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How Have Franchise Brands Pivoted During the COVID-19 Crisis?

Many franchises have taken quick action and rolled out new initiatives in response to the global pandemic.

As Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, local and state governments are implementing stay-at-home orders encouraged by the CDC, causing small businesses that aren’t considered “essential” to shut their doors and create new strategies to keep revenue flowing. Below is an overview of some of the shifts that franchises have taken in recent weeks. 

Famous Dave’s* in Food & Beverage Magazine - Free Delivery & Curbside Pickup

Unlike some full-service food franchises, Famous Dave’s already tested free delivery and curbside pickup initiatives in several of their locations in 2019, leading the brand to develop a strong off-premise customer base. “Before COVID-19, 50 percent of our total revenue was coming from delivery, pickup and catering, which was closer to 30 percent about five years ago,” said Al Hank, Senior Vice President of Operations for Famous Dave’s. “Today, given the landscape of how we need to operate, nearly 100% of our revenue is coming through these channels.”

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in QSR Magazine - Kids Eat Free Monday-Friday 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

As most, if not all, schools are closed, Beef ‘O’ Brady’s is filling the gap for kids who rely on school lunches by providing free meals every weekday. 

Dunkin’ Donuts in Restaurant Business - Giving Franchisees Royalty Relief 

Not only did Dunkin’ Donuts eliminate in-store dining, promote delivery, encourage mobile ordering and reduce the hours of operation, the brand is also extending royalty and ad fund payments relief to franchisees. This strategy should give operators “more financial flexibility to enable them to support their employees and guests as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 health crisis.”

Teriyaki Madness in Restaurant Technology News -  Emphasizing Technology on Contact-Free Delivery

Jodi Boyce, EVP of Marketing for Teriyaki Madness, highlights how the brand has implemented technology to broaden its off-premise options while promoting the already established and innovative delivery model. Teriyaki Madness is offering curbside pickup at most locations while integrating a new feature on the app where customers can enter their car make, model and color so staff can easily bring their order out to them. The brand is in the process of testing a program to enhance curbside pickup with location-aware technology that alerts the store when the customer is en route and when they’ve arrived. 

Mighty Quinn’s BBQ in Modern Restaurant Management - Discounts & Free Sandwiches for Healthcare Workers

Aside from shifting to takeout and delivery only, Mighty Quinn’s has taken several steps to make sure their food is as visible and available as possible in their communities. Measures taken include offering 15 percent off all delivery and takeout orders placed through the website and app; beer and wine delivery in compliance with current allowances by the State Liquor Authority; and redistributing staff to fulfill the larger demand of pickup and delivery orders. Most importantly, Mighty Quinn’s is offering free sandwiches to all healthcare workers on front lines of combatting this virus.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.