Franchise Daily Digest: March 23

Franchise Daily Digest: March 23

Closures and remote working solutions have been enacted to combat coronavirus.

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With the coronavirus crisis ongoing, many brands are enacting policies and changes to protect the wellbeing of staff and consumers. We’ve collated all of the biggest news and information below, for today’s franchise daily digest:

Arthur D. Little unites international CEOs to help combat COVID-19 business threats

Global management consultancy Arthur D. Little (ADL) has initiated an international platform for CEOs to exchange crisis management experiences while dealing with COVID-19. Under the motto, “Learning from each other and coping with the crisis together”, the aim of the pro bono initiative is to build a pool of experience and provide companies and public institutions with knowledge on how to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

To achieve this, ADL is holding one-hour conference calls with CEOs of critical infrastructures (energy, transport, telecommunications and logistics) from countries including Greater China, Singapore and Italy. The purpose of each call is for the CEO to share with other CEOs best practice on their experiences of dealing with the current COVID-19 crisis, and provide analysis of their tried, tested and effective measures. To allow all to access these crisis management experiences, ADL will shortly be publishing an in-depth report that will be fully downloadable for free from its global website.

“In challenging times, rapid and global measures are required for the effective transfer of know-how between decision-makers,” said Ignacio García Alves, chairman and CEO of Arthur D. Little. “With each country facing different stages of COVID-19, it is important for those who are just at the beginning of the crisis to learn from those who have already put effective measures in place. At ADL it has always been our mission to help CEOs to anticipate whatever disruption they might be facing to ensure business continuity. Let’s work together to defeat COVID-19 by spreading knowledge and best practice quicker than the virus!”

Relief for U.S. restaurants and small businesses is on the way

The White House is currently working with the Senate to push through a $1tn emergency relief bill, which will help restaurants and small businesses to continue to pay employees.

The impending relief package also includes measures to bolster consumer spending; the Trump administration has said it intends to give consumers $250bn in direct payments, with the current aim to have payments to consumers within two weeks.

“We’ve told people, ‘Don’t go into restaurants,’” said Steve Mnuchin, secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department. “We want to make sure those businesses have money to pay their employees.”

Qdoba postpones franchisee royalty payments

Qdoba, the fast-casual Mexican restaurant franchise with more than 700 locations across 47 U.S. states, as well as restaurants in the District of Columbia and Canada, has postponed weekly royalty payments to help small business owners with immediate financial relief.

McDonald’s closes all U.K. locations, and considers rent deferrals

McDonald’s, the world’s largest franchise by revenue, has closed all of its U.K. locations and is considering rent deferrals. While McDonald’s still operates locations in some countries with a drive-through-only model, the U.K. restaurants are indefinitely shut as of 7pm GMT on Monday 23 March.

“It is remarkable how franchisees, suppliers, agencies, and company employees have come together in recent days,” said Joe Erlinger, president of McDonald’s USA. “During these uncertain times that impact all of us in personal ways, our ability to support each other, our people and our communities will ensure we emerge from this crisis stronger than before.”

Subway closes all restaurants in the U.K. and Ireland

As of Monday 23 March, Subway, the largest franchise by units with almost 43,000 locations internationally, has closed all of its sites in the U.K. and Ireland as a precaution to prevent any further spread of the coronavirus.

“At Subway, we’ve been doing all we can to support the efforts to combat the COVID-19 outbreak, and I’d like to thank our loyal guests, franchise owners, their sandwich artists, and all employees who have supported the brand through this unprecedented situation,” said Colin Hughes, country director U.K. & Ireland. “Today, we’re taking one more step, a step we believe is the right one. We have taken the decision to authorise our franchise owners to close all their stores in the U.K. and Ireland, from 5pm today, Monday 23 March.

“We took this decision as we want to continue doing everything in our power to keep people safe. We believe closing the stores is the right thing to do. By supporting social distancing, we can help protect not just our loyal guests, dedicated franchise owners and sandwich artists, but the wider communities they serve.”

School of Rock Remote: music lessons from home

School of Rock, the musical education franchise inspiring young musicians across 280 schools in nine global markets, has unveiled its School of Rock Remote program which will be available for all 40,000 of its international students.

“At School of Rock, the health and safety of our students is our top priority, which is why we have rapidly adapted our operations in order to meet students’ needs,” said Rob Price, CEO of School of Rock. “School of Rock Remote along with our School of Rock Method App is a fantastic way to provide continuity and connection. Our instructors are gigging musicians, and they have shown their flexibility to make sure the music goes on.”

With the program, students can use video conferencing during their regularly scheduled lessons to communicate with and learn from their skilled music instructor. The program, coupled with School of Rock’s proprietary Method App, will allow young rockers to engage with the franchise just as intuitively as if they were still attending their local School of Rock location.

Dickey’s Barbeque Pit rolls out contactless delivery across the U.S.

Dickey’s Barbeque Pit now offers contactless delivery throughout the U.S., so that customers who still want to enjoy the brand’s menu can do so while self-isolating.

Put into effect from Friday, March 20, the contactless options work in conjunction with the brand’s recently-made free delivery, which extends through April 30.

“We want our guests to feel like family and so we’re passionate about delivering the highest quality service and products no matter if they’re dining at our place or theirs,” says Laura Rea Dickey, CEO of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. “Guests who order Dickey’s for delivery can have peace of mind knowing their order has been carefully prepared by a certified Pit Master and sealed prior to delivery.”

KFC launches free delivery through April

As of March 14, KFC will offer free delivery across the U.S. through April 26 via kfc.com, Grubhub.com, or Seamless.com. This extends to all of KFC’s menu, and those who prefer to pick up their meal in-store can still order through kfc.com and pick up from the restaurant at the designated front counter.

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