Get to Know Our Customers: Bahama Buck’s

By Sarah Miller July 26, 2023 Blog, Restaurant
Bahama Bucks franchise

Bahama Buck’s was born out of the entrepreneurial spirit of a college student named Blake Buchanan. In the summer of 1990, Buchanan started the business with a single ice shaver in a Lubbock-based shack, aiming to earn some extra money. The concept was simple: to serve the “Greatest Sno on Earth” and create a tropical escape for their customers. The brand’s unique flavors and island vibe quickly caught on, and what started as a small local business soon began to expand. Through a successful franchise model, Bahama Buck’s has grown to over 100 locations across more than 10 states, becoming a beloved destination for shaved ice, tropical drinks, and a taste of paradise. Despite this impressive growth, Bahama Buck’s remains true to its roots. The company accomplishes its goal of providing the ultimate tropical dessert experience to every customer – on each visit and at any site – through an unwavering commitment to brand consistency.

Brand Consistency, Customer Loyalty, and Customer Lifetime Value: The Connection

In the world of quick-service restaurants, consistency makes a brand reliable and trustworthy in the eyes of its customers. When diners know they can expect the same high-quality experience at every location, they’re more likely to become repeat customers. From the taste of the food to the ambiance of the restaurant, a consistent, reliable experience builds a brand’s reputation. It contributes to an ongoing relationship by assuring customers that they will receive the same level of service and quality every time they visit, no matter which location happens to be convenient.

Consistency is not just about maintaining a positive brand image. It’s also about economics, driving business growth and profitability by boosting consumer loyalty and increasing customer lifetime value. According to the Harvard Business Review, it costs 5x to 25x more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. This statistic underscores the importance of focusing on brand consistency as a customer retention strategy. By ensuring a consistent brand experience, businesses keep their existing customers happy and coming back, reducing the high-cost need to acquire more and more new customers. Repeat customers are not only more cost-effective; they are also more valuable to a business in the long run. Research by Bain & Co. concludes that increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. This is because repeat customers are more likely to become brand advocates, spreading positive word-of-mouth and often spending more than new customers. Research conducted by RJ Metrics revealed that the top 10% of a company’s customers, who are typically their most frequent customers, spend three times more per transaction compared to the remaining 90% of customers. Even more striking, the top 1% of repeat customers spend five times more per order than the rest of the 99% customer base.

The Importance of Field Assessments

Site visits play a pivotal role for any multi-unit restaurant chain, improving brand consistency across locations. These visits allow managers to directly observe and assess the day-to-day operations of each restaurant, ensuring that they adhere to the brand’s standards and guidelines. From the quality of the food and the cleanliness of the premises to the efficiency of the service and the overall customer experience, every aspect of the operation is scrutinized. This hands-on approach helps identify any discrepancies or deviations from the brand’s standards, allowing for immediate corrective action. Regular site visits also provide an opportunity for continuous training and reinforcement of the brand’s values and expectations among the staff.

Bahama Buck’s leverages site visits to ensure consistency across locations. Cierra Miller, a shop performance manager at Bahama Buck’s, puts it this way: “Our goal, however lofty, is to achieve 100% compliance across all of our units when it comes to the way products are prepared and stores are operated and managed.” Miller spends about 50% of her time on the road, visiting the brand’s 108 locations and evaluating operational competencies. The company had long ago retired their original system of clipboards and binders and had evolved beyond spreadsheets, but the previous platform that Miller and her colleagues were using was cumbersome and didn’t offer everything they needed. Among the glaring omissions were features that would enable management to share information or track following. The Bahama Buck’s team was ready for a change.

Overcoming Challenges with MeazureUp

Executives at Bahama Buck’s knew that they needed a new, better digital field assessment tool to overcome these challenges. Their search ended when they found MeazureUp. Miller says, “Our CFO, Eric Lee, stumbled upon MeazureUp and we immediately knew it was a better platform than what we were using.” After a demonstration, the company partnered with MeazureUp, implementing AuditApp and upholding the brand’s values and performance standards across all locations.

AuditApp offers numerous features and benefits for managers like Cierra Miller and her colleagues, including:

  • Real-time feedback: Feedback from site visits is available immediately. This was a big change for Miller and her team. Previously, franchisees might get an email a few days after her visit. Now it is delivered straight to their inbox. Miller is updated when areas of concern are addressed.
  • Integrated photo capabilities: Tasks can be assigned within the app and require a photograph to be uploaded in order to be marked complete.
  • Ability to track recurrent issues: A centralized dashboard tracks recurrent issues, helping the brand evaluate where new systems may need to be rolled out at multiple locations.
  • Ability to share information among stakeholders: Data is automatically sent to all relevant parties, ensuring that everyone has the most up-to-date information.
  • Conveniently portable digital app: AuditApp can be used on any mobile device, making it easier for managers to do their jobs effectively.

Speaking about her experience, Miller says, “The simplicity of the process makes everyone’s life so much easier. I used to have to get back to the office, type up an evaluation, send it to our franchisees and hope they opened it. Now I don’t have to do anything on my end but go through a digital checklist, make notes, and it is automatically sent to them.”

Audit App is an invaluable tool for Bahama Buck’s and many other brands, supporting their efforts to build customer loyalty and increase customer lifetime value by improving brand consistency. Find out what AuditApp and DailyChex (MeazureUp’s digital checklist solution) can do for your company. Schedule a demo today.