LP Magazine

JUL-AUG 2019

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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34 JULY–AUGUST 2019 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM LEARNINGS IN THE QUICK-SERVICE RESTAURANT SEGMENT less, depending on the situation. I spend a lot of time developing those system guidelines…." "There are a lot of ways to measure performance in a restaurant—customer service, customer complaints, sales, profitability, et cetera. We have a database covering all of our stores that tracks their effectiveness. We've also added audit functionality that allows us to look at orders coming in and going out and to spot abnormalities, such as deep discounts, overrides, and zeroed outs. So, we look at the best-to-the-worst restaurants in terms of specific measurements. "Then there are store visits. As you park your car in a restaurant parking lot and walk toward the restaurant, you learn a lot about that restaurant because you can see if the parking lot is clean, if the window ledges are clean, if the doors are clean. You know if someone takes pride in what they do and whether they're running a business or just collecting a paycheck…." "We have a restaurant disaster recovery plan that's specific to each restaurant in each region. We also work closely with our public relations department to set up communication processes for our franchisees. We learned a lot from Hurricane Katrina. We purchased satellite telephones so we now have the capability to communicate if we have another disaster. I also manage the corporate-wide disaster recovery program for our headquarters operations at the corporate campus. "The key to disaster recovery and crisis management is having a plan, working the plan, and communicate, communicate, communicate. After Katrina, we were literally doing conference calls every 24 hours. Sometimes, we did not have much new information to communicate, but the point was that we were communicating every 24 hours." Wendy's International Chris Manning, Director of Loss Prevention and National Security Excerpts from "The 99 Cents Chili Crisis" January–February 2008 With millions of customers visiting restaurants and other retail establishments daily, the potential for a crisis is almost always present. A typical crisis is caused by a human accident or an act of nature. Less often, companies can be victims of workplace violence. And unfortunately, companies also can be victims of fraud. Such was the case in March of 2005 when police were called to a San Jose, California, Wendy's restaurant to investigate a woman's allegation that she had found a partial human finger in a bowl of chili. Over the next days and weeks, a hoax perpetrated against Wendy's became national news, coffee-break conversation, and fodder for late-night comedians. However, the snowball effect of the crisis was no laughing matter for Wendy's, ultimately resulting in substantial losses for the company and its franchisees. The potential effect of any crisis can be devastating in terms of employee and customer safety, brand integrity, and financial earnings. Thus, it behooves corporations to be diligent in crisis preparation in order to minimize potential losses and facilitate normal business operations as quickly as possible…. The chili incident at Wendy's is a compelling case study and provides a number of key learnings for loss prevention and crisis management professionals. ■ The first 24 hours are critical because the early stages of a crisis shape the proper response. As such, crisis plans should include an early warning system that alerts the entire crisis team within minutes, if possible, of an incident. This will allow seasoned crisis team members to be on the scene within those critical first 24 hours. ■ Do not assume that a crisis can be contained locally. Given today's technology and rapid communications, assume that word and pictures of an incident may be available worldwide within hours. The crisis team response should be set in motion as quickly as possible before media coverage picks up. ■ Try to maintain all items that could help resolve the case. In Wendy's case, the employees discarded some of the chili involved. Make sure employees at all levels are aware of what to do when an incident occurs. If the incident involves food contamination like this one, detail As you park your car in a restaurant parking lot and walk toward the restaurant, you learn a lot about that restaurant because you can see if the parking lot is clean, if the window ledges are clean, if the doors are clean. You know if someone takes pride in what they do and whether they're running a business or just collecting a paycheck.

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