A line begins forming at PIZZARUN's front door just before his 11:00 A.M. opening and does not abate till after 3:00 P.M. By 4:30, the crowds start squeezing toward the front of the dinner line. Arun's unique all natural pizza, fair price and lightning fast service are obviously magic. However, his first franchisee is struggling.
"Everything is the same but he's not getting the business. We can't figure it out. "To his confusion and dismay, his first franchisee was not succeeding. He called my hotel and restaurant consulting service.
What's Gone Wrong? The next day we met Rahul, Arun's first franchisee. Except for the fact that Rahul's restaurant wasn't very busy, it was hard to distinguish any material difference between Arun's original PIZZARUN restaurant and Rahul's first attempted franchise. The high-end business and shopping locations were similar. The footprint and interior decor were identical. Rahul, the franchisee, was meticulous in following Arun's recipes and preparation protocols. The service system matched the original PIZZARUN. The two friends had checked every box in the franchising tool kit that Arun's franchise restaurant consultant had provided. Yet, the first PIZZARUN franchise was failing.
1. Core Purpose. With Arun's blessing, I spent the next day working in the open kitchen with PIZZARUN's bakers. I asked the head pizza maker what he thought was the secret to PIZZARUN'S success. With a gleam in his eye he looked out at the customers passing along the front of the service counter and said, "them." Pointing to a young family chattering together as they drew drinks for one another from the coke fountain, he added, "they are the magic of PIZZARUN. We watch them all. If they are happy, we are happy."
Looking into the cook's eyes, I instantly felt the magic. Every employee believed it was his personal job to make the customer happy.
2.Core Values .The next day I worked at the cash register of the franchisee. Every product and possible combination was represented on a single key of the POS device. I remarked to the cashier working alongside me how simple the system was to learn and operate. "It's a good thing, too," she said with an edge in her voice. "I have to watch the idiot cooks to make sure they grab the order ticket quickly or the orders don't come out on time. I'm expected to keep an eye on everything. That's why this register is idiot proof, I guess," she concluded, shrugging her shoulders.
Eureka! She wasn't watching the customer. She was watching the other employees to see if they were going to make her happy.
Arun had hung a sign in his original PIZZARUN that read: It Takes A Team. He constantly preached that each employee is a team member who specializes in one element of the customer's experience. "That's how we deliver satisfaction every time."
Somehow, Rahul, the franchisee had failed to communicate that teamwork and every employee's attention to customer satisfaction was PIZZARUN'S core value.
3. Core Competency. Over coffee the next morning, I asked Rahul what he thought his restaurant was particularly good at.
Without hesitation, Rahul said, "we must be exactly like Arun's original restaurant ."However, Arun's core competence was constant focus on the customer's happiness. Rahul misunderstood and thought his core competence was to copy the tangible details of Arun's restaurant.
4. Brand Promise. While working as a waiter in Arun's restaurant the following night, I finally read the original company logo carefully. It said:
I couldn't believe what I was reading. I hustled back to the kitchen to ask Arun about his logo. "Yes," he said calmly. "That is our motto. We are here to offer satisfaction. If the customer is not satisfied, we have sold him nothing. We cannot take his money."
Rahul, the franchisee, had removed this promise from his new restaurant's logo. "It was too risky in the beginning," he reasoned. "I got Arun to agree that we could put it back after we had our restaurant running smoothly. Perhaps it is time to put it back, no?" he said. "Yes," I answered.
5. X Factor. At the end of the week of research at "PIZZARUN", Arun, Rahul and I sat down to dinner. "I know why Rahul's restaurant is not working," I began. "He failed to franchise the magic. You both focused on every tangible detail you could think of, but missed Arun's core values, core purpose, core competence and even his magical brand promise that is displayed so prominently on his menu board. Arun has taught each employee to focus on every customer's satisfaction. Even Arun's dishwashers worry that a customer might get a plate or a utensil that is not immaculately clean. They are thinking about customers while they're out back washing pots. The cooks make eye contact with every customer. They don't leave contact to the service staff. This all adds up to, what we might call, Arun's X-factor. Rahul, the franchisee, has failed to capture it."