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  • Shoplifting, Return Fraud, & Employee Theft at All Time High
    Operators are increasingly focused on loss prevention, and for good reason - retail shrinkage is increasing. Products are disappearing from shelves faster than you can one-click order that same product on Amazon - the other threat to brick and mortar retailers. The annual National Retail Security Survey from the University of Florida analyzed retail shrinkage in the United States. Fou...
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  • Retailer Rankings Indicate Major Growth for Convenience Stores
    Marketplace differentiation is an increasingly hot topic in retail as it relates to innovative merchandising and value proposition. What’s not? Sterile big-box retail. This was a key revelation from STORES magazine’s Hot 100 Retailers, which ranks the fastest-growing retailers based on sales. Four of the top five companies listed are e-commerce businesses, with Walmart, Target, Costco...
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  • How to Write Questions for Retail Audits
    I don’t usually get to answer the headline prompt in the first line of a blog post, but here it is… Dig deeper and don’t settle for the status quo. That’s the overriding philosophy of writing questions for retail audits, but now for the more practical approach: What do you actually ask on the survey and/or forms of the audit? Below are some examples of how mobile solutions like Ze...
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  • The Impact of Millennials on Casual Dining: Insights from Panera Bread & Krispy Kreme
    The impact of millennials on the restaurant industry is an increasingly common topic of conversation. “Casual dining is in danger—and Millennials are to blame,” reports Business Insider in an article entitled “Millennials are killing chains like Buffalo Wild Wings and Applebee’s.” The article notes that this blame game has become cliché in retail. If you look at The EquiTrend Report f...
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  • You Can't Have 'Brand Consistency' Without...
    I’m very loyal to a local fast food restaurant and, on average, I’m a monthly patron. On my most recent visit, everything was on point with the food, as per usual. But there was something else that slightly soured my experience. The customer service was legitimately unfriendly and contradicted the brand’s messaging. On the side of the truck, there is a photo of the founder smiling, yet...
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  • Fresh Food Wins If Brands Can Deliver Just One Thing…
    Customers have all been there. That disappointing experience at their favorite c-store or restaurant that makes them question all they know to be true in life. Well OK, maybe that’s a bit dramatic. But it is a disappointment when it happens, and it can make them think twice about returning—at least to that location. An alternative scenario is when a customer knows that one location ma...
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  • The Key to Balancing Tech and Human Interaction in Retail
    Source: DesignBuzz.com From Wi-Fi and digital menu boards in Wendy’s to growing lines at the automated checkout in Target, technology is increasingly present in retail environments.   To quote a friend’s photo caption of an Amazon Books store in Manhattan: “But why?”. To me, the better question is, “Why not?”. In the case of Amazon, the retailer’s decision starts to make more sense w...
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  • Papa John’s Customer Complaint Reflects Common Issue Faced By Franchise Businesses
    Yelp, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin - dissatisfied customers have plenty of options when it comes to venting about poor customer service. Papa John’s is the latest target in these increasingly public complaints. The incident reveals issues endemic to the fragmented franchise environment - holes in communication between the operator and franchisees. And the company’s response provides a s...
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  • 3 Preventable Problems That Set Up Franchisees for Failure
    Image source: wabagrill.com The relationship between a franchisor and a franchisee is much like a human relationship. You want to strive for a healthy, co-dependency built on open communication and mutual respect. You don’t want it to be needy, possessive, or insecure as a result of poor communication. That kind of operational environment can make one of the parties want to either loc...
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  • How Domino’s Plans to Stay Ahead
    Image Source: Google While other pizza chains struggle, Domino’s is thriving (Over 1300% stock price increase since IPO in 2004). That’s the subhed of this story on investment site The Motley Fool. Shares of Domino’s Pizza jumped more than 11% in October, according to data by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The pizza chain jumped 13% in same-store sales in the third quarter, making ...
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  • There's a Better Way for Global Franchises to Communicate
    Arby’s is planning an expansion into Canada. Grimaldi’s pizza expands to United Arab Emirates. Carl’s Jr. opens its first location in Chile. Papa John’s plans to open 20 stores in Morocco. These are just some of the global franchising news we’ve encountered in the last few weeks. It’s truly amazing what globalization and high-speed communication has done to the food franchisee comm...
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  • Effective vs. Ineffective Franchise Operators. Where do you fall?
    “Expect problems and eat them for breakfast.” – Alfred Montapert I think this is one of the most inspirational quotes for franchisees. Not just because it’s food related, but because it’s the truth of the business they know. Foodservice franchises, whether they are restaurants or convenience stores, are a messy business to manage. Food safety is its own realm, not to mention the expec...
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  • How McDonald’s Can Make New Menu Item Execution More Manageable
    Has McDonald’s finally hit its stride with its newly announced menu items? Analyst Andrew Strelzik of BMO Capital Markets thinks so. From a stock perspective, he believes that McDonald’s is on pace to reach its 2019 objectives, which includes a cash return to shareholders. Finally, some good projections for the Golden Arches. When it comes down to it, a $22 to $24 billion cash return...
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  • For That Person Who Needs to See the Value of Mobile Tech in Retail Operations:
    I’ve said this in the past, but it’s worth repeating: at Zenput, we are practitioners of reality. We are the real-time operational insights provider through our mobile software solution. Our customers in the convenience store, restaurant, retail, and CPG spaces realize our value as they customize our platform to fit their own unique operational needs. We’re always talking about real-li...
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  • What McDonald’s Needs to Learn from Starbucks’ Mobile App
    One of my least favorite phrases is “victim of its own success.” For instance, I remember that was the reason why a popular fireworks show on a riverbank was canceled. It was so popular and drew such large crowds that the police couldn’t handle the public safety demands. It became too costly—a victim of its own success. I don’t know about you, but if a program is going to fail, I alwa...
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New blog articles detected.

