De-centralised lease and restaurant data was proving to be a big headache for Nando’s. Across the organisation, departments were collecting and housing vast information about their restaurants in a very fragmented manner. A lack of data consistency and real-time accessibility meant that Nando’s faced challenges around inconsistencies in data, landlord overcharges and a lack of clear insight into the performance of individual franchise outlets.
To tackle these issues head-on, the property team implemented LeaseEagle to establish a centralised system for all lease and franchise information. The business benefits were realised immediately. Most importantly, all departments are now accessing accurate data in real-time. Reporting is streamlined, lawyers have clear visibility into leasing agreements and all restaurant portfolio data is available, on the road, at the push of a button.
Nando’s takes Australian taste buds by storm
In 1991, Nando’s established its eighth restaurant worldwide on the western shores of Australia, bringing its signature PERI-PERI sauce from South Africa to spice up the tastebuds of Aussie customers. By 2013, 270 restaurants operated nationwide. Today, Nando’s can boast 300 leases for restaurants in Australia and another 30 in New Zealand.
Across Australia, Nando’s focuses on offering a unique restaurant atmosphere while nurturing loyal customer bases. To this end, the majority of Nando’s restaurants are run as franchise agreements, allowing each establishment to exhibit it’s own special atmosphere.
While this approach has allowed Nando’s to become one of Australia’s most enduring chain restaurant brands, it has also raised a number of challenges for Nando’s Business Development Team.
De-centralised management causes confusion
Across Australia, franchised Nando’s restaurants manage their leases according to their own business practices. While this ensures that each restaurant maintains its own sense of identity—an important focus for Nando’s across the country—it also posed significant challenges in terms of getting one, clear picture of the company’s leasing portfolio.
When Jacquie Mance, Nando’s National Leasing Manager, joined Nando’s, she discovered that the management of leasing information was handled differently not only across restaurants, but also across departments at head office.
“Different departments habitually used different strategies with spread sheets to collate lease data, and were only collecting data that was relevant to them. The finance team looked for a different set of data to the operations team, which was again different to the data used by the leasing team. Even within the individual departments and teams, data varied.”
A lack of cohesive lease data led to a range of issues for Nando’s, especially in relation to reporting. Ms. Mance elaborated, “Hunting for the right information was fraught with difficulty. There was no visibility into who had last updated the information, or any way to check the source of data changes. Pulling reports together from information tied to multiple departments was excessively time consuming. It could take up to two weeks to source the right information then collate, analyse and report it. By then, the information was potentially out of date.”
But perhaps one of the biggest challenges for the business was having a complete perspective of the entire restaurant portfolio, or a sense for the trading and real estate performance of individual restaurants.
Ms. Mance said, “It was incredibly difficult for Nando’s to get a complete picture of what the costs were for each restaurant. At head office, we need to be proactive about franchise renewals and how we support our franchisees. For example, we like to help them identify ways to reduce occupancy costs, but we can only do this when we have access to accurate, timely information.”
A specialised retail solution was the natural choice
These challenges diminished when Nando’s implemented LeaseEagle’s award-winning lease management solution, which is designed especially for retailers looking to consolidate and transform the way the way they run their portfolios.
“I had used LeaseEagle in a previous job and found it to be a wonderful tool,” said Ms. Mance. “LeaseEagle is a highly specialised retail leasing system and far superior to its competitors. When I took on this role at Nando’s it was a no-brainer to implement LeaseEagle once again. It is still better than anything else in the marketplace.”
LeaseEagle changes the face of portfolio management at Nando’s
Nando’s can now rely on LeaseEagle to communicate the latest and most accurate data to the whole organisation. In addition, it acts as a critical communications log, tracking who’s updating what information and when they did it. Ms. Mance continued, “Everyone can go directly to the one source for information about individual restaurants. And if you need to question any information, you can see which of your colleagues has last updated it and go directly to them. It’s one source of truth for all the departments to access and amend.”
Nando’s has also found the reporting features of LeaseEagle to be exceptionally helpful, especially the ability to record shopping centre information. Ms. Mance continued, “Having the ability to include shopping centre information allows us to benchmark shopping centres against each other. It means we can compare what the landlord’s figures are against what has been reported by the restaurants themselves and it gives a picture of what’s happening with individual restaurants within those shopping centres over a twelve-month period, allowing us to chart expectations.”
“Overall, the reporting features are invaluable. One report used to take two or three weeks and by that time, the information was out of date. Now it can take ten minutes for any given report, which has huge productivity benefits for the organisation. And the information is never out of date and can be exported right there on your iPad when you’re out dealing with landlords and shopping centre managers.”
Over the course of implementing LeaseEagle and migrating the disparate sets of data into the system, it also became apparent that Nando’s had been overcharged by landlords. Ms. Mance added, “It’s easy to overlook incorrect charges from landlords but LeaseEagle has intuitive, built-in capabilities which will make sure it never happens again.”
Mobility and productivity go hand-in-hand
Twelve months after implementation, the entire leasing management team is out on the road using LeaseEagle to access data via their smartphones and devices – whether they’re from finance, business development, property or executive teams. Ms. Mance said “About 50 people are accessing information remotely on a daily basis. That says it all. We desperately needed a solution like this – it makes it a lot easier to do our jobs. Additionally, there’s no limit to the number of users that can access the system. From a management point of view, we easily control who has access and how much data they can access.”
Customised finance module just around the corner
The use of LeaseEagle within the organisation is set to expand in coming months, with the implementation of the LeaseEagle financial and project management modules. “We’re not using LeaseEagle for budgeting purposes yet, but that is definitely on the cards. Unlike its competitors, LeaseEagle can really tailor its modules to our business. Right now LeaseEagle is putting together templates for project management, which will change the way that new restaurants are managed from the ground up, including new builds and renovations. We’re really looking forward to all the changes that the technology will bring to the way Nando’s does business across the country.”
LeaseEagle team makes all the difference
“The system is fantastic, but it’s the support that really sets LeaseEagle apart. The team has just been brilliant,” Ms. Mance explained. “You can come up with ideas about how to improve the system and the LeaseEagle team will find a way to build that in. LeaseEagle understands the tenant and that makes a huge difference. And no other solution takes into account the spectrum of business that LeaseEagle does.”
Following a successful implementation in ANZ, other Nando’s regions have now implemented LeaseEagle, including US, Canada and Africa.
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Give the LeaseEagle team a call today on 1300 887 609 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about how you can implement a lease management system like Nando’s to significatnly reduce your reporting time in the new financial year.