Franchise Digital solutions

Digital challenges for franchise networks

26 June 2024

Restaurant franchising is a fast-changing market, thanks in no small part to digital technology. 

According to the 19th Banque Populaire Annual Survey 202398% of franchisors say they have invested in digital technology. 

And it's no coincidence.

Collecting data, automating processes, personalizing the customer experience... The potential of digital for franchise networks is enormous.

Digitizing their business has become essential because it allows them to : 

  • Offer a standardized customer experience
  • Be more competitive
  • More efficient customer relationship management
  • Exploit more business opportunities
  • Coordinate franchisee management

In this comprehensive guide, discover the best practices for integrating digital into your franchise activity and propelling your business forward.

CRM: the cornerstone of a sound digital strategy

With establishments scattered all over the country, managing customer relations in a franchise network is often a headache. 

And yet, customer knowledge is the sinews of war. It's even what can make the difference with the competition. 

Thanks to digital technology, you can collect customer data in real time, then analyze it to better understand your customers' profiles, buying behavior and expectations. 

To build up this customer knowledge, it is essential to implement a database often referred to as CRM (Customer Relationship Management). 

CRM is in fact a software solution that enables you to centralize data and interactions with your customers across all your establishments, all within a single database.

This gives you one-stop access to information such as : 

  • Customer first and last names
  • Contact details such as e-mail address or cell phone number
  • Possibly their date of birth if you have asked them for this information
  • The frequency of their visits to your franchise network
  • The average amount spent
  • Most popular products
  • ...etc

With a CRM, the possibilities are endless! 

The volume of data accessible depends, of course, on the type of data collected.

With all this information, you'll be able to analyze your franchise network's performance in real time.

Centralized reporting to analyze your performance

Consolidating data in a single database not only gives you an overview of your network's performance, but also enables you to carry out a more detailed analysis. detailed analysis.

So you can : 

  • Breakdown sales by establishment.
  • Compare results for each outlet.
  • Identify the products that perform best or, on the contrary, those that should be removed from the menu.
  • Understand trends in footfall for each establishment, according to time of day, day of week, season...
  • Identify best practices in certain establishments, to be replicated in other restaurants lagging behind.

All these lessons are invaluable, because they are real decision-making tools. 

And that's not all!

With digital technology, you can also centralize the management of your marketing campaigns, again with the help of data.

Nationwide marketing campaigns... or targeted by establishment

Visit digital marketing campaign management tools are a real boon for franchise networks. 

They enable us to send direct, personalized communications, without relying solely on advertising or social networks.

Integrated with CRM, these solutions enable you to send SMS or email messages to all your customers or selected targets, in just a few clicks.

Using data analysis in your CRM, you can create customer segments according to the criteria of your choice, such as : 

  • Geographical area - particularly useful for your franchisees!
  • The date of the last visit - a useful tool for recontacting less loyal customers.
  • Average ticket value - ideal for rewarding high-volume buyers.

This customer segmentation enables you to send targeted and therefore more relevant messages.

Email marketing for franchises

And to make your marketing campaigns even more effective, rely on themarketing automation

With this feature, you can program your campaigns to be generated automatically based on triggering events: birthday, recent visit, number of visits to your establishments...

These little touches create an extra element of surprise and strengthen your customers' attachment to your brand. 

For consistent communication, it's best to manage marketing campaigns at head office level. But you can also give your franchisees the opportunity to manage their own marketing campaigns for their local customers: it's a good way of reinforcing their autonomy, encouraging them to be proactive and avoiding frustration.

To control your communication and brand image, prepare a set of email or SMS templates that your franchisees can personalize and adapt slightly.

SMS or Email?

Each communication medium has its advantages and disadvantages.

Email provides more complete and better illustrated content to showcase your brand, your new à la carte products, etc., but its open rate rarely exceeds 30%. 

If you're looking for inspiration for your franchisee network's email campaigns, check out our article with practical tips.

SMS messages are shorter and more direct. Their open rate is 95%. They are read within 3 minutes of being sent, and the average click rate of an SMS is 36% (according to a Orange survey on SMS marketing).

Digital loyalty: a single loyalty card valid in all your establishments

Loyalty can also be managed 100% online. 

Thanks to digital technology, you can offer your brand's customers a dematerialized loyalty card that they can store in their smartphone wallet.

