Newsletter 8th October 2014

Choice Hotels Australasia rolls up its sleeves for ‘Head office to front office' Campaign

Choice Hotels Australasia has rolled up its collective sleeves ahead of National Customer Service Week to launch its second annual 'Head Office to Front Office' campaign.

Designed as part of a continued focus on enhancing customer experience, Australia’s largest mid-market hotel franchisor will send its entire corporate team to spend a day in a hotel operator’s shoes.

Timed to coincide with the Customer Service Institute of Australia’s National Customer Service Week running 6-10 October, the concept was developed to provide the Choice Hotels team with a greater understanding and appreciation of the day-to-day activities and challenges facing a hotel today.

Head Office to Front Office campaignChoice Hotels Australasia’s CEO Trent Fraser said the instant success of last year’s inaugural ‘Head Office to Front Office’ initiative had ensured that the activity would become an annual event for all staff located in its Melbourne headquarters.

“Last year’s ‘Head Office to Front Office’ initiative was embraced by all staff members across the business and we’re delighted to announce its return again this year. Customer service is something we continually strive to improve upon and we hope this program continues to inspire and motivate all Choice Hotels staff to roll up their sleeves and get involved,” he said.

“Providing the head office team with the opportunity to gain invaluable on-the-job insights into daily hotel operations is something that has proved popular with staff. Whether it’s working the front desk, lending a hand to housekeeping or taking orders from the bar, office based staff have been keen to get involved and get their hands dirty.”

Read more here.

MYOB FCA Excellence in Franchising Awards
MYOB FCA Excellence in Franchising Awards just three weeks away!

Australian franchising’s night of nights is being held this month at the culmination of the National Franchise Convention at All Phones Arena, Sydney.

There is still time to book your table at the biggest night of the year.

The black tie event is a fantastic chance to network and includes a three course meal, entertainment and all the excitement of the awards.

Purchase a table of 10 and save

10 or more tickets: $162 pp
Single Ticket Pricing: Member $180, Non-member $250

Register Now!


Macca’s invites customers to create their own

Kicking off a bold plan to transform the Macca’s experience for Australians over the next three years, a purpose-built Customer Learning Lab restaurant opened in Castle Hill this week. The restaurant will give customers a glimpse into the future of McDonald’s in Australia.

The restaurant is the first to offer a new customisable gourmet burger menu called ‘Create Your Taste’. Using digital kiosks, customers can build their own burgers from scratch, choosing from 19 ingredients.

Customers are also treated to table service, allowing them to sit down and enjoy a drink while they wait for their creation to be made fresh off the grill and brought to their table.

The Create Your Taste gourmet burger and table service experience will be rolled out in all restaurants over the next six to nine months.

Read more here.

Steve Seddon, WestpacHow to set meaningful business goals by Steve Seddon, Westpac

All successful businesses need to develop and utilise a goal driven mentality in their daily activity.

Goals should focus the mind and the activity of all employees from the CEO to the newest apprentice and everyone in between. Studies have shown a strong relationship between successful businesses and an effective goal setting process. Business owners and managers are then able to empower their workforce and ensure everyone is working towards the same objectives.

Successful businesses will have short term (less than 12 months) and longer term goals (say 1 - 5 years) for a number of key objectives. These can include increase sales volumes; improve overhead efficiency; raise gross margins; build customer service levels etc.

The key to meaningful goal setting is to set ‘SMART’ goals that align with the purpose of the business. Strong alignment with purpose allows for a more effective execution of the business strategy by enabling business management to allocate and prioritise limited resources across various objectives.

S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for the five characteristics of:

Relevant, and

It’s a simple tool used by businesses for an actionable plan for results.

Consider each of these attributes in detail:

To be meaningful business goals need to be specific.

Specific means goals are described in as much detail as possible. That is, what the business wants to achieve or accomplish and to what extent.

Specific goals should be simply written, understandable and clearly defined. They need to have the ability to be communicated to everyone involved in its achievement. Well-defined and specific goals answer the questions: “Which?”, “Who?”, “What?”, “Where?”, “When?” and “Why?”

To be meaningful business goals need to be measurable.

This means tangible evidence that the goal has been achieved is available.

To determine if a goal is measurable consider, “How will I know when it has been accomplished?”  and “What methods of measurement are available to use?”

It is important to be able to track progress and measure outcomes because ‘what gets measured gets managed’. When progress is regularly measured changes can be made to ensure the business stays on track to reach its targets.

To be meaningful business goals need to be achievable.

This does not mean goals should be easy. Far from it, as goals should stretch a business so owners and employees feel challenged in achieving them. It is essential to have the appropriate knowledge, skills, abilities and desire to achieve the goal.

Consider what results can be realistically achieved, given the available resources. Ask yourself, “Can this really happen?” An achievable goal should also allow for some flexibility. A goal that can no longer be achieved should be refined or abandoned.

This is not a soft option as business goals are based on current conditions and realities at the time. For example, there may be a desire to increase sales by 25 per cent but if a recession is looming or a natural disaster occurs then the goals may not be achievable in the current market conditions.

To be meaningful business goals need to be relevant.

Relevant means goals that move the business forward, towards the achievement of its vision and does not conflict with other business goals. In times of rapid change it can be very easy to lose sight of the goals. It is important for short-term goals to be relevant and consistent with the longer term and broader organisational goals in the business.

To be meaningful business goals need to be time bound.

This is necessary to create a sense of urgency. Tension needs to be created between the current reality and the vision of the goal. Without tension the goal is less likely to produce the desired outcome. Meaningful business goals have a start and end point. They will also have some intermediate or milestone points at which progress can be assessed and reviewed. Limiting time in which a goal must be accomplished helps to focus effort towards its achievement.

In summary

By using the SMART methodology for goal setting in a business there is a greater chance of successful achievement of business goals. By addressing the attributes of Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound as the goals are being set they become more robust and effective tools to support the long term vision and desired outcomes. Additional free information is available at Westpac’s Davidson Institute, see website.

Steve Seddon is Westpac’s Senior Business Development Manager – Franchising, WA and SA. He is a CPA and a member of the Franchise Council of Australia’s WA committee.

Westpac continues a long-term commitment to the franchise sector in Australia. The bank has a national network of franchise specialist business bankers who are able to deal with the specific needs of the franchise sector.

Contact Steve at:
P: 0407 401 892