Growing from local to Global Restaurant Chain can be challenging for any organization. Especially if you’re growing from just 20 to 70 locations in just under a decade.
That’s the challenge that faced O’Learys. Founded in 1988, O'Learys is Sweden's leading sports bar and restaurant chain. With over 70 restaurants in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Spain, Germany and Singapore, the chain is broadly recognized for its American Sports Bar theme and American styled food. By the turn of the new millennium, O’Learys began moving assertively to further grow its business, increasing marketing activities and focusing its expansion activity. In addition to opening locations across Sweden, it expanded into Scandinavia, mainland Europe and Asia. But growing from 20 to 70 restaurants in less than a decade doesn’t come without its fair share of growing pains. As many franchise owners will testify, expansion brings a heightened need for crystal clear internal communications and disciplined attention to brand and franchise compliance. Without franchise software in place to handle processes and communication, many franchises struggle to overcome these requirements, and grow effectively. In 2003, executives at O’Learys acknowledged the processes were not streamlined and communications were inefficient. This posed to a long term risk to the brand. It was time to tool up with franchise software. In order to laser focus on creating a consistent brand experience, the chain decided to implement a franchise software that allowed them to achieve the following:
- Bring together franchise communications across the restaurants’ global locations into one single platform
- Store, share, and maintain digital franchise manuals, documents, and marketing materials in a one-stop platform
- Facilitate the design and execution of customer loyalty programs and marketing promotions while respecting the O’Learys brand guidelines and standards
To realize this vision, O’Learys wanted to team with a partner that would bring not only expertise in technical environments and system integration, but also bringing a deep understanding of the franchise world. While the company considered several franchise software developers, Chainformation was the logical choice. Over the past twelve years, Chainformation has provided franchise software for some of Scandinavia’s largest franchise- and retail-chains.
Chainformation implemented Franchise Intranet, a franchise software developed specifically for the franchise industry that can be used out of the box and can be implemented in just 4-6 weeks. O’Learys had many additional ideas how to custom-build Franchise Intranet, and working with Chainformation’s team of development experts, realized a number of new features:
- E-mail and SMS Text Message Marketing tool to drive customer traffic
- Recipe and ingredient management to plan, print menus
- Access to preferred vendors and procurement processes
- Customer Loyalty Program Management and Mailing Features
O’Learys also connected its global menu database with printers around the world. With over 150 dishes stored, each restaurant could quickly customize and print a menu based on the meals that are in demand in that region, or for a specific season. Another feature was the Web Content Management Plug-in which allowed O’Learys to publish and manage content on the global customer website, as well as any of its local customer websites. The roll-out of Franchise Intranet as the single point of entry and communication platform for the O’Learys network started nearly a decade ago. Both companies remain partners and continue to work together to build new features of the franchise software.