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Simple? Helpful?

On May 27th, 2015

I recently met with an owner of several coffee franchise operations, all very different in location, size and market.

Some units performed well (in their opinion) but others struggled (in their opinion).

My first question:

  1. Which is your best performing unit?

Answer: “Hxxxxxxxxxxxxx”

My second question:

  1. Why?

Answer: “Because that unit generates more sales”

My opinion of branded coffee shops is rather mixed. Like most of us I have my favourite coffee and I then have a favourite location based on the service, quality of coffee and perhaps the cleanliness.

I also have 2 major issues at the moment; the variable end result of a cappuccino or flat white and the time it takes to get served regardless of how many other people are in the queue.

This was enough information for me to undertake a scope of work on behalf of this franchisee. The project (from start to finish) was extremely interesting and the results and subsequent actions for the operator have been equally rewarding.

Every unit has the most basic of information that can quite easily be placed into a simple spreadsheet:

  • Number of seats
  • Number of tables
  • Hours open per day
  • Number of staff on duty
  • Size of the unit (obtained from operator)
  • Sales of the unit (obtained from operator)

We then undertook another simple procedure as part of the exercise using a stop-clock and noted:

  • Time customers joined the queue and how long before member of staff engaged them
  • Time customers waited from engagement to payment
  • Time customers waited from payment to obtaining products

Each audit point had a relevant score applied and over the course of one month we presented the results (along with other appropriate advice) back to the operator and unit managers and the best performing unit was not the unit that generated the most sales.

The best performing unit was the unit that engaged with its customers in the queue and moved the queue quicker. As a result of this they general achieved mores sales per seat, per table, per hour open, per number of staff on duty and per square metre. Simple!

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