Golden Chick has been known for its fried chicken since 1967. Today, the brand serves up its trademark Golden Tenders and other delights from ~180 locations in six U.S. states, as well as in Jordan.
Ten (soon to be 11) of Golden Chick’s San Antonio, TX locations are under the ownership of well-respected franchisee Allen Tharp. His right-hand man to manage day-to-day operations, profitability, and new technology investment is Area Director Sunny Gandhi.
Challenge: Legacy system that’s hard to use
Gandhi inherited the existing video surveillance solutions in these 10 Golden Chick locations when he became Area Director in 2018.
As a busy executive with multiple locations to manage, he needed additional pairs of electronic eyes that could provide him with any time remote insight into each restaurant.
This extended far beyond a simple peek through the proverbial window. Gandhi needed data-driven insight to identify, quantify, and address any issue related to profitability or liability — from investigating suspicious transactions to having the evidence to defend against false claims.
The existing video surveillance system, however, proved difficult to use and couldn’t provide the insight that Gandhi required. He turned instead to Solink.
“Solink quickly proved to be a very good loss prevention partner compared to other systems that I have used,” he said.
Solution: Useful insight, in real-time, with a smartphone
For Gandhi, ease of use and support are crucial. Solink’s cloud-based intelligent video platform uses a dashboard that can be tailored to the individual user. Gandhi accesses his dashboard throughout the day with either a phone or laptop.
His dashboard connects him to every camera in every restaurant – 12 to 14 cameras per location. Full integration between video and POS makes it easy to flag suspicious voids or refunds and zoom in to verify exactly what changed hands.
Every transaction is correlated with video by time and date stamp. With Solink’s full data analytics, it’s easy for Gandhi to search and review footage. In addition, exception-based reporting and motion capture can deliver real-time alerts.
“Solink is very simple to navigate, and the team provides great support,” he said. “Even with a smartphone, it’s quick and easy to find anything, instantly.”
These user-friendly features have proven their value on numerous occasions.
Benefits: Reducing voids, catching theft, nailing scammers
Improper voids at the POS were a persistent issue for Gandhi. Between improved staff training and the insight provided by Solink, substantial reductions have been achieved across all locations.
“Every store had perhaps $800 in voids each month, for about $8,000 in total,” Gandhi said. “Solink has contributed a lot to bring this way down.”
For a fast-casual restaurant business where margins are measured in pennies, that kind of monthly cost saving is huge. The same insight from the POS also helps Gandhi to identify when further staff training is needed. In those cases, Solink video serves as a training tool.
Solink has also proven its value by catching what Gandhi calls “the elite club of food scammers.”
In this scenario, a customer will place a large order, often at the drive-thru. Then they will claim so many things were wrong or missing they will demand a full refund.
“It’s a double whammy between the cost of the refund, the labor, and food costs to prepare the order,” Gandhi said.
With intelligent video, however, it’s easy to verify that an order was fulfilled correctly and leave the would-be scammer with no leg to stand on.
In another case, a customer claimed she had accidentally left behind a wallet containing valuables worth $10,000 and tried to pin the blame on restaurant staff when it went “missing.”
“Even though we are not liable, these kinds of complaints often result in having to give a gift card worth hundreds of dollars to settle the issue,” Gandhi said.
But again, video saved the day. In minutes, he was able to provide police with the visual evidence to prove this scammer had left nothing behind when she left the restaurant.
“Without this ability to produce those clips, it would have been a tough case,” he said.
Gandhi also cited an incident where Solink caught a location manager walking off with $800 in cleaning supplies.
After these experiences, Gandhi and his team have no reservations about recommending Solink to other Golden Chick franchisees.
“Solink is a great asset, a great loss prevention partner that is very efficient and highly productive,” he said.