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Re-Brand, Re-Model, or Re-Train?: Improve Hiring And Training To Increase Sales

Over time, every brand evolves to stay relevant to its customers. You may not go through a corporate "rebranding" exercise to the extent that Wendy's, Burger King, or Arby's recently did, adopting a new logo, new store design, and/or new products. If you operate restaurants, think about it: at some point, did you add new items to your menu, redecorate your dining areas, or buy updated employee uniforms? All of these areas, along with your logo and name, combine into your unique brand. Changing just a few of these is a smaller version of rebranding.

Rebranding your franchise is expensive. The costs associated with designing, building, and rolling out a new logo, store design, signage, uniforms, and (just to name a few) can cost large franchises millions of dollars and countless hours. So why do it? A large portion of companies believe rebranding will help attract new customers, help them relate better to their target consumer, and give them a fresh appeal in the marketplace.

A large push is occurring for major store remodels across most older, national restaurants chains, from Wendy's, McDonald's, Arby's, and Burger King to O'Charley's and Applebee's. While the extent of the remodels varies, the majority of the expense falls on the franchisees. Most estimates show these remodels can costs hundreds of thousands of dollars per location.

Will spending several hundred thousand dollars out of your own pocket to add Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and state-of-the-art self-service drink machines garner a large enough ROI to justify the cost and time?

Bottom line? Your main goal with a remodel, or any rebranding exercise, is to increase sales enough to cover the costs and continue that increased revenue on an ongoing basis. Some franchise owners, after years of slow sales, are deciding the cost doesn't justify the gain; rather than pay for the remodels, many are opting to sell instead.

Rebranding results without rebranding?

Imagine if you could change customers' views of your company and dramatically increase sales without the expensive costs of remodeling or rebranding. You can--simply by improving your employee hiring practices. The sales increases you will see from improved customer service (minus the minimal expense) will bring you a staggering ROI.

Finding and hiring high-quality candidates can make or break the success of your company. It all comes down to customer service. Employees who know your products and are attentive to your customers' needs will keep customers happy and coming back. However, many managers struggle to find and hire employees who can deliver outstanding customer service.

Finding new faces

Finding great employees who are engaged and a fit for your company culture--and keeping them in an industry known for its high turnover rate--seems like a daunting task. But a few simple steps can help you quickly identify, screen, and hire employees who will provide better customer service and increase sales.

  1. Automate your hiring process. If you are still drowning in a sea of paperwork and paper-based job applications, it's hard to quickly identify which applicants are best for that open position. To make finding new applicants quick and easy, find an online applicant tracking system (ATS) that offers a user-friendly online job application, filters to sort applicants, and integration with job boards.
  2. Screen applicants thoroughly. Chances are you sometimes interview and then hire the last person who walked in and applied for the job simply because they were there at the right time--regardless of whether you have better-fitting candidates in the growing pile of applications on your desk. To quickly weed out the not-so-greats from those best fit for the position, use assessments. Attitude and cognitive assessments can easily determine engagement, job fit, and counter-productive tendencies. Integrating assessments into your ATS and online application makes finding the best employees a breeze.
  3. Engage, engage, engage. Communicating and actively engaging with your new hires (and all other employees) is an essential step that is often overlooked. Research from The Conference Board has shown highly engaged employees outperform their less engaged colleagues by 20 to 28 percent. Gallup polls have found that engaged employees average 27 percent less absenteeism. Provide ample give performance reviews, and establish a clear career advancement path. These are just a few examples of how to help your employees feel engaged.

If you want to improve your store sales but lack the substantial funding needed to remodel or rebrand, look no further than your current team members. Investing in your employees--to hire, train, and engage them--will dramatically increase your sales. Happy employees provide better customer service, which leads to more sales. This year, invest in your people. The results will astound you.

Nate DaPore is president and CEO of PeopleMatter. He is passionate about providing team members, including his own, with a rewarding workplace experience that values creativity and innovation. Contact him at 877-230-4088 or info@peoplematter.com.

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