No one ever said the restaurant business is easy. In addition to preparing and serving food to keep the regulars happy and new customers coming in, experienced managers, owners and franchise operators face a number of surprising logistical challenges every day.
One of those challenges is deciding how to properly use space in a foodservice operation or restaurant.
Case in point are the popular pretzel stands, Auntie Anne’s. Commonly found in malls and shopping centers, Auntie Anne’s often operates out of small kiosks.
Because so much of their brand and taste is tied to freshly rolling and baking their pretzels in-house, every Auntie Anne’s store must allocate space for an oven, prep station, warming area and more. And they must do so in a rather compact area, too, which makes space a challenge each store must overcome.
Searching for a way to increase the overall efficiency of their stores, Focus Brands — the parent company of Auntie Anne’s and other household names such as Cinnabon, Schlotzsky’s, Moe’s Southwest Grill, McAlister’s Deli and Carvel — enlisted TriMark Strategic to help them redesign and implement cost-savings solutions in new locations.
Their partnership kicked off with a redesign of Auntie Anne’s stores. From the very beginning, something was different about how the team worked to find solutions.
When Gregg Adams, vice president of TriMark Strategic, and Dave Peterka, chain account executive of TriMark Strategic, traveled to Auntie Anne’s headquarters in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, it wasn’t for a normal sit-down boardroom meeting. They started at the ground level.
For two days they gained firsthand experience by going through the Auntie Anne’s employee training program. As a result, they were able to experience a store’s daily routine and operations, how equipment was laid out and where improvements could be made.
They also made some great pretzels.
Due to this process, they were able to explore ways to save space and money by consolidating equipment and improving the front and back-of-house layout in such areas as sneeze guards, prep space and ordering stations.
One of the goals of the partnership is to implement cost savings ideas and solutions.
Both TriMark and Auntie Anne’s will continue to focus on the design, make adjustments and implement the solutions in stores across the country.
And Auntie Anne’s is only part of the story. TriMark will work to implement similar solutions in other restaurants in the Focus Brands family.
“We’re proud to have been asked to participate and be the primary supplier for Focus Brands,” says Adams.