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Kitchen Wise Launches AR and VR-Powered Training Program

The kitchen organization franchise has partnered with training experts Virti, a U.K.-based startup that will use immersive augmented reality and virtual reality scenarios to help franchisees rapidly improve their communication and sales skills in a zero-risk virtual environment.

By Luca Piacentini1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 9:09AM 05/20/22

Kitchen Wise, the 25-plus-unit home organization franchise under the Premium Service Brands umbrella, is rolling out an innovative training program across all of its concepts through a new partnership with Virti, a U.K.-based startup that uses immersive AR/VR scenarios to teach hands-on soft skills in realistic settings.

Why Premium Service Brands Partnered with Virti

Last year, Premium Service Brand analyzed the actions and best practices of owners with exceptional launch results to see what separated them from the pack. The company discovered that practice, communication skills and mindset played a significant role in positioning owners for successful launches and set out to revitalize the established Premium Service Brands onboarding program in an attempt to make the experience more impactful with the help of innovative technology. 

The industry-first project with Virti will help Kitchen Wise franchisees hone their communication and sales skills in a zero-risk virtual environment. Incoming franchisees will be able to access the training on-demand no matter where they’re based.

In 2018, Virti was founded by Dr. Alexander F. Young as a way to expand a training platform he had created for those in the health care industry. As an orthopedic surgeon, Young had seen how difficult it was to learn soft skills like leadership and communication during his training period. After building a training platform that utilized tech like AI and virtual reality to engage learners through role-play scenarios and capture data on how they performed, Young decided it was time to offer the service to more sectors. Now, with the recent Premium Service Brands partnership, Young says Virti is thrilled to enter the franchising space for the first time. 

“PSB was our first franchise customer, so some of their needs in terms of training were different from clients we had worked with in the past,” said Young. “But when we were creating Virti, we made it in a way that allows for unique scenarios and an adaptable platform.”

How Virti’s Training Program Stands Out from Traditional Methods

As Premium Service Brands expands rapidly across the country, the new VR training is part of the company’s efforts to upskill the franchisees in their network and support them to make their businesses a long-term commercial success. Previously, sales and communication training could only be accessed online or using written materials. Using the Virti platform, franchise business owners and their employees will be able to access an extensive library of specially-created VR training simulations, giving them realistic and interactive opportunities to practice their skills away from the field.

“Our learning team was able to help guide PSB to take their in-person, scripted role-plays — which were expensive, difficult to scale and non-data driven — and turn that into virtual reality role-playing through video and animation, which could be accessed on-demand,” said Young.

With the Virti platform, Young says Kitchen Wise franchisees will also be able to better understand the lessons taught during the onboarding process and commit fully to the entire experience.

“In addition to reducing cost and increasing accessibility, the virtual training scenario allows employees to practice in a safe space,” said Young. “Sometimes, when going through in-person, group role playing, people may feel a little insecure and be unable to apply those skills. People’s brains don’t fall into those simulated real environments — they are aware they are in a group training space and don’t behave as they would when in real life on the field. Their emotional intelligence won’t develop as quickly. With AR and VR, it really tricks the learner’s brain into believing they are in that real-world situation.” 

Additionally, Young says the Virti platform provides clients like Premium Service Brands with the data they need to create the gold standard of training. “Normal, in-person training doesn’t offer that data-driven blueprint for making sure the training is even more successful next time,” said Young. 

PwC reports that VR and AR have the potential to add $1.5 trillion to the global economy by 2030. With this projection, Young says Premium Service Brands is well-aligned with where the industry is headed. 

“After the pandemic, people want something beyond the 2D Zoom environment, but something that is still safe,” he said. “This virtual training platform allows franchisees and franchisors to interact in a much more free-form and engaging way, which is why it is well-positioned for the future. It has been a pleasure to work with a company like Premium Service Brands. They identified a business need in which scalable training for franchisees was difficult, and it has been great working alongside them to help solve that problem and make the experience better for everyone involved.”

Why Now is the Time to Partner with Kitchen Wise

Now, as Kitchen Wise looks to expand with qualified franchise partners in available territories throughout the country, the Virti training platform will ensure each new incoming owner is best prepared to start the business off right. 

And with homeowners spending more time considering renovation projects due to the pandemic, Kitchen Wise franchisees are well-positioned for the future, especially considering kitchens are the most popular rooms for home renovations, according to the National Association of Realtors. 

“Both Kitchen Wise and Premium Service Brands enjoyed record-setting years in 2021” said Paul Flick, CEO of Premium Service Brands. “The more we can satisfy the end user and provide existing franchise partners with more leads and revenue, the better we will perform overall, and this investment will allow us to build out our infrastructure and business model so we are better positioned to support new owners at the rate at which they want to join. By helping owners build a mental map on how all the aspects of our model fit together, we are confident they will leave the training experience with a stronger and more holistic understanding of what it takes to run their business on a day-to-day level.” 

The initial investment to open a Kitchen Wise ranges from $101,875 to $144,000. This includes a $65,000 franchise fee. The brand is actively seeking franchise owners in Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Phoenix, San Antonio, Boston and Raleigh. For more information on franchising with Kitchen Wise, please visit