Ed Heskett noticed something was wrong seconds after scanning his restaurants’ metrics.

Using his reporting tool, a Loss Prevention Manager at a large Taco Bell franchise spotted an unusually high product cost variance of -9.9% (the brand’s goal is -2.64%) at one location. In fact, ideal cost of sales (ICOS) was extremely high for the past several periods. In order to find out exactly what was happening, Ed turned to his restaurant loss prevention software, Delaget Guard – the same software that the store manager should have been using to spot suspicious activity.

Using the period-to-date view functionality in the software, Ed found that over the course of three periods, one cashier had more than 50 zero-dollar transactions. And over the course of the year, she had more than 485 zero-dollar tickets, totaling around $3,400.

“To put it in perspective, a typical QSR cashier might have five or so zero-dollar transactions in a period. This was definitely not the case,” added Ed.


We would have lost a lot less money if the manager was using the software properly

Ed Heskett

Loss Prevention Manager at a large Taco Bell franchise


Fast food restaurant software results

What went wrong

But why wasn’t the theft caught earlier? Unfortunately, the store manager wasn’t using the software.

“Delaget Guard alerted the manager to the high number of deletions… But the manager wasn’t using the tool properly. The tool mandates that the manager enter in notes. But in her comments, she just wrote, ‘Reviewed transactions,’ when in fact, she did not,” said Ed.

“This case could have been stopped a lot sooner – and we would’ve lost a lot less money if the manager was using the software properly. It’s only going to work if people use it correctly.” he added.

Make sure employees stick with your software with these 7 strategies:

#1. Proper onboarding

There are two things to consider. First, you want each employee to have a positive experience the first time they use the software. In other words, make sure there’s enough time for onboarding, proper instruction, and ideally a manager or other employee available to help. Second, make sure employees receive assistance until they have the “aha” moment of mastering its use and seeing the value. Once those two things click, onboarding is complete and adoption levels are high.


#2. Address objections

If employees are in the processing of quitting your software, they’re probably complaining about it. What are they saying? Is it confusing? Does it take too long to run reports? Are they forgetting a step in the process? Figure out what the obstacle is first.


#3. Software ambassadors

While some employees are slow to adopt software, you’ll also find the opposite—those who jump right in and embrace it. Recruit those people to help your naysayers. And don’t forget to compliment them on their willingness to embrace change and why you think he or she is the perfect person to bring another team member up to speed. The phrase “born teacher” comes to mind. Spread a few warm fuzzies.


#4. Speak up

One of the biggest reasons employees quit a new software is that they don’t think it’s really accomplishing anything. Tell them about the victories. “We were able to save $800 last week now that we’re cooking just enough to meet demand instead of over-cooking.” Consider telling employees what you plan to do with the savings. “Over time, we’ll use that money to buy a new fryer.”


#5. Perks to using

Employees also want to know what’s in it for them. It’s a lot easier to reward employees for using a new technology than to punish them for not doing so. Consider using a certain percentage of your savings to reward key adopters, making them role models for other employees. Once a week after each shift, for example, a manager awards a gift card to the employee who used the system the most or discovered the most significant area of saving.


#6. Take a closer look

Finally, if you find adoption is extremely sluggish, there are a few things you can do. First, make sure employees have received proper training. Second, double-check that running the software isn’t too labor-intensive or time consuming. Of course, these are both things to give careful consideration when you’re choosing the software.


#7. Make it a deal-breaker

If you’ve tried all of the above, it might be time to bring down the hammer. Although rewarding is a better way to motivate than punishing, sometimes you have to make it painful not to adopt. You can tie adoption to pay increases, for example, or stipulate a person can’t clock out of a shift they haven’t used the software correctly.

Software adoption isn’t an overnight process, but it doesn’t have to be a hard one, either.

Look for technology that allows you to monitor usage. For example, Delaget Guard and Delaget Coach give store leaders visibility into what’s happening in their stores and which managers are using the tools appropriately, so they can identify adoption trends and issues, including which employees are struggling. Then, actions are customized to those areas only, saving time and resources.

It’s also a good idea to utilize your technology provider’s training team for periodic brush-ups, sessions that bring everyone back up to speed. Spending that time on the front end will save you time, money, and frustration down the road.

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