Great Steak Franchise Reports Employee Retention Well Above Industry Standard

A small staff, stellar training and streamlined menu make working
at Great Steak a positive experience from day one

Staff turnover is a challenge for much of the fast-casual industry, but not for Great Steak™ cheesesteak franchise. Our franchise owners hire and retain talented, enthusiastic team members despite the fact that the industry is plagued by record turnover rates of 150%.

“Great Steak has an unwavering commitment to quality, and that shows in every aspect of the business, from the hiring and training process and beyond,” says Kari Combs, Vice President of Operations. “Our menu is consistent, and customers know they can depend on us for a great cheesesteak each and every time they visit. In turn, our staff members take pride in being part of the core team that is responsible for delivering a unique and positive customer experience.”

Simple and effective menu streamlines training

Great Steak cheesesteak franchise customers have a very specific food experience in mind, Combs says. So there is no need to lean on typical fast-casual crutches like continually changing the menu or offering LTOs to stay competitive. Whether it’s a cheesesteak, a salad or a baked potato, the Great Steak menu has something for every diner — and that consistency builds brand loyalty, as well as employee loyalty.

“A lot of brands will keep adding to what they have to stay competitive, but we don’t have to do that,” she explains. “Our franchise owners’ high-quality staff can learn the menu quickly, and then focus on creating a great customer experience. They’re not having to look at ‘cheat sheets’ all the time because of new menu additions.”

Corporate works side by side with owners and team members

“I have been a franchise business owner, and I understand the desire to have the freedom of owning your own business,” says Doug Merenda, Great Steak’s West Coast Director of Franchise Development. “People know they need to work hard, and to be able to manage people, but that isn’t always enough. You have to know how the business runs, and we make sure that Great Steak cheesesteak franchise owners get the level of support and training they need so that they completely understand all operations before they serve their first customer.”

New Great Steak owners receive 40 hours of training at the Kahala Brands™ headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona, while their location’s food-court or freestanding buildout is completed. That week covers everything from food handling and safety to payroll processing and inventory management. Once the location opens, a corporate team works side by side with the owner and team members for a week to make sure all systems are operating smoothly.

Over time, he adds, those early customers’ initial visits turn into repeat business, and employees build relationships alongside the business itself.

“Our franchise owners know that once they’ve got an employee on board who does the job really well, he or she isn’t going to have to waste time learning new things,” Merenda explains. “New customers become regulars, and they really like knowing the person behind the counter. Employees are well-qualified, great at what they do and terrific brand ambassadors. They really are a differentiator for every Great Steak cheesesteak franchise.”

Simplicity is key to longevity

The Great Steak cheesesteak franchise concept is both simple and timeless. First, the focus is on cheesesteaks: when people come to Great Steak, they’ve made up their minds about what they want. That choice is reinforced by a simple menu that provides plenty of options, but is not overwhelming. Customers then interact with the counter staff, customize their food on the spot and watch it being prepared.

“A Great Steak visit means fresh, high-quality food made in front of the customer,” says Kari Combs, Great Steak’s Vice President of Operations. “No one is forced to scroll through pages and pages of a menu, or pick up boxed food that’s been sitting under heat lamps. Great Steak provides a fun, interactive restaurant experience, and customers have been responding positively for more than 30 years.”

New markets means growth opportunities

Great Steak cheesesteak franchise locations continue to pop up around the United States. Even so, there are many markets that would be a great fit for the brand. Now is the time for any entrepreneur interested in bringing a tested and well-respected name to his or her community.

“Great Steak is a truly portable concept — people love cheesesteaks, no matter where they live,” Combs says. “Bringing a Great Steak cheesesteak franchise to town would create a lot of interest and, if that location is like the others, will soon have a very loyal following all its own.”

Great Steak is a low-cost investment opportunity with a proven business model in the $19 billion sandwich industry. Since our brand’s founding in 1982, the Great Steak cheesesteak franchise family has grown to more than 50 locations nationwide as it partners with entrepreneurs who are passionate about bringing the classic American cheesesteak experience to their communities. Owners enjoy the support not only of Great Steak’s top-shelf management team, but also that of Kahala Brands, one of the most trusted names in franchising with more than 3,000 premier locations nationwide. Whether you’re looking to bring authentic cheesesteak sandwiches to a shopping mall near you or wanting to open a friendly neighborhood eatery, Great Steak offers the right opportunity. There has never been a better time to open a Great Steak.

Learn more about the Great Steak franchise

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