Regardless of the sales channel used or the establishment visited, everything is recorded in the digital loyalty card

This is a huge advantage for the customer, who will preferably go to your chain of restaurants to accumulate points or unlock rewards.

And for you, it's a guarantee of customer loyalty throughout the country. 

A unified loyalty program strengthens customer attachment to your brand and benefits all your franchisees.

Another option: the digital kitty

It allows your franchise's customers to accumulate money in a virtual wallet for every order they place in one of your stores... and then spend it throughout your network (whatever the sales channel!).

To get as many people as possible to join your loyalty program or loyalty kitty, there's only one tip: communicate!

Highlight the advantages of these devices on your website, social networks or newsletter. Prepare specific point-of-sale displays that your franchisees can install in their establishments: posters on the entrance door, near the cash desk, on the counter...

In any case, the dematerialized loyalty card and digital kitty are inseparable from a CRM: through these points of contact with your customers, you automatically collect information which is then stored in your database. Provided your customers are able to identify themselves when ordering, paying or using their loyalty account, of course. Some service providers even offer the option of recharging digital kitty accounts at point-of-sale terminals. 

Clever, isn't it?

Another channel for qualifying your customers and capitalizing on the power of digital: your order interface.

Digital ordering, a tool for increasing the average shopping basket

An increasing number of franchise networks are offering digital control in their restaurants: 

  • Via a QR Code menu on the tables, to be scanned with your smartphone
  • On a Self ordering kiosk interactive

Digital ordering offers many advantages for restaurant chains: 

  • Reduced waiting time for customers who are autonomous from the moment they enter the restaurant
  • Time-saving for staff, who no longer have to move from table to table to take orders 
  • Product enhancement through a digital menu illustrated with beautiful photos of your dishes
  • Increase in average basket thanks to automated product suggestions when ordering

Combine digital ordering with an online payment solution and you've got a win-win situation!

Dematerialized payment, a business gas pedal for franchises

As with digital ordering, customers can now pay the bill themselves, without having to wait for a waiter. Once again, this is a huge time-saver for your franchisees, who can turn tables faster.

On a stand-alone kiosk, payment is proposed at the end of the purchase and collected directly via the integrated payment terminal.

To pay the bill at the table, simply scan the QR Code provided to access the bill on your smartphone and pay online.

Visit tabletop payment solutions include practical features that make life easier for both franchisees and customers: 

  • Flexible payment Customers can pay all at once, divide equally, enter a fixed amount or pay only for their consumption.
  • Choice of payment method : credit card of course, but also Apple Pay, Google Pay, luncheon vouchers...
  • Integrated tip The tip amount is entered directly from the smartphone. Handy when you don't have any change!
  • Connection to cash register software cash receipts are sent directly to the POS system.

Omnichannelity at the heart of franchise network strategy

Digital technology offers franchise networks a major growth lever with its solutions for Click & Collect and Home Delivery.

This is obviously a substantial income supplement for franchisees who are able to propose solutions.

The more options a customer has, the more likely they are to eat in your chain.

These digital sales channels can be broadcast on the franchise website, on social networks, via the Google My Business page of each establishment, or even directly at the restaurant. 

For franchisees who don't wish to offer this service, digital technology once again makes it possible to manage each establishment differently.

Good to know: you don't have to use marketplaces or have your own fleet of delivery drivers to offer home delivery.

With the Click & Deliverydelivery service can even be white-label to win over even the most reluctant franchisees

Of course, we can't talk about omnichannel without mentioning the online reservation.

Centralized management of online reservations for all your outlets enables you to better manage your business, analyze "no-shows" and free up your franchisees' time. So make sure your cash register software can be properly integrated with an online booking service like Eat or The Fork.

Opinions and feedback every time you visit one of your establishments

Take the temperature at each of your franchisees.

Thanks to digital technology, you can collect feedback just after online payment, for example. 

Via a automated mini-questionnaireYou collect customer feedback at every point of sale. 

This gives you a good barometer of satisfaction in your franchise network. You can easily identify the outlets that are improving your reputation... and those that are worsening it! You'll be able to redress the balance more effectively.

You'll also be able to more easily identify underlying trends on the levers for progress that will benefit your entire network.

