The successful multi-unit Red Mango operation needed a solution to ensure consistency across stores, to manage communication during and between shifts and that could adapt as the company grew.
Solution: The Managers Red Book
- The Manager’s Red Book has become an integral part of creating consistent customer experiences.
- Customized for Red Mango’s specific operations.
- Aids in prep, reducing waste and maintaining par levels.
- Keeps managers from having to run back to the office to document issues, allowing them to stay on the floor with guests.
- Reduces inefficiencies by consolidating all communications in one place.
- Helps employees feel engaged by communicating the overall company vision.
Red Mango Experiences Sweet Success with Help from The Manager’s Red Book
Many, many spoons ago, a tasty idea for a healthier alternative to frozen yogurt was born. It was so tasty, in fact, that in 2002 a store was opened in South Korea. It was called Red Mango, because “the mango, distinctly delicious and high in nutrition, becomes red at its optimal stage or ripeness.”
Naturally, the health conscious quick-serve concept swirled into an overnight success.
In 2007, Dave Kim, the chief concept officer, brought Red Mango to the United States, adding new menu items like smoothies, yogurt parfaits and probiotic iced teas. Today, the still-growing franchise boasts more than 321 stores internationally and across the U.S. a great record-keeping and communication tool.
The franchise recently expanded their menu and redesigned their contemporary storefronts to sell other healthy options like made-to-order juices, salads, wraps, flatbreads and grab-and-go snacks.
If Red Mango had a recipe for sweet success, it would be swirls of fresh ingredients, delicious customer experience, smart franchise owners and well-trained staff. To top it off, they use The Manager’s Red Book.
“The Manager’s Red Book is a standard for all of our Red Mango stores,” explained Craig Erlich, vice president of operations.
Erlich joined the company in March 2013, after 25 years leading operations for several large retail chains. You could say he knows a thing or two about consistency, communication and shift control.
“Our model allows for absentee franchisees and owner operators. The Manager’s Red Book works well with the setup because it’s great record-keeping and communication tool. It’s also great for follow-up and forecast checklists,” he said.
Training for owners and managers starts about eight weeks before a new Red Mango opens. The team visits the nearest Red Mango store and for six days shadows their team. “That store is already using The Manager’s Red Book, so the new employees get a first-hand look at how they successfully utilize the book,” Erlich explained.
A week after the new store opens, a representative from Red Mango stops in to facilitate some final in store training. That’s where employees really get to interact with the Manager’s Red Book and understand why it’s important for their shift. There’s a final follow-up – a routine visit – by a Red Mango franchise field support manager who checks in to make sure operations are up to corporate standards.
Ripe for Repetition
Consistency and quality are key drivers in customer satisfaction and loyalty – something the Red Mango brand puts a lot of stock into preserving. After all, getting the recipe right every time keeps customers coming back again and again.
Red Mango’s quarterly, custom-tailored Manager’s Red Book is an integral part of creating consistent customer experiences. The book’s contents include food safety and monthly maintenance checklists as well as mandatory cleaning procedures, weekly temperature logs, and product counts.
“One thing it really helps with is par levels,” said Erlich. If par levels are too low, the store risks running out of product if the period gets busy. Too high and expensive product goes to waste. Calculate that waste across 300 stores and it’s easy to see how costs could go up – almost exponentially.
“Employees need to prep the right amount of product in the morning so that they don’t run out. For example, our most popular ingredients are strawberries. Employees use the Manager’s Red Book to lookback at the par entry for that time on a particular day,” he said.
If there is waste, they have an entire section to record how much was on hand during the morning shift, how much was prepped, how much was left over at close, the total amount used and what was discarded.
Having the information in one spot provides owners and employees visibility into what’s happening during each shift and over an entire quarter. “The Manager’s Red Book gives us a higher level of confidence in the daily operations,” said Erlich.
Passing the Baton
Indeed, the spiral-bound book has been working well over the years. You could say it’s the original mobile solution. “It keeps employees from having to go the back office every time they need to address an issue,” said Erlich.
With over 40 yogurt flavors, unlimited toppings and over 20 smoothie ingredients, something as simple as a shift turnover could turn into a communication and task meltdown. Erlich refers to Red Mango’s shift change as the “passing of the baton.” He believes that when used properly, the Manager’s Red Book is crucial to a smooth transition.
Recording important information in one centralized spot also guarantees employees follow Red Mango’s standards, across the entire organization.
“Our Manager’s Red Book is broken down by early, mid and night shift checklists,” he explained. “So, as one person leaves, the next employee sees exactly which tasks have been completed and what still needs to be done.
“A lot of inefficiencies crop up when employees work out of separate notebooks throughout the store. The Manager’s Red Book eliminates them,” he added. Like any quick-serve operation, the goal is to take the guesswork out of the operations equation. “There’s no question that an employee brewed the cold brew the night before.” And if a task isn’t completed properly, Erlich says they use it as a training opportunity.
Red Mango’s menu is a huge draw for customers. The franchise maintains strict health and nutrition standards and makes good on their promise to always serve product that is fresh and in season.
Employee engagement is another passion and the franchise sees it as critical to the health of the
organization. “Engagement is absolutely an indicator of our stores’ success. The more profitable Red Mango stores generally have better engagement among employees. They feel like they know the common goals, whether that’s just for the day or for the entire quarter. They feel connected to the overall vision of the company,” he said.
The book’s one-stop-shop facilitates a lot of the day-to-day communication and makes it easy for
employees to see Red Mango’s goals.
Red Mango has found some interesting marketing opportunities in it. “When we introduced new menu items we updated the Manager’s Red Book to include those product standards and checklists. So now all of our stores see that we’re rolling out juice bars and grab-and-go products. It gets them excited about what’s happening across the globe and how it could work in their store.”
Erlich sees it working for other retail brands too, like when he checked out at an upscale fashion retailer known for their customer service. “I was checking out and their Manager’s Red Book was sitting on the counter. Of course, I asked what they thought about it. Like Red Mango, they liked the fact that all the sales people could communicate with each other. It was great to see how the Manager’s Red Book can work with any business model.”
A Natural Evolution
As a franchise, Red Mango is well known for their world-class training and support. The quick-serve health concept is also becoming a crowded space. Erlich says they are moving fast to make sure they meet consumer demand for their award-winning offerings.
“Red Mango is evolving fast and The Manager’s Red Book has been able to evolve along with us. I refer to it as as law because it’s been such a nice tool for engagement, communication, follow-up, preparation and preparedness. Most companies need something to manage it all and we would definitely recommend Manager’s Red Book.”