Jack Mashini, founder of Wing Snob, a 23-unit chain based in Warren, Michigan, gives tips to help franchisees and franchisors.
By Jack Mashini, founder, Wing Snob
The hardest part of franchising is ensuring consistency across the brand, particularly when it comes to the uncontrollable variables within the restaurant world — and trust us, in our experiences, there are lots.
When we launched Wing Snob, we knew that we would constantly be scrutinizing the details of operations. Will the franchisee’s kitchen follow the aides we would provide? Are all customers being greeted with the same “Welcome to Wing Snob” greeting? Did every order that passes through a franchisee’s kitchen get the same care and with the same standards?
Of late, my business partner Brian and I have been investing in and utilizing a Learning Management System (LMS) to ensure consistent training across the brand and within all markets. We have also added quality control managers, who administer constant site visits to ensure that the brand’s standards are being upheld and to support and reaffirm a job well done.
When considering potential franchisees, one of our best practices is to ensure we can physically get the operator into a store. An analysis on paper is helpful, but just as important is the opportunity to see and experience their interactions within an operating brick-and-mortar location. It provides insights that help us — and them — decide if it’s the proper fit for everyone involved. While we have streamlined our concept more than most brands we’ve come in contact with, the restaurant industry is certainly a business that needs the attention of a strong operator.
When founding Wing Snob, we knew we wanted to build a system that we would have been interested in franchising with ourselves. With prior knowledge and experience in franchising, I was able to choose what we wanted to implement, and more importantly, why. While our concept may be simple, a piece of advice we always give our franchisees looking to expand their unit count is to stay within their local market. They already know that market, they have the staff base to support multiple locations and keeping your team within a reasonable distance will help you to build a positive culture that will spread throughout your locations.
The pandemic was really an eye-opener for a lot of brands. Fortunately, for Wing Snob, our focus has always been carryout and delivery. Once the pandemic hit, we enhanced our partnership with third-party delivery companies and made sure to upgrade our technology to support the influx of online orders and deliveries that we were starting to receive. We rolled out a new mobile app and launched Snob Perks — our new rewards program — to offer incentives for return customers. While the pandemic may have changed the restaurant landscape, it encouraged us to better understand the future of customer expectations — in a truly brief period of time — simply because we had to.
:Adapt to the future or get left in the past” is the best piece of advice I can give when it comes to both the traditional as well as the technological side of the restaurant business.