  • How to Get Your Store’s Litter Problem Under Control
    I’ve always had great respect for people in custodial services. A family friend emigrated from Europe to start cleaning offices, and another high school friend’s father had a business that cleaned gyms and clubs in New York. In fact, he was allowed to borrow his client’s Lamborghini one day, and drove it to pick up my friend from school. It’s the first and only time—and quite possibly ...
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  • How Employees Can Help Prevent Costly Restaurant Repairs
    We recently learned about a Manhattan-based startup that aspires to be the Uber of restaurant repairs. SendaGuy Now targets independent restaurants in New York who are in need of repair and maintenance service. In a savvy move, SendaGuy Now is incentivizing small operators to develop a preventative maintenance schedules by helping restaurants locate quality contractors who can provide ...
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New blog articles detected.

  • How to Stand Out in a Gas Station Cluster
    (Image Source: Google Maps) I always thought it was strange that there were three gas stations on a single corner down the street from my college—until I started learning more about the convenience and gas retail industry. Around the time I saw this pattern, a game theorist in San Francisco noticed the same thing and attempted to get to the mathematical root. As Presh Talwalkar expla...
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New blog articles detected.

  • Where Yelp Doesn't Help: How to Stop Restaurants from Failing Health Inspections
    Once you hear a story (good or bad) about a restaurant, you never quite forget it. For instance, I still remember how my friend walked past a deli she regularly frequented—closed at that hour—to see an employee smoking a cigarette behind the counter. And then there’s my friend in another state who went to order ice cream from a small shop where the employee was a on a cigarette break. ...
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New blog articles detected.

  • How C-stores Can Turn Social Media Interaction into Employee Action
      Chances are that your convenience store chain has an active social media presence. Considering that the “big guys” like Wawa, Sheetz and Speedway have well more than 1 million followers, you definitely want to get in on that extra brand visibility, if you haven’t already. But being on social media is more than just posting your new products and promotions; it’s about being a good c...
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  • The 3-Part Call-to-Action Against Rising Convenience Store Operating Costs
        We’re living in politically uncertain times. While the new Presidential administration has promised to be pro-small business, there’s no guarantee that convenience store operators will experience change at the local level. That’s the American democratic process and the power of states’ rights. It’s also part of the frustration for business owners who don’t see change—they just se...
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Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Operating in ‘The Now’ with Mobile Technology
    In a previous blog post about Omnichannel retail, I suggested that retailers have to “start thinking mobile” because that’s where their customers are moving. However, I also explained how it doesn’t mean that every retailer suddenly has to overhaul their business model and start handing out 3D glasses. In other words, keep doing what you’re doing—but do it with your mobile customers in...
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Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Can an Organic Fast-Food Restaurant Play the Value Game?
    Did you notice that QSR magazine upped their 9 fast-food trends for 2016 to 12 trends for 2017? They kept the descriptions more succinct and business-focused rather than about the food itself. I have a theory for why this is… because today’s customers are all over the place!  Wouldn’t the foodservice industry be much simpler if everyone just wanted a salad for lunch and a craft pizza b...
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New blog articles detected.

  • Omnichannel is Here to Stay: 3 Ways Conventional Retailers Can Adapt
    Here’s a fact: Not all retailers Zenput works with are equipped to offer the online shopping experience... yet—but they also don’t have to right now. Plenty of retailers we work with have core businesses that rely on foot traffic and/or drive-thru operations. Your customers may be just “catching up” to the technology of ordering groceries or food delivery online or through an app. B...

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