In all cases, we suggest that you take the time to respond to all comments received, whether by e-mail or via Google Maps. Don't forget that your customers are looking for information about your establishments before they visit them. Good ratings and reviews increase your chances of attracting them.

Optimized inventory management

No more stock-outs, food waste or costly surpluses!

With automated inventory management, franchise networks can control their stocks as closely as possible, in real time, in all their outlets.

Specialized solutions such asInpulse use Artificial Intelligence to manage inventory, automate supplier orders and credit requests. By taking into account the many factors that impact business, such as the weather, school vacations, sporting events or public holidays, Inpulse enables managers to order what they need at the right time.

This approach avoids stock-outs and limits losses, which have a direct impact on material costs, and guarantees greater profitability for each franchisee. No longer needing to wait until the end of the month to spot raw material price rises or unusual losses, they can react quickly and make better decisions thanks to AI.

It's real peace of mind for franchise managers.

The challenge of integrating your digital solutions

With a franchise network and a multiplicity of digital solutions, the challenge is tointerconnect systems and facilities to ensure consistent management of your business. 

It all starts with the choice of a point-of-sales software adapted to managing a network of franchisees. 

A single POS system for your entire network: that's the secret of effective digitalization.

The cash register system must enable data to be fed back to head office, but also allow each site to manage its own business. 

It's not a question of everyone having access to all the information.

Make sure that the back-office, i.e. the management interface of your cash register software and digital solutions, allows for the following differentiated rights management by user.

What's more, your various digital tools need to be able to "talk" to each other to consolidate information and ensure data reliability: CRM, inventory management software, cash register system, online ordering solution, order terminals... etc.

Check that your solutions are integrated and that your data isn't lost in the wild... This is essential to guaranteeing the operational efficiency of your franchise network and the quality of your customer experience.

That's why, after deploying a multitude of complex tools, many franchise networks have turned back to the complete Obypay solution.

Essential: training for teams and franchisees

The success of your digital transformation franchise network also depends on the adoption of these new solutions by your teams, and particularly by your franchisees.

The digitization of our business means that we need to in-depth change in working methods. You need to understand how these solutions work, but not only that...

Each franchisee has to embrace this digital transformation and appropriate the tools to get the most out of it. This is no easy task when the network comprises dozens of establishments spread across the country.

Here are a few practical tips to make sure you don't miss out: 

  • Take advantage of your annual team-building events to get key messages across. Don't hesitate to educate and explain to your franchisees the advantages of managing their business.
  • Organize initial training and ongoing support to "get on board" with the adventure.
  • Ask for feedback and listen to any difficulties you encounter. 
  • Make sure your franchisees take over from their teams when it comes to learning how to use the tools.
  • Get help from un Dedicated Account Manager to support you over the long term

If these efforts seem important to you, tell yourself that it's well worth the effort !

And, if you're feeling a little lost, call in the professionals in restaurant digitalization: they're used to it and will guide you step by step.

Obypay, the digital partner of franchise networks

As you can see, digital technology has become essential to the development of franchise networks.

Thanks to shared customer knowledge, it enables you to offer a harmonized, personalized experience at all your points of sale. 

Centralized management of your offers, inventories and marketing campaigns enhances the efficiency of your network, while giving your franchisees autonomy.

To support franchise networks in this digitization process, Obypay has developed a platform of complementary, customizable digital solutions combining : 

  • A CRM powerful
  • The management of marketing campaigns targeted and automated
  • A tool for reporting complete 
  • A program of loyalty digital multi-site
  • Visit ordering and payment at the table
  • From terminals control
  • Omnichannel ordering solutions with Click & Collect and Click & Delivery
  • A back office centralized management of rights, menus and offers
  • L'menu heritage

What is menu inheritance?

This feature enables the franchisor to create a product catalog (the menu) and distribute it throughout the franchise network. In this way, the addition of a new product to the menu can be controlled directly from head office.

The Obypay platform integrates with the franchise network's cash register software for centralized management, with customization options for each establishment.

Many restaurant chains have already chosen Obypay to digitalize their franchise network, including Signorizza and Les 3 Brasseurs, Krispy KremeMezzencore, Les Berthom, Flunch, Pizza Hut.

What are you waiting for?

Find out more and get advice from an expert in franchise digitalization, book a demo appointment.

the future belongs to those who digitalize their franchises (especially at our side)

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