Training is Tangible, Not Theoretical.

October 4th, 2019 by

Our Training Department recently achieved a huge milestone, one that was several years in the making. When we initially launched our online training portal, Goodcents University, at our annual conference in November of 2015, the goal was to maintain 85% completion as a system of the Basic Operations Training courses. At conference last year, we were at 50% completion. On August 13th of this year, we had achieved 62% completion, a then-record. To test our Training Consultants and our franchisees, we set out to achieve our multi-annual goal. Today, we have 92% of our system certifiably trained.  

We are true believers in People First Communication (PFC). Believing in PFC means giving the receiver of your message the benefit of the doubt and pursuing multiple channels of communication. One size and style does not fit all. Did you get my email?” does no good for anyone and can be detrimental to the franchisee/franchisor relationship. Some people require a physical presence and a pat on the back, others need follow up phone calls and still some are fine with an emoji-laden text. We decided we would do all that was necessary to “meet” every franchisee and provide the assistance they needed. This included: 

  • In-depth reporting of all crew members, including registering new users and beginning their training journey 
  • Working crew member shifts to provide time for them to sit down and go through training 
  • Crew incentive competitions with prizes up to $100 for completion of training 
  • One-on-one training with franchisees and managers demonstrating how to manage the online training platform  

This push for training is not merely for a vanity metric. We hope to see a greater increase in employee retention and a decrease in cost of goods sold with proper portioning. Most importantly, we have already begun to see a material change in the guest experience. Using our digital and social partner MomentFeed, we were able to track our average review ratings on Google and Facebook, as well as the change in ratings for specific keywords.  

We have seen our average rating improve from a 4.22 earlier this year to a 4.33 since the beginning of August, 4.48 in the last two weeks as of writing. Reviews containing the word “service” specifically have increased from an average rating of 3.83 to 4.24, 4.56 in the last two weeks. This focus is reflected in hundreds of reviews. That training effort has improved how our guests feel going through the Goodcents experience, and that positive experience has led to our organization experience double-digit growth.  

Well-trained employees are comfortable in their position, empowering them to focus on the hospitality that makes a 5-star experience, and that comfort increases crew member retention.  We are proud of our training team Todd Anderson, Brian Messmer and Blake Ballinger for their efforts. We are also thankful that our franchisee community worked together with us to achieve this goal and set the precedent for continued success.  

Aim Small Miss Small: Franchisee Focused

September 4th, 2019 by

We are not meant to be all things to all people. Each of us have unique talents, perspectives and expertise that give us extraordinary insights into certain areas, whether that be a degree in data analytics, a work history of general management or hours of personal investigation into the real secrets held within Area 51 (September 20th cannot get here soon enough!). This understanding of our personal strengths led us to radically change the way we support our franchisees, a change that we believe is well outside the industry norm. 

For many years, franchises have supported their franchisees with business consultants. Business consultants are the main point of contact for franchisees, visiting their restaurants, fielding their phone calls and clarifying company updates. They alstend to operate as a human catch-all for the franchisees they worked with, responding to questions about and finding solutions to things they may have limited experience with: my shipment is late, I need help hiring, my deliveries are down, I received a poor Facebook recommendation, Yelp is contacting me, my night crew is over-portioning, the needs and challenges are incredibly varied. 

To get our franchisees more targeted help, we broke Business Consultants out into Marketing Consultants and Training Consultants. Each have work history and expertise in their designated field and have proven their effectiveness in it. Which consultants go to which restaurant in a given period is dependent upon the current ranking of each location on the Goodcents Scorecard (learn more about our scorecard in our previous post here).   

Training Consultants will go into restaurants with operational opportunities and help make them a more well-oiled machine. That can mean training new staff members, putting on specific product workshops or just helping with the overall Goodcents experience. Marketing Consultants will go into restaurants with sales opportunities and drive traffic. That can mean creating local partnerships, putting on reputation management workshops or helping with location visibility.  

