Hello RFMA Members,
We understand that as restaurant facility professionals you all have some similar challenges within your restaurants. We also understand that our Franchisee members have some additional challenges that they have to face. At our RFMA 2019 Annual Conference in Austin we had specific restaurant roundtables just for our Franchisee members to cover and discuss their specific needs and challenges.
Below is a recap of some of their discussions:
- PM contracts - Some noted they were only having their HVAC equipment PM'd twice per year while most others noted the "normal" frequency of four times per year. The lower frequency will save money in the short term but the risk of higher R&M costs. Some noted the PM frequency decision was made by other internal departments. Most commented that periodic filter changes was separate from the PM contracts.
- Ice machine preventive maintenance - This was consistently being completed every three months by the group of Franchisees. Restaurants having in-house service technicians were saving money by having them change out the water filters as opposed to having an outside service provider. Others noted store managers completed this task and the filters were being forced ship to each location which then alerted the managers the need to replace.
- National vs. Regional Vendors - Franchisees with restaurants in a smaller geographical area tended to use regional vendors more then national vendors. Others liked using national vendors to minimize the number of contacts to keep up with and standardize the scope of work for each service. Seemed easier for them to supervise fewer contractors.
- Challenges facing Franchisees
-Getting corporate specifications on anything. Hard to keep up with corporate initiatives for equipment, building, and operational changes..
-Lack of consistent communication between corporate and franchisees.
-Franchisees are sometimes held to a different standard versus the corporate locations. Standards need to be set and communicated to all parties and each needs to be held to the same metrics.
-Some noted the attitudes of corporate were teetering on being arrogant and felt as if they were looking or talking down to their franchise partners.
-Lack of franchisee involvement and input in the decision making process for new initiatives. Need to have more input from the franchisee community for any accounting, operational, and construction issues.
These were some of the major items noted in our roundtable discussion. Due to the current conditions in our industry with some of the larger chains going to a full franchisee model, it's imperative that the line of communication and decision making is at a high standard between corporate and franchisees. Both parties need to work together to protect their overall brand.
If you are a Franchisee and would like to continue this conversation with other RFMA Franchisees members, make sure to join our Franchisee Group within SocialLink and look to the Franchisee Forum within our Restaurant Group. Plus, check out our RFMA Event Calendar for specific Franchisee Focus Peer to Peer Calls.
If you have any comments or questions, let me know.
Dover and out.
Jeff Dover, CRFP
Facilities Resource Manager | Restaurant Facility Management Association
972-805-0905 ext. 3