170 restaurants across Sweden
Fast food, franchising
Subway Sweden is part of a global chain of sandwich restaurants. A franchise operation, Subway Sweden has some 170 restaurants operated by franchisees. Subway Sweden is divided into four regions, each with a regional operator in charge. All four regions use Ziik for timely communication and information sharing.
“One of the main reasons we were looking for a system like Ziik was that we wanted to be able to reach all our franchisees and sandwich artists with important messages at once. We used to send out e-mails to franchisees who then had to pass the information on, but one of the issues with SMS or e-mails was that you don’t get read receipts. You don’t know if the franchisees have received them, you don’t know if they’ve read them or downloaded the attachments. And in our industry, you sometimes have information that you really need to know has been received by everyone, like updates on food safety or the COVID-19 situation.”
A strong mobile solution was a definite requirement for the new communication and information sharing platform. Most of our franchisees and all of our sandwich artists rely on their smartphones to stay updated, they don’t spend a lot of time sitting at desks during their shifts.
Another requirement was that it had to be easy to learn how to use the system. Both for the end users and for those responsible for setting it up. We wanted the regional operators and franchisees to be able to set up the system without needing a big IT setup or having to hire consultants to help us.
We also wanted to create a forum for people to be able to talk to each other. And a place we could always refer to if people needed information.
The thing about Ziik is that it looks and works like some of the popular social media platforms. That means everybody already knows how to use it when they pick it up for the first time. I have never met anyone who couldn’t use it. The only problems we have is people forgetting their passwords. People haven’t been reluctant about using it at all. Before, people used different social media to set up group chats. Now they can just use Ziik.
Most of the staff working in Subway restaurants are around 20-21 years old, so they are very app savvy. It’s easy for them to get started with the Ziik app. In fact, they expect these kinds of modern communication systems to be available when they go to work somewhere.
I prefer to use the desktop version myself, though. I talk to a lot of people during the day through the chat function on Ziik. And it’s just easier for me to use a keyboard for typing that much. But one of our sandwich artists could probably out-type me using a mobile!
Franchisees expect a franchise system like ours to have a communication system that works out of the box. That is the essence of franchising – you pay for a concept where everything is in place, you only have to operate it. Ziik works like that. I’ve shown it to some of my operator colleagues with Subway in other countries, and they are also very impressed.
A franchise operation like ours runs on manuals, or Operation Routines, as we call them. We have them all stored under Handbooks in Ziik, along with all the latest regulations. We keep everything stored in Ziik – at least a couple of gigabytes worth of information. All the manuals you need to run a franchise or work a shift in a restaurant you can find in here.
I set up the system myself in my region. All regional operators from Subway Sweden attended one instruction meeting with Ziik in Denmark, then we went home and set up the systems ourselves for our regions. The meeting only took a couple of hours, it wasn’t like an all-day seminar. Setting it up is really easy. The hierarchy goes downwards, so we’ve set it up so the franchisees can establish their own groups and routines for their franchises. We have one global group, where you can find anyone working with and for Subway in Sweden.