We have seen incredible fruits from the labors of our Training Consultants and Marketing Consultants, fruits our franchisees appreciate. A catch-all approach to support works for some and has been an industry norm for a long time, but we believe this move has been a great benefit to us. We look forward to building on this new relational dynamic within our system and to sharing some of those successes with you all in the future.  

A Score That Matters

August 20th, 2019 by

How can we say objectively why any given restaurant in our system is performing the way it is? It’s easy to say we “feel” a certain way about the environment of a restaurant and why it may be over or under performing, but it is hard to provide assistance or guidance to solve a “feeling” without information to back it up. Not to mention feelings are not always right. Our solution was a big one: create a scorecard to rank our restaurants. At first glance, this seems a little detached and impersonal, but what it has done is remove any personal bias on the part of us or the franchisee and provided independent, candid feedback on actual performance. The scorecard is based on the following inputs: 

  1. Comp transactions 
  2. Profitability based on a current P&L
  3. Average online review score in the previous 90 days pulled through our social and digital partner MomentFeed
  4. Guest relations complaints per 10,000 transactions 
  5. Goodcents University completion percentage 
  6. Ace Mystery Shopping score average in the previous 90 days 
  7. Most recent EcoSure 200-point audit score 

These inputs speak to three specific aspects of the business: profitability, guest experience and operations efficiency. Each input is appropriately weighted and feeds into a final score that highlights the greatest areas of opportunity for every individual restaurant, ranking them in order from least to greatest number of opportunities. What this unbiased information from mostly external sources has allowed us to do is cut through slack and implement a more specified plan of attack for each location.  

If your only solution is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. The scorecard has created new opportunities for us to expand our toolbelt as a franchisor and support solutions to the solve the varied opportunities problems from location to location with focused, intentional activity. We can praise operationally sound crew members, managers and franchisees and focus more heavily on generating new traffic to their business. We can provide targeted training for crews who may have had difficulty making time to engage in our training procedures, preparing them to make lifelong customers out of each new guest. 

Another benefit of using the scorecard is we can actively track improvement and decline. It’s a wonderful feeling being able to share in the excitement our partners feel when they work diligently to improve their scores. While it is not as fun to talk through a regression, those are the conversations that must take place to progress, and with the scorecard there is a clear direction for that progression.  Focused feedback and intentional support have been our bread and butter this year. With positive year-to-date comp sales and improved year-to-date comp labor, we are excited to see continued growth and better even performance in the future. 

Living The “P” in TROPIC: Microsoft Excel

August 6th, 2019 by

Living our values is always easier said than done. We are thankful our Director of Marketing Operations & Analytics, Jami Bond, initiated a relationship with Johnson County Community College and brought in William Mitchell to help us live the “P” in TROPIC (Personal Growth) by putting on a Microsoft Excel course for our staff. Excel has been a common topic in the office when discussing areas for professional person growth. The level of proficiency amongst our team when we started was varied, but when we finished everyone felt refreshed and more knowledgeable than when they started.  

 

The uptick in productivity and clarification in communication caused by this class were immediately visible. Members of our team began coming to whole-staff meetings with clear data composition and conclusions that were not only easier for them to compile but also easier for the rest of the room to absorb. Other members began organizing their budgets and plotting out complicated spends, like 72 individual YouTube campaigns with breaks and varying daily budgets, with, “exponentially greater ease.” 

 

Not everyone has the same personal growth goals. Some team members are focused on understanding new eLearning authoring software, others are focused on developing Chat Bots, and some want to get their 5K time to under 28 minutes. But, when communal goals arise, we are glad to have a team that is focused on creating opportunities for one another and meeting the challenge head on.  

 

If you are interested in providing similar opportunities to your team in the Kansas City area, reach out to Jake Akehurst at jakehurs@jccc.edu. 

