They don’t have to be intimidating, but they can be received that way. In fact, an uptick in surprise inspections, and the enforcement of stringent new operating standards, have been contributing to a “toxic” environment for franchisees of a certain global restaurant brand in recent months, according to news reports. Operators say the more frequent inspections have been distracting managers and staff and have resulted in managers departing for competitors – all despite a strong pandemic performance from the brand.
To be sure, restaurants are under increased pressure to prepare and serve food safely and at faster speeds than before. But making the competitive pressure not simply nonpunitive, but also motivational, can help you retain labor at a time when so many restaurants are vying for it. It can also help you set a foundation in which higher standards become embedded in your culture and don’t get diluted in repeated waves of new staff. Across your operation, how can you make inspections and the enforcement of new standards feel more like a reward and less like a reprimand?