of the transaction work together.”
The story details the challenges Bloomin’ Brands faced and how and why they rolled out a service automation platform to better support its locations and improve its restaurant facilities management operations.
The chain moved from an outsourcing model where it lacked visibility and transparency across its repair & maintenance work to a technology that provided them a single platform to find/source, mange, pay for and analyze the work performed from third party commercial contractors.
With a more structured and data-centric approach, the Bloomin’ Brands facilities team were in better position to manage its business, identify issues as they arose and improve the quality of service delivered across the chain.
The article highlights a number of the way they’ve used metrics to get a better handle on the business:
ServiceChannel also established formal key performance indicators to measure department effectiveness and vendor performance around four categories:
- quality (user feedback and recalls);
- cost savings (compared with benchmarks);
- speed of service (time to dispatch and resolution); and
- efficient administration (invoicing and compliance).
Bloomin’ Brands’ director of facilities, Jon Ahrendt, led the transformation of the company’s processes and operations with the new system. He and his team worked closely with ServiceChannel and “achieved immediate visibility, strong operations support and comprehensive analytics from day one.”
One of the most important elements for Jon was the relationships between its operations team and all its contractors. ServiceChannel’s “dual focused” approach - caring about both clients and service providers - was critical in this regard, as Bloomin’ Brands “wanted to get from zero to 60 overnight in terms of [its] ‘facilities management evolution.’”
Learn more about how restaurants can benefit from implementing facilities management processes.