Tim Hortons restaurants have been opened since 1964 and have built quite a fan-base! In Canada, on any given day, an average of 15% or 5.3 million Canadians are visiting the franchise and getting one of their famous drinks or meals either at the drive-thru or in the dining room.
Being such a high-profile chain comes with its perks (Tim Hortons Facebook page has more fans than any other brand page in Canada) but it also has its challenges; how do you prepare for unexpected rush of customers visiting all at once?
Jack Thornton, co-owner of 4 Tim Hortons restaurants since 1997, knows a thing or two about scheduling and staffing optimization, and leveraging the tools at hand to serve customers fast and keep them happy.
“Restaurants with a drive-thru are often open late, if not all night. It can become challenging for managers to anticipate the labor required to offer the best customer service while completing the tasks required in the back-end to run the business” shares Jack Thornton, whose 4 Tim Hortons restaurants are located in Bradford, ON.
Balancing their labor budget, which is one of the main expenses affecting the P&L, is indeed a challenge faced by many business owners and getting a work force management platform comes at a cost. There is no lack of tools to help managers with scheduling and optimization, but is there a readily available tool that can be leveraged at no extra cost to the business?
Jack Thornton believes that the CCTV equipment installed in his location offers a cost- effective solution to this old problem. “We have installed several cameras in the dining room, the offices and in the drive-thru area. Once our regular peak times are done, the managers will often catchup on administrative duties in the office and we have installed monitors with views on various areas of the store. Without even being called, a Manager can identify potential rushes, dispatch the right team members or jump into action for a seamless service and then go back to the office once everyone has been served.”
This strategy has helped this business owner optimize his schedule and balance his budget while saving on labor costs and keeping an outstanding level of service that his regular customers have come to expect. Want to know the magic recipe of this balancing act? You will have to visit Jack at one of his locations. And although you may get his staffing formula, don’t expect him to give you the secret recipe to their delicious coffee!