What Makes a Good Training and Education Franchise?

A franchise is a business relationship through which the parent company or the franchisor authorizes a franchisee to sell their goods and services in a particular area. The franchisee has the right to use the technique, trademark but is bound by the business standards of the franchisor.

The concept of franchising has caught up in the career training and education field. A number of parent institutions have handed over training centers to franchisees today. This is an opportunity for students who are not able to relocate to the parent institution itself due to various constraints.

The Franchising Advantage

Reasons why a franchise relationship is established are many. From the franchisor point of view it is easier to extend their services to a wider base of individuals with less operational hassles. The franchising model is also cost effective for the franchisor as it does not have to waste its resources on manpower management and other administrative costs.  

It is possible to expand the geographic presence while making use of the franchisee resources and local expertise. The challenge for the parent company is to make the authorized entity maintain the same quality of business standards and ethics and ensure that the customer satisfaction levels are not compromised.

From the franchisee point of view all that is required is capital and business acumen to flourish in that particular field. The need for building goodwill and credibility of the brand is almost nil as it is taken care of by the parent company. This makes it easier to concentrate on the business and deliver quality service to the customers or clients.

Gauging The Right Training And Education Franchise

Training and education is a part of the service industry. Gauging the quality of the services provided by the franchisee is not always easy. The challenge a prospective candidate will face is to weigh difference between the parent institute and the authorized institute. It could be that the parent institute is a century old and has established its repute for decades. But that cannot be a scale to measure the success of a franchisee as the service provided is intangible.

The success of a training and education franchise largely depends on its manpower resources. Although the course curriculum is from the parent institute, the faculty resource is a major criterion that needs serious evaluation. Before enrolling into any program you should take a few steps to find out about the resources on the program. You can talk to the counselor at the institute, past or present students enrolled in the program or take opinion from others in the same field. Look for the qualification, experience in teaching, hands-on industry experience and their ability to deliver as a teacher.

It is always good to ensure that the franchisee follows the course curriculum provided by the mother institute. Also make sure that you get all the benefits assigned to students by franchisor, if any. For example, the price of the courseware might have been included in the fee structure. You can also avail the infrastructure facilities such the library, computer center or any other additional facilities that has been authorized to the students as per the franchise agreement.

Restaurant Training – Waiter & Waitress Training Tips For Customer Service – Hospitality Education

Did you know that approximately 14 percent of your customers will not return to your business because of food quality and 68 percent because of service quality? So, doesn’t it make sense to train your waiters and waitresses to deliver superior service to win your customers back every time?

To gain the competitive edge today, you have to do much more to place your restaurant on the “favorites” list. One way is through personalizing service for each type of customer that comes to your business. For example, selling and service techniques employed for a family with children are different from that which would be delivered to elderly customers. The same holds true for business customers versus vacationers. It is never safe to think that your restaurant service staff will inherently understand these differences. Unless trained, they are most likely to offer one size fits all service.

Teach your waiters and waitresses to be observant and follow the tips below to help assess the needs of your customers:

•Time limitation (leisurely or time restricted)

•Mood (celebratory, romantic, stressed)

•Age group (children, teenagers, baby boomers, seniors, geriatrics)

•Purpose for their visit (social, private/intimate, or business)

•Gender (male, female)

Since approximately 80 percent of communication is conveyed through facial gestures and verbal and non verbal body language, as opposed to the actual words, teach your service team to focus on the following areas:

•Verbal Language (voice tone, rate, inflection, speech, pronunciation, and grammar)

•Body Language (eye contact, facial expressions, gestures and movement)

Look for telltale signs of a customer in a rush such as looking at their watch, looking around or rubber necking, talking quickly, crossing their arms, or tapping their fingers. Also, closely observe your customers’ image (e.g. clothing, accessories, hair, makeup, etc.). This can also provide you with many clues about their dining needs.

Here is an exercise to share with your service team. It lists various types of customers and ways to customize service for each customer category. During a pre-shift meeting or company training session, review this exercise with your restaurant service staff.

Customer Types and Service Suggestions:

1. Celebrating

-Since celebrating customers usually have larger budgets, suggest higher priced items along with party-spirit foods/drinks and a cake to recognize the occasion

-Congratulate the celebrating customer and focus on their main event

-Be social unless serving a couple desiring privacy

2. Elderly

-Since many elderly customers are on a limited income, guide them towards value-oriented foods and recommend light, soft, and less spicy foods

-Be patient and speak slowly, project your voice, and listen carefully

-Refrain from acts which can be construed as condescending or treating them like children

3. Family (with children)

-Offer high chairs and booster seats

-Be prepared to make kid-favorite suggestions and easy to eat finger foods

-Offer something to occupy the child’s attention (game books, crayons, crackers)

-Be patient while the family orders and give the children the opportunity to place their order themselves

-Sincerely compliment the customer about their children

-Ask the child kid-friendly questions

-Place drinks where spills are less likely and remove obstacles (e.g. vases and centerpieces)

-Quickly clean spills and keep the area tidy

-Deliver extra napkins

4. Romantic Couple

-Guide the couple towards a booth or secluded area for privacy when seating them

-Suggest higher priced items along with wines, champagnes, and exotic desserts, since romantic couples and people on first-dates usually have larger budgets

-Deliver highly organized and efficient service

-Minimize your conversation and allow them privacy, without hovering over them

5. Business

-Suggest higher priced items, since many business people have business accounts and set allowances

-Suggest items that are prepared quickly and inform them if their selected order requires a long preparation, if they are on a business lunch

-Deliver highly organized and efficient service and ensure their order is delivered promptly

-Minimize your conversation and allow them privacy without hovering over them

Please Note: When serving alcohol, train your staff to be aware of the signs of intoxication and avoid overselling alcohol. Teach your staff to refuse alcohol sales to any minors.

Other customer types include customers dining alone (the solo customer), disabled customers, teenagers as customers, customers who are in a rush, first-time customers, and customers who dine in large groups/gatherings. Again, each different type of customer has “specific” service needs. Along with recognizing the category customers belong in, the above service suggestions are meant as recommendations and are not set in stone. Always, be sure to fully assess every dining customer by closely observing verbal and body language to determine how to positively interact with them. Mike Owens, General Manager of Brick Oven LLC, located in Topeka, Kansas, says, “Using the above examples in role-play scenarios is a highly effective method to properly train your service teams…it helps them fully understand the importance of tailoring their service versus delivering the same canned service to everyone.”

“Service” is not just about delivering food and drinks to the table-it is giving the customer much more than he/she expects. Implementing a solid training program that focuses on personalizing service will set you apart from your competitors. Exceeding the needs of each customer with customized service takes a little extra time. However, it is worth the effort. When the customer wins, everyone wins and it’s a triple play-more money for you, increased tips for your service staff, and happy customers that become loyal patrons and refer their friends to your business.