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Inspire Leaders Share with Franchise Conference Attendees How Nimbleness, Format Helped Attract Guests

By Raj Prashad

Over the last six months, COVID-19 has shifted how guests interact with their favorite brands. Formats like order ahead, contactless payment, delivery and drive-thru, are the preferred way for consumers to order a meal or enjoy a break in their day.

Recently, SONIC Drive-In President Claudia San Pedro and Inspire Vice President of Franchising, Joe Sieve, joined the Franchise Leadership & Growth Conference to speak to how Inspire is positioned to meet those new demands.

Across Inspire, a cross-functional and cross-branded team was created in response to COVID-19. This has helped Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, SONIC, Jimmy John’s and Rusty Taco be nimble in its operations, while taking care of restaurant team members and serving guests.

“The most important thing for our restaurant teams was to have frequent communication. Simply asking how they are doing allowed us to understand the challenges they have had to navigate through,” San Pedro said. “Throughout March, April and May, we came to a point where our teams were tired and stressed. So we worked to understand how we can continue to best support them.”

Part of that support has included being nimble and accelerating operations learnings to ensure the guest experience is exceptional.

“We have emphasized simplifying operations where we can, simplifying promotions and in some cases, adjusting the way we deliver on our guest experience,” San Pedro said.

Thanks to collaboration by team members across Inspire over the last six months, its brands have been able to deploy additional learnings and accelerate opportunities for growth, all while looking to the future. And for the franchising team, that’s been a story Sieve is eager to share.

“We’ve been able to rebound because of the strength of our brands and the strength of Inspire,” Sieve said. “We’ve been able to put operations changes in place across digital, off-premise and third-party delivery and we’re bullish on our brands and the recovery. There are so many opportunities to capitalize on real estate and we are positioned to support our franchisees with improved contactless interaction and ensuring supply chain can fulfill products to keep guests satisfied.”

To learn more about franchising opportunities across Inspire, visit