Values That Make Good Sense: TROPIC

July 30th, 2019 by

Culture is not something that just happens on its own in an organization. LinkedIn cofounder, Reid Hoffman, defines the beginning and ending stages of a growing company as the “family” and “nation” stage, respectively. There are many changes and improvements that are implemented to progress through these stages, one of which is building an infrastructure of values that each citizen feels compelled to guard, that drives culture. Creating this infrastructure at Goodcents was a long, focused effort. The values we ultimately defined for ourselves were a product of the pre-existing closeness of our team, the aspirations we have for ourselves as an organization and our personal growth growing forward. Our company values have been arranged in the easy to understand acronym TROPIC and are outlined below.  

 

GOODCENTS VALUES: TROPIC 

Trust: We can be confident that we have each other’s best interests at heart. There is no sense of judgement, we back up and support one another.

Respect: Every person on our team plays an integral and valuable role. We embrace our differences and approach our successes as well as our mistakes with understanding and support.

Openness: We seek first to understand, allowing others to be heard without judgement. We have candid and honest discussions to foster strong relationships and creative solutions.

Personal Growth: We challenge ourselves and one another to grow daily. Continued education is celebrated at Goodcents. We understand the immense value of progress and balance in our everyday lives as we work forward to accomplish our common goal.

Integrity: We maintain the highest standards of professional behavior and ethics. We are dependable, take ownership of our responsibilities and are accountable for the results.

Collaboration: We are empowered to ask for help and intentionally pursue cross-functionality understanding that others have experiences and knowledge that we do not. “That’s not my job,” is not in our vernacular. Instead, our approach is, “how can I help?” 

 

We have resolved ourselves to actively calling out these values and making them more than just a poster on the wall. At the beginning of each team meeting we start by reading these values in their entirety and recognizing team members for the values they have exemplified while executing their jobs. The examples are always a fun insight for us. We get to hear about triumphs, tribulations, and turning points in the professional and personal lives of one another, and that disclosure makes us a closer, better functioning team.  

As we position ourselves for growth, having a clearly defined direction and guardrails are imperative to keeping us focused on our goals while still supporting the personal and professional aspirations of our Goodcents team members. Our family has become a nation, and it was largely thanks to intentional activity driven by TROPIC, a promise to hold ourselves and one another accountable. We are excited to share that promise with you all. 

Goodcents Promotes Mike O’Toole To Chief Growth And Support Officer

September 21st, 2018 by

Former Goodcents franchise owner and industry veteran promoted to lead Goodcents growth and expansion

DE SOTO, Kan. –Goodcents® announced the promotion of Mike O’Toole to lead the company as Chief Growth & Support Officer. O’Toole will direct the strategic vision of the business, including continued franchise growth, franchise support, menu innovation, and overall customer experience.

“Mike is a seasoned veteran who has worked in the franchise and corporate realm for many years,” said Joe Bisogno, chairman and founder of Goodcents. “He uniquely understands the needs of our business and has a clear vision for our growth moving forward.”

O’Toole has been part of the Goodcents leadership team for more than 12 years, most recently as the company’s Executive Director of Operations. Starting as a Goodcents franchise owner, he’s also worked with the company as a Regional Trainer, Franchise Business Consultant and Director of Training and Operations. Prior to joining Goodcents, O’Toole also worked in various leadership roles for KFC, Taco Bell, and Yum! Brands.

As part of the Goodcents leadership team, O’Toole has played a key role in a variety of recent successful initiatives for the business that have contributed to its success and growth.

Franchise Satisfaction and Awards

Overall franchise satisfaction for Goodcents is the highest it’s been in more than three years. Goodcents was recently recognized as a top franchise for 2018 by Entrepreneur Magazineand Franchise Business Review, the leading market research firm in the franchise industry. Goodcents was also named one of the Top 50 Best Franchises by FitSmallBusiness.com in 2016 for positive financial performance.

