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Golden Chain Award Winners Share Their Secrets

How do some of the biggest and longest-lived restaurant change stay relevant over time? By listening to their franchisees and their customers. At the MUFSO conference, the CEOs of DineEquity, Denny's, International Dairy Queen, Panda Restaurant Group, and Wingstop Restaurants all won the Golden Chain award and gave a talk about why they were so successful.

They attribute their success to actively listening to customers, employees, and franchisees, and articulating their brand values. For instance, Dairy Queen used to only serve ice cream, but they spread into burgers and other cooked items due to customer demand. Denny's is updating their menus and operations to cater more to millenials, despite Denny's reputation as a place that older Americans like to dine.

Denny's in particular has backed social causes. At one point in their history they stopped caring about their social responsibility and it hit their bottom line. When they got a new CEO and addressed the problem and asked their franchisees and customers what their biggest concern was. The answer was hunger relief, so they've backed hunger charities like No Kid Hungry as their way of giving back to the community.

Regardless of whether you're frying things in an Empura deep fryer, or using a soft serve machine to turn out frozen yogurt, all restaurants have to listen to the people they interact with in order to deliver the best restaurant experience they can. The winners of the Golden Chain award exemplify that.

2015-09-25 00:00:00
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