Business Transformation Study
DTiQ Chosen as Hooters “Wingman” in Loss Prevention
Since 1983, the loss prevention function of Hooter’s of America was primarily run by its executive staff. While the executive and human resources teams were the primary decision makers in risk scenarios and theft and harassment cases, few resources were available to provide a proactive and educational loss prevention program for its corporately owned locations.
In late 2003, Hooter’s of America began to explore outsourcing as an option to build an effective loss prevention program.
In 2004, Hooters of America partnered with DTiQ to provide nationwide Auditing and Incident Resolutions for its 123 corporately-owned locations.
“The Control & Compliance Audits are an excellent training tool for our restaurant management team. It provides the proactive piece I feel very strongly about,” said Hooter of America employee. “DTiQ manages the whole process to include scheduling and coordinating the audit function. It’s a huge plus to know DTiQ will provide an operationally savvy auditor that understands our restaurant environment and concept.”
“DTiQ doesn’t create an anxious environment when they conduct an audit. Some of our stores might not get the satisfactory scores that they want, but they recognize it as their chance to learn and apply knowledge to get the better score the next time. These audits have turned into a great motivator for our team.”
DTiQ’s nationwide Regional Loss Prevention Auditors (RLPAs) visit each corporately-owned location twice a year, and analyze each store’s safety, administration/human resource practices, cash control/finance procedures, inventory controls, and loss prevention/awareness.
“Our audits are as much an educational opportunity for our store management as they are operational tools,” said Hooter of America employee. “DTiQ doesn’t create an anxious environment when they conduct an audit. Some of our stores might not get the satisfactory scores that they want, but they recognize it as their chance to learn and apply knowledge to get the better score the next time. These audits have turned into a great motivator for our team.”
To further enhance loss prevention awareness at the store level, Hooters of America also chose to utilize DTiQ’s Employee Training & Awareness Programs. “When I first came on board, I realized that I needed to raise the awareness level exponentially,” said Hooter of America employee. “DTiQ custom-designs the awareness materials for me, and we even include custom photo shots with our staff to make sure the message and imagery directly relates to our employees. The posters are very quick and easy pieces, with a direct message and theme for each. There’s no sugar coating any of it.”
DTiQ also provides nationwide Incident Resolution Services for Hooter’s of America. “As a business function, loss prevention is sometimes the last one on the list,” said Hooter of America employee. “However, good representation helps to reinforce that it can be a positive function of the company. Many of our investigations are informational and very sensitive in nature, and have the potential to go very badly if not handled correctly. DTiQ’s Regional Loss Prevention Managers are consummate professionals, who sometimes have very little information and time to go on. By the time they’re done, they always have a very thorough investigation complete with a satisfactory resolution.”
Most recently, Hooters of America added Customer Experience Services to its full service program. “Our stores scrutinize our mystery shopping program more than their audit scores,” said Hooter of America employee. “This program is truly the pulse of our business. You have a third party coming in and evaluating the customer experience, which is crucial to our business. We’ve even tied the shop scores to financial incentives, so if they receive good scores, they get bonuses, and if not, then they don’t. Our managers will actually go as far as to go back and check video to validate the shop results, which is a good thing, because we want our managers to get involved and scrutinize the data provided. All of this data strengthens our concept: ‘HOOTERS makes you happy!’”
Each corporately-owned location is shopped on a quarterly basis, and the results are provided online to the executive team and management through DTiQ’s online reporting system. “Our goal is to provide a unique experience in a family environment,” said Hooter of America employee. “DTiQ’s shop program has proven to be flexible and easily updated to our needs. Sometimes, there are shoppers that are immediately jaded to the concept, and can’t provide the objective feedback our stores deserve. As soon as DTiQ spots one, we simply remove the shopper from our list.”
“We’ve seen a measurable reduction of loss since partnering with DTiQ,” said Hooter of America employee. “We strive to keep our program simple and to the point. Sometimes you have to have apprehensions and terminations for awareness to work. That’s just part of the business. However, DTiQ allows us to effectively handle and resolve our issues and get back to our business.”
“I have always had success in expediting priority issues with DTiQ,” continued Hooter of America employee. “All I have to do is pick up the phone to discuss my needs. This is something that we never could have done before. I know a trained investigator with current interviewing skills is immediately available in any part of the country. Even a minor issue can turn into a $5000.00 admission.”
Hooters of America, Inc. operates over 455 locations in 44 states and 28 countries.