Digital and Enhanced Ordering Strategy

Goodcents launched a new digital consumer interaction and ordering strategy has helped significantly boost sales. This includes a new website, mobile app, online ordering, digital loyalty platform, and a new ‘Goodcents of the Future’ restaurant prototype featuring some of the industry’s first in-store and drive-thru digital ordering kiosks.

Digital Training and Support

The Goodcents Franchise Support team developed its own video and text-based digital training tools that significantly improved operational quality and efficiency. New employees no longer reference training materials through a traditional printed binder or guide. All training materials are optimized for mobile and tablets through an interactive text-to-learn program, as well as a self-guided training and support platform called Goodcents University.

Business Growth

Goodcents announced its first restaurant to surpass $1 million in annual sales across its system of more than 80 locations across the United States in 2017.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead the Goodcents business, together with our amazing staff and franchise owners,” said O’Toole. “After nearly 30 years, our brand is stronger than ever and I’m excited for our continued growth and expansion opportunities ahead.”

To learn more about Goodcents Franchising opportunities, visit https://goodcentssubs.com/franchising/.

 

From Burnout to Breakout: How One Goodcents Franchisee Discovered Success

April 18th, 2018 by

If you ever have the chance to meet Hardip ‘Singh’ Dosanjh, you’ll know right away that he was meant to work in the restaurant and food service industry. His passion for good food combined with his positive, outgoing personality is the perfect recipe for success.

Singh was born in Punjab, India and moved to the U.S. with his parents in 1978, then to Kansas City in 1979.

As a young teenager he worked at various restaurants and became the youngest General Manager of Furr’s Cafeteria in the company’s history at the age of 19. Working 70 hours per week for more than 10 years, he was determined to work his way up into higher leadership positions, but the demanding hours of the job were taking a toll.

While working at Furr’s, Myron Green (now TreatAmerica) approached Singh and asked him to help manage a variety of its corporate cafeterias across the Kansas City area.

“This opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Dosanjh. “Joining Myron Green was a key turning point in my life and my career, allowing me to make more money and have more time to help raise a family.”

Singh spent more than 16 years leading and managing numerous cafeterias for TreatAmerica, including HR Block, Yellow Freight, Commerce Bank and Powell Gardens. He had a unique entrepreneurial approach and was very successful building and growing the cafeterias he managed, quickly becoming one of the top performers across the company.

He originally began investing some of his extra earnings into real-estate, but sold out of those right before the downturn in 2008. Shortly after, a friend reached out to him and his wife, Inderjit, about the possibility of owning their own Goodcents restaurant.

“I had always dreamed about owning my own restaurant, but I didn’t want to start something from the ground up,” said Dosanjh. “Goodcents provided a unique turn key opportunity that I knew would be a steady, consistent investment for our family.”

Singh and his wife Inderjit purchased their first Goodcents restaurant at 87th and Antioch Rd. in Overland Park, Kan. in 2012 where they were able to more than double revenue within the first three years. And subsequently purchased a second Goodcents restaurant shortly after off I-435 and Roe Ave. in Overland Park, Kan., both of which they still own and operate today.

Goodcents became the Dosanjh’s family business. Inderjit left her career as a nurse at St. Joseph Medical Center to run the restaurants, while Singh was still working with Treat America. Their son and daughter also worked in the restaurants with their friends after school and every summer throughout high school and college.

“The thing I have loved most about running our Goodcents restaurants, is having something our family could do together and providing a platform for people to grow and learn both personally and professionally,” said Dosanjh. “I was fortunate to have some great people looking out for me along the way and now I enjoy paying that forward.”

Despite growing pressures across the fast casual industry, both of Singh’s restaurants revenues have continued to grow year over year. Singh attributes the majority of his success on having a great core team of employees and focusing on the basics of customer service. He always puts a huge focus on treating everyone equally and training his employees to know their customers.

“Our industry has lost its eye on true customer service,” he said. “All people really want is for people to make them feel wanted by remembering their name, who their kids are and they will be loyal to your business.”

