6 Reasons to Start Using Remote Restaurant Audits Post COVID-19

11 August 2020

Operations | Restaurants

74% of consumers don't expect their approach to eating out to go back to normal over the next 5 years. 

This means there are fewer chances for restaurants to get the guest experience right, and far more risks involved.  

Restaurant layouts and operating protocols have completely changed.

Frontline employees need to be more productive than ever - in a working environment that's nothing like what it was just a few months ago. 

That's a lot of pressure on employees, and a lot of different directions they're being pulled in.  

Restaurants must embrace an agile way of managing operations remotely - one that's far less reliant on person-to-person contact.

That's where remote restaurant audits come in.

 

What is a remote restaurant audit? 

Regional managers complete remote audits with the general manager's assistance by working through checklists, taking photos and completing self-evaluations over the phone, over video chat or using a dedicated audit tool like YOOBIC.

Remote restaurant audits improve employee performance, safeguard health and make organizations more agile. 

Here are 6 reasons why.

 

1) Remote restaurant audits are safer for everyone

Fewer in-person audits mean fewer opportunities to spread COVID-19.

Even when every possible precaution is taken, interactions with managers, employees and even customers will always pose a risk.

The extent to which businesses visibly and consistently protect their health and safety is understandably more important to consumers than anything else. 

59% of consumers ranked cleanliness as their top priority when ordering food in a restaurant post COVID-19.

Better health and safety means a better brand reputation.

That means customer safety and business continuity is dependent on common audit tasks, like: 

  • Sanitation checklists
  • Health & safety checks on high touch areas
  • Making sure correct signage is displayed
  • Food handler training
  • Merchandising adherence and sanitation in the grab and go section

And that's why audits are needed more than ever. 

Regional managers can do more remote audits than they can in-person ones, which boosts compliance with health and safety regulations across the entire network. 

 

2) Remote restaurant audits drive customer satisfaction through coaching frontline teams

Restaurant audits should be more than just a box-ticking exercise.

They're an invaluable opportunity for the regional manager to coach and train staff: exactly what employees need post COVID-19.

Regional managers have seen it all. The expertise and best practices they share during audits help teams be more autonomous, make every guest experience perfect and drive customer satisfaction.

Compliance with health and safety guidelines improves, but with less time and fewer resources needed to get there. 

And that's why remote audits are such an asset for an agile, customer-focused organization. 

Related Download: A Guide to Restaurant Audits

 

3) Remote restaurant audits create accountability

Measuring progress creates transparency, boosts motivation and holds individuals and teams responsible for the important work they've done. 

But without frequent audits, progress isn't tracked as often and accountability falters. 

Remote restaurant audits create accountability for: 

  • Frontline teams - whether their performance needs improvement or whether it deserves recognition so it can be replicated across every location

  • Regional managers - for the performance of each location in their territory

  • Franchises - who may have been under-visited even before COVID-19 and are lacking a sense of inclusion with the rest of the company

 

4) Remote restaurant audits save time and cut costs

Doing more with less has become the industry's status quo.

In April 2020 alone, 5.5 million jobs were lost in the US restaurant industry - roughly a quarter of total jobs lost in the same month. 

In the UK, the restaurant industry is facing up to 320,000 job cuts, even as businesses continue to reopen.

McKinsey estimates that out of every 5 restaurants open in 2019, 1 will be  shuttered by next year. 

Simply put, there are fewer locations open and fewer restaurant employees (including regional managers) to work in them, but with even bigger workloads.

Remote audits save regional managers time that they'd usually spend traveling. This can then be spent on higher value activities like remotely coaching teams.

Sure, spending a few hours per week sitting in traffic on the way to an audit might not seem like much for a few regional managers.

But these hours really start to add up when you break it down: 

 

Number of regional managers  Hours spent per manager per week traveling to and from restaurant audits  Total hours saved per week with remote audits  Total hours saved per month with remote audits 
25 5 125 500

 

500 hours is a lot of time, and time is money. 

Remote store audits cut costs as well. With all the hours regional managers spend on the road come gas, phone and hotel bills too.

These savings can be reallocated to other areas of the business that improve customer experience, safeguard wellbeing and improve employee performance. 

 

5) Remote restaurant audits boost sales

Customers won't order food for a sit down or takeaway meal if they're not 100% comfortable that their safety is being taken seriously. 

So imagine if, after getting the green light to do an in-person audit, a regional manager discovers that the correct signage for new seating mandates hasn't been displayed in 20% of locations. 

That's a lot of customers who took a peek inside, felt uncomfortable with the lack of information about social distancing, and noped right out of there. 

That's also a lot of lost revenue. 

Remote restaurant audits give regional managers complete visibility into how restaurants are executing on health and safety guidelines. 

And today, this is what makes or breaks a guest's experience and a restaurant's sales. 

 

6) Remote restaurant audits future-proof your business

The sooner restaurants shift to managing operations remotely, the more agile they'll be. 

Agile organizations are most likely to survive and thrive for as long as COVID-19 persists.

There are two possible scenarios the restaurant industry will face for the rest of 2020.  Remote restaurant audits are advantageous in either.

In the case of another lockdown, using remote audits ASAP gets everyone comfortable with managing operations remotely. If regional manager travel is banned, adherence to healthy and safety policies - and customer experience - won't slip as a result. 

In the best case scenario, another lockdown doesn't materialize and restaurant foot traffic steadily increases. Here, remote restaurant audits help frontline teams be at the top of their game - even when things get busy and there's fewer employees to help.

In either scenario, remote audits keep regional managers, employees and customers safer while empowering organizations to manage operations and staff remotely.

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YOOBIC's remote restaurant audit tool helps regional managers empower frontline teams to perform their best - all from the safety and comfort of home. 

Restaurant Audits

Regional managers can assign action plans and even targeted trainings with quizzes to help frontline teams improve afterwards.

It's easy to prepare for the next audit, whether done in-person or remotely, with time-saving, automatically generated audit reports.

YOOBIC is your regional managers' new pocket superhero and helps your organization be more agile. Get your personalized demo! 

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