Delivering on brand promise

The secret to an enduring brand, customer loyalty and great profits is all in the execution. Panarottis COO Tyrone Herdman-Grant weighs in.

In 2013, after more than two decades in the market, popular family pizza pasta chain Panarottis embarked on a brand revamp.

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The reason behind the investment, from both franchisees and the franchisor, was simple: If you want to stay ahead of the market and remain a well-loved brand, you need to make sure you’re always delivering on your brand promise.

Here are six lessons from Panarottis COO, Tyrone Herdman-Grant, on how to stay ahead of your competitors and ensure your customers remain loyal, and keep coming back for more.

  1. Never stop looking at the business. Keep the elements that work and take a critical look at those that don’t. You can’t rest on your laurels. If something isn’t working as well as it should, admit it and find a better way to do things. It’s as simple as that.
  1. Customers vote with their feet. Price is important, because you have to make your margins, but this should never be at the expense of quality. The day you start putting price above quality is the day you should close up shop. Yes, you want to be cost effective and efficient, but the way to turn a profit is to keep customers coming back, and the way to do that is with good food and great service.
  1. Be who you say you are. When Panarottis did its major revamp in 2013, it was because although it was calling itself a family brand, the reality was that it wasn’t as family-friendly as it could be. There were kids specials on the menu, but play areas were conspicuously missing. If you say you are something, follow through – that will ensure brand consistency and loyalty.
  1. Critically analyse everything you do. Panarottis had previously implemented a slice bar that wasn’t doing as well as it could have. Management realised this was because the slice bars needed a model of their own. Now the slices are prepared at the bar, fresh, and customers can see them being made – they’re a separate capsule in the business. Stores with slice bars increased their total turnover by 10% after this shift was made. Focus is everything. If you’re going to do something, do it properly.
  1. Look at customers and then deliver on their needs. Take into account what they want. Is it a safe place for kids, great meals, portion size, quality or speed of service? Understand who they are and why they’re coming to you, and then make sure you deliver on those expectations.
  1. Remember that you’re only as good as the last meal you serve. Each store needs to be better tomorrow than it is today. Great service and a quality offering are paramount. Head office should give you systems, support, and a great menu, but at the end of the day it’s all about the execution. How clean is the store, are all meals tasted and tested – is everything kept fresh? Are no corners being cut? Does your on-the-floor staff need training? Make sure you’re ticking all the boxes, and you’ll create and maintain a loyal customer base.

Reference: Standard Bank BizConnect – http://bizconnect.standardbank.co.za/.

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