QSR Management Techniques from a Leading McDonald’s Franchisee

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Jarred Lokietz’s management of 22 McDonald’s restaurants in New York City underscores his expertise in franchise operations. As Chief Operating Officer at Goodman Group McDonald’s, his approach focuses on people enablement, operational efficiency, technology integration, and strategic alignment with franchise goals.

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Hands-on Experience: Jarred’s Insights from the Field

Jarred’s management of the Goodman Group’s restaurant portfolio is grounded in and informed by a practical, hands-on approach. His strategies stem from his rich background in the fast-food sector, highlighting that getting experience working in the restaurant is crucial for effective leadership.

Jarred’s leadership is informed by direct experiences with the unique challenges and opportunities of the fast-food industry, enabling him to offer substantial support to his team. He prioritizes empathy and respect, fostering a work environment that drives the team towards the franchise’s goals while ensuring excellence in customer service.

Overall, Jarred advocates for a leadership style deeply intertwined with the operational facets of the business, a philosophy that has led to significant improvements in performance and a strong team commitment to achieving competitive success in the market.

Implementing a Bonus Structure Across a Multi-Franchise Environment

In preaching a people-focused organization, the Goodman Group takes this strategy to the next level through its employee incentive program, aiming to recognize the team’s contributions towards the company’s overall achievement. This bonus program is devised to align the manager’s and team members’ performances with the portfolio’s overall success. This means rewarding restaurant and field managers based on their ability to directly drive profitability and operational efficiency.

The program operates on a quarterly basis, emphasizing two key performance areas. The first is profitability, which focuses on the two highest controllable costs within the restaurant: labor and food costs. These are critical financial metrics that demand constant attention due to their significant impact on the franchise’s bottom line. The second area is operational efficiency, which includes such metrics as speed of service, order accuracy, delivery service levels, team attendance and punctuality, and overall customer satisfaction.

Jarred’s philosophy is straightforward: “I’m a firm believer if the company wins, so should those who helped you get there.” This is achieved through a structured bonus system that uses weighted, range-based KPIs to determine the reward, fostering a culture where achievements in profitability and operations are recognized and celebrated.

A key tool in the success of this bonus program is FDS Reporting, which provides weekly detailed reports to managers, offering clarity on performance against the bonus criteria and pinpointing areas needing attention. Sent every Monday, these reports keep managers informed of their progress and potential areas for improvement, encouraging focused efforts to meet and surpass bonus targets.

Moreover, Jarred ensures the reporting and communication process is adapted to the diverse analytical abilities of the management team, streamlining complex data into clear, actionable insights. This approach minimizes time spent analyzing data, allowing managers to focus on implementing improvements directly in the operational environment. “Every improvement happens on the floor, side by side with your teams, coaching, communicating, and speaking to our guests,” says Jarred.

This bonus structure, supported by precise and timely data from FDS Reporting, enhances both the operational and financial aspects of franchise management. It establishes a new standard for managing multi-franchise environments, driving improved performance, and fostering a commitment to shared success and growth.

Leveraging Technology for Franchise Growth

In running one of the most prestigious McDonald’s franchise portfolios in the country, Jarred and the Goodman Group have adeptly utilized technology to scale. A visit to any one of his New York City restaurants reveals the impressive level of technology and automation in operation, from the kitchen to the counter. These integrations have significantly optimized manual tasks, allowing staff to focus on more meaningful interactions with customers, thus enriching the customer experience. Jarred has been able to reposition crew members to focus on service excellence, creating memorable moments for guests, from assisting parents with children to personalizing the dining experience. This shift not only improves service but also boosts employee satisfaction by assigning them more rewarding tasks.

A notable innovation in his franchises is the introduction of cash recyclers at kiosks, allowing for streamlined transactions and enhancing customer convenience. This technology enables customers to place orders at their own pace, reducing pressure and improving accuracy.

Digital engagement and delivery services are other pillars of Jarred’s strategy. By promoting the McDonald’s app, he encourages customers to enjoy rewards, place orders ahead of time, and benefit from a seamless pick-up process, enhancing convenience and customer loyalty. These digital advancements have not only driven sales and profitability but have also contributed positively to crew morale.

Garrett’s conversation with Jarred highlights the integration of this technology with the franchise’s operational data, ensuring that managers have the insights needed to maintain high service levels. This effective use of data, combined with the challenges of managing multiple locations, especially in a bustling city like New York, illustrates the complexity of Jarred’s role. His focus on delegation, standardization, and regular communication underscores the importance of a cohesive strategy and team alignment in overcoming operational challenges.

Future of Franchising According to Jarred

Jarred sees the future of franchise management heavily influenced by technological advancements. He believes in leveraging technology as a key driver for growth and improving operations within franchises. For Jarred, the essentials for thriving in the evolving franchise environment include a strong focus on technology, ensuring customer and employee satisfaction, and a thorough grasp of daily operations. He views these aspects as interconnected parts of a comprehensive strategy for navigating the challenges of contemporary franchise management.

As the franchise sector moves towards a future enriched with technology, Jarred and the Goodman Group’s approach can serve as a model for others. His experiences underscore the importance of embracing challenges, prioritizing continuous improvement, and utilizing the latest technology to seize opportunities for advancement and innovation in franchising.

FDS provides robust analytics that have helped multi-location businesses achieve remarkable results: on average, 5 new openings per year, a 6% increase in profitability, and 15+ hours saved weekly.