There’s nothing more gratifying than seeing our customers grow and succeed. Michael Clarke, a Texas Dairy Queen franchisee, is no stranger to success. He has the fastest growing Dairy Queen franchise in the United States. I recently spoke with Michael to discuss his success as a restaurant owner and how the implementation of QSROnline has helped him exceed his goals.
Prior to using QSROnline, what goals did you have in place for your business?
Michael Clarke: Since inception, our goal has been to develop new Dairy Queen restaurants that were “Better Than You Remember®.” We remain convinced that when our guests experience their beloved 75-year old DQ brand in a competitive and relevant environment we’re able to create DQ-memories for a whole new generation.
In doing so, our secondary goal was to generate the highest average unit volumes in the system, while opening two restaurants per year.
What challenges did you face when trying to reach those goals?
MC: When we opened our first restaurant in April 2013, we answered a lot of the doubts some had about DQ competing in the Dallas-Fort Worth QSR market. Prior to then, most of the DFW DQ restaurants had closed or sold and were converted to a different brand.
Our restaurants have set sales and transaction records and have caused folks to talk about “the return of Dairy Queen.” Return? More like a Revival!
Why did you choose QSROnline as a solution for your business?
MC: I need analytics and comparative data so that key business decisions can quickly be made. My POS system is limited in its ability to provide the information I require, and I have to pull it from the system. QSROnline’s exhaustive reporting is pushed to me and waiting in my inbox each and every morning.
I look at the key metrics needed to make informed decisions related to staffing, sales generation, product mix, COGS, and labor control—and I can compare all of these to the previous day, week, or year.
What are your favorite QSROnline features and why?
MC: My favorite report is the Daily Performance Report. In that one report is almost everything I need to assess my business.
I’m also very fond of the Overtime Report, as it looks at each employee’s actual hours already worked for the week and then adds the remaining scheduled hours so that I can see if any employees will exceed budgeted targets.
The Tracked Menu Items Report gives me individual and aggregate results on LTOs, specific menu categories we may be focusing on, and products we’re suggestive selling.
All reports are sent to myself and selected recipients. This means my Area Supervisors, GMs, and managers all receive real-time data that they can compare to other units and their own locations’ previous performance. QSROnline really helps to tune-up our operation and continue firing on all cylinders.
What goals has QSROnline helped you achieve?
MC: QSROnline is an integral and strategic partner in my business. They are a true “partner” in that they actually review the data they are sending me. If something looks odd, or if one of our locations did not correctly poll, they notice. They take action. They get it right. And they push results to me 24/7/365. Every day. Every Week. All year long.
QSROnline’s constant feed and push of information allows me the dexterity to make immediate decisions and not wait for reports to be created.
Moving forward, how do you see QSROnline fitting into/working with your business model?
MC: The future of our company will continue to draw on the alignment and partnership we’ve found with QSROnline. We’ll continue to utilize their reporting and benefit from their analysis. With QSROnline, I am given the unvarnished Key Performance Indicators for my restaurants that allow me to maximize profitability.
About Lickety Split:
Michael Clarke founded Lickety Split Food Service, LLC in 2012 with the goal of becoming a multi-unit Texas Dairy Queen franchisee. Clarke opened his first DQ restaurant in April 2013 and by October 2015 had opened his seventh location, with two more under construction for 2016—making Clarke the fastest-growing Dairy Queen franchisee in the nation. Clarke’s locations have also set (and currently hold) national records for highest sales and transactions.
Clarke utilizes QSROnline at all locations and considers it an indispensable partnership that enables him to manage his business with accurate and real-time data analysis.
If you find yourself in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, visit one of Michael’s Dairy Queen restaurants:
- Euless DQ: 700 N Industrial Blvd Euless, TX 76039
- Beach Street DQ: 8620 N Beach St Fort Worth, TX 76244
- Grand Prairie DQ: 2640 W IH 20 Grand Prairie, TX 75052
- Roanoke DQ: 1500 N Highway 377 Roanoke, TX 76262
- Keller DQ: 455 Keller Parkway Keller, TX 76248
- Hurst DQ: 728 Airport Freeway Hurst, TX
- Basswood DQ: 7150 North Freeway Fort Worth, TX
- Green Oaks DQ: 2155 N SH 360 Grand Prairie, TX 75050
- Bridge Street DQ: 6700 Bridge St Fort Worth, TX 76122
Are you a restaurateur seeking your own success story?
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