Goodcents Launches Second Centsable Kitchen Concept

February 8th, 2018 by

Goodcents announced the launch of its second Centsable Kitchen concept today in Lawrence, Kan. Located at 2233 Louisiana St., the new Centsable Kitchen concept features a new line of hearty meal options that are available in grab-n-go style refrigeration units alongside the traditional Goodcents menu of freshly-sliced sub sandwiches and pastas.

The first Centsable Kitchen concept debuted in October inside the Goodcents restaurant located at 10432 S Ridgeview Rd. Olathe, Kan. 66061 (K-10 and Ridgeview Rd.).

Centsable Kitchen features a wide variety of pre-packaged meals including options like: Tri-tip, steak with roasted potatoes, Classic Lasagna, Chicken Parmesan, Chicken Carnitas Tacos, Grilled Alaskan Salmon, Mac & Cheese and more. It will also include special soup varieties. The meals are custom recipes developed by the Goodcents Culinary Team.

The meals are available for fast and convenient pick up in-restaurant, as well as delivery via the Goodcents website (within three miles of the 23rd and Louisiana location). They range from $5-9 per meal.

“We’ve had great feedback from our customers at the first Centsable Kitchen concept that launched in Olathe late last year and we are excited to continue expanding,” said Scott Ford, president of Goodcents Franchise Systems.

“We realize people’s lives are hectic and how hard it is to find hearty, nutritious options when you are on the go,” continued Ford. “Our goal with Centsable Kitchen is to deliver delicious meal options that compliment our established menu of sub sandwiches and pastas. These can be an alternative choice to in-restaurant dining or easy take-home options for later meals.”

Goodcents uses durable, leak resistant, BPA-free packaging that is FDA & CFIA approved. The containers are microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe that can easily be reused and or recycled.

For a limited time, Goodcents is running a special introductory offer of 5 meals for $20. To order online go to https://order.goodcentssubs.com/, select location #1025 and use code MEALPREP.

To see a full menu of the Goodcents Centsable Kitchen menu or to learn more, visit www.centsablekitchen.com.

 

How This 24-Year-Old Built His Own Successful Franchise Business

October 25th, 2017 by

Devinder Singh is the definition of the American dream.

He was born in Punjab, India and moved with his parents to Kansas City when he was just 9-years-old. They sought a better quality of life and good education for their children. His parents worked a variety of jobs trying to make ends meet, while Singh and his younger brother attended school in the Olathe, Kan. district.

After his father was laid off from one of his jobs, his family was introduced to Goodcents Franchise Systems. They had never been exposed to the world of franchising, but were intrigued by the opportunity to own their own business and control their own destiny.

They purchased their first restaurant in 2004. Singh spent most of his early teenage years inside the restaurant working with his parents.

“I learned a lot about entrepreneurialism and work ethic watching my parents,” said Singh. “They worked hard to give me and my brother the best life they could.”

After graduating from Olathe North High School, he went on to the University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC) where he earned a degree in finance, while also working two jobs. He always knew that he wanted to explore the chance of owning his own restaurant with Goodcents as well.

“I knew the business and the Goodcents Franchise team had become family to us, so I knew they would be there to support me,” Singh said.

So, in July 2016, Singh partnered with the Goodcents franchise team to open his first restaurant (776 N Ridgeview Rd, Olathe, KS 66061) in the same Olathe community where he had grown up. While he wanted to be his own boss, he also wanted to give back to the community that had supported his family.

“The community here in Kansas City and Olathe has been so important to me and my family and I wanted the chance to give back,” said Singh.

In just the first year, Devinder has grown his restaurant to be the top performer in Kansas City, and second in the system. Most days you will find him at his restaurant prepping food or training employees, but he also spends a lot of time building relationships with local schools and community organizations. He also loves spending time with his family, including his wife and one-year-old son, as well as working out at the gym.

Singh plans to open additional locations in the near future.