Franchisor scores on audits: brand standards up by 20%

“Compliance auditing can be a hugely beneficial activity for franchise organisations for a number of reasons. An external agent can validate company agreed internal operating standards and benchmarks across sites that franchisors would otherwise have little control over. Compliance auditing that can range from branding, to finance (e.g. royalties reporting), to operational procedures (e.g. product ordering), guarantees not only improved business confidence but also improved business excellence.”

– Duncan Colvin, Head of Compliance

1. The Brief: Compliance Audit for National Franchisor

A national high street retail operator contacted Venners Compliance with concerns that as their brand expanded nationally from 70 to over 100 sites, the quality of the offer and the perception of the brand quality was being eroded. The restaurant franchise, which specialises in desserts, wanted to remain on good terms with its franchisees whilst having the ability to enforce high standards and brand compliance.


2. The Setup: Audit Scores Brand Standards Compliance

The Venners Compliance team paid visits to the company’s own sites to establish benchmarks and learn the culture and practices of the group from the managers and directors. Policy documents were then studied to ensure the audit scored against agreed operating procedures. Once a bespoke brand standards audit was developed, the compliance team completed test audits and discussed these with the client to make final ammends as required.


3. The Results: Brand Compliance Rises by 20%

The audit visits were scheduled for 4 times a year. Pass rates were continually monitored and incentivised by the regional management team. As a result the franchise operator’s site audit scores rose by an average of 20% for brand standards in the first year.


Our client saw a marked improvement in brand identity compliance with unauthorised or poorly branded items removed. Cleanliness standards improved too thanks to continued monitoring and customer facing displays were brought to a consistent standard across the brand.


4. The Future: Online Compliance Monitoring

Each visit report was debriefed with the manager and uploaded to the audit portal. All senior managers and directors were given the necessary access and training to plot audits, rates of improvement and areas of concern directly from head office.


The client has maintained a good working relationship with its franchisees whilst having the tools, through third party compliance monitoring, to enforce strong controls.


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