Quit Blaming The Food Industry!

San Francisco may ban toys in fast food children’s meals if the levels of salt , fat or sugar is too high! Banning toys?

I’ve had enough! Now the authorities are considering banning toys in kids meals if they consider the food unhealthy. Whatever happened to responsible parenthood? At what point did it become ok for parents to hand over all of their responsibilities to restaurants, schools, government, etc, etc, etc??

Childhood obesity is a huge problem in the Western World and yes a lot of the children’s meals available today, (if eaten three times a week) will cause your kids to get fat, be bullied at school and probably be the main contributing factor in them never being able to find a mate and produce other obese kids. Maybe not a bad thing, Darwin’s theory of evolution, etc.  That’s if they don’t pass away from a heart attack prior to reaching breeding age.

Sorry….. if your kids are fat it is your fault not the food providers.  Full stop! Learn to say NO!  Make a happy meal at Micky D’s a treat  or an occasional thing, not a way to make life easier for yourself or to stop your kids from complaining.

The human body needs fat, salt and even sugar in regulated amounts. Like everything in life moderation is the key to a healthy diet and all kids need regular exercise.  I am not here to preach but I am sick and tired of governments regulating the end result rather than the cause. If they believe the average parent does not have the brains to give their kids a balanced diet along with regular exercise then take it to the classroom and teach the kids about healthy lifestyles in schools (school cafeteria comes to mind!). If the government wants to disadvantage someone then let it be the parents and not the food providers. After all aren’t the parents supposed to be responsible for their own children?

There are many other ways to get the message out. Pediatricians can play a big part by working with parents before their children have weight issues by encouraging healthy eating habits. An occasional fast food meal will not hurt anyone – parents should make up for it by including fruit, vegetables and milk in the meal choice and in other meals in the day. Parents need to take that on board. Get off the backs of the food industry! When parents do as they should they will vote with their feet and the industry will adapt to the changes accordingly.

RStevens

QSR, Family and Casual Customer Satisfaction – 2010 Survey Results

Customer satisfaction is one of those areas of your business that is hard to quantify but is probably one of the most important factors in the long term health of your business. JD Power and Associates (scroll down to Restaurants) have just released their customer satisfaction rating for ten US cities for the Casual, Family and QSR segments. It makes an interesting read and if you are in any of these cities have a look and see if you can learn something. If you do, let us know. Restaurant Chains Best Customer Satisfaction The results may surprise you!

RStevens

Persistence and Commitment Equal Success for Your Franchise QSR or Café

I was asked a while ago a very simple question by a franchisee of an international system; a system with all the resources and experience of a major player that has been in the business for over 50 years.

The question was, “Why am I not doing as well as the  guy down the road who is in a similar store to mine?”  Pretty simple question with no simple answer. I didn’t want to give him a glib corporate answer so instead kept my mouth shut for a while and said “I’ll get back to you.” I asked a few questions had a look around and went to see the guy down the road.

On the way to see the other store I remembered a franchise system where I had worked many years ago that had similar problems. A good portion of the business was in growth while the remainder was down on the previous year.

Now this system was unusual in the fact that it was a small country (Belgium) that had one master franchisee and many individual single or double unit franchisees. The split was about 40% of the stores owned by the master f/zee and the rest individuals. Close to 80 stores in total so both were a good mix of locations and demographics.

Usually, in most systems it would have been the smaller or individual owned stores that would have been the ones in growth, but in this case it was the opposite. The majority of the master f/zees stores were in positive growth while the majority of the others were not.

When I arrived at the store down the road and talked to the franchisee I had expected this owner to have the same mind set as the Belgian master franchisee.  Now neither of these guys was likable, almost bordering on arrogant (I hope that this is not the factor that makes them successful) but the one thing they did share was persistence and attention to detail. Be it LSM, training, implementation of policies and procedures whatever, both of these f/zees never cut corners where it mattered.

Training was a step by step process that was monitored and evaluated. All steps were signed off by management and nothing was missed nor shortcuts taken. The excuse, “we got busy” was not acceptable, even if it meant going back to the start. Fact was, his team were some of the best I have seen. LSM was planned and costed with back ups ready to go if something didn’t work and all LSM was evaluated on a cost and customer basis. These guys were investing in their future.

They also did this day after day, month after month never failing to follow there own procedures. Most small business owners look for ways to cut corners, save money, do things quicker. I understand that, I have been in the same situation but what I have learned from these two QSR owners is that you cannot do that with the important things. Training, marketing your business, food quality, service, cleanliness and the overall image of your business and team are paramount to the ongoing success of your business.

Fact is, I did not like either of these two guys…..but I sure did respect them and the way they ran their businesses.