Papa Murphy’s Franchise Review: Q&A with In Kim

SVP of Franchise Performance opens up about how major investments in technology are benefitting franchise owners.

In this unprecedented year of 2020, when many brands in the QSR segment are cutting back on investing in support, Papa Murphy’s decided now was more important than ever to reinvest in technology to benefit franchise owners – and the results have been significant. 

Papa Murphy’s made strategic investments in software that provides up-the-to-minute business analytics to help franchise owners make stronger decisions and set more realistic goals. We also made significant investments in software that helps with the sanitation process of our restaurants, an area which earned us the top ranking on Nation’s Restaurant News Consumer Picks, an annual list of the top franchise brands as voted on by 16,000 consumers. 

To help explain the technology programs that franchise owners are using in their stores, we recently spoke to In Kim, SVP of Franchise Performance with Papa Murphy’s. With more than 30 years of leadership experience, In Kim is no stranger to developing action plans. He is well acquainted with driving large scale initiatives like the implementation of this cutting edge technology.

In Kim SVP of Franchise Performance

In Kim shares how major investments in technology benefit Papa Muphy’s franchise owners.

Why did you decide to invest in new technology?

Kim: We needed data and analytics to see how we were performing at the store level. Before this, we really didn’t have a line of sight on one of the most important metrics in our business – owner profitability, as well as store profitability. The first thing we did was begin to develop tools that measure our financial performance. It is important that our franchise owners have access to these tools, so that they can take action on a daily basis and make stronger decisions.

What were the tools, and how do they help?

Kim: ProfitKeeper and Tableau. Both applications measure the data that drives profitability. The first tool we implemented was Tableau, which is a dashboard for key operations and financial performance. We measure metrics and data that can be seen daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Franchise owners can view this data, analyze it, and then take action.

The second tool, ProfitKeeper, measures our stores’ performance on a financial level. With it, we can set better benchmarks and identify the areas of opportunity for profitability. It helps us create a plan to improve on the areas that need attention.

Data analytics tell us how our franchise owners are performing and each store’s profitability, so the metrics provided by these tools allow us to provide tailored consultation to our franchisees. Both tools measure their financial status and show us where we can improve in that area. Both applications have the ability to return information quickly, meaning we can make decisions quickly. The leadership team and individual owners can take action right away, which helps further boost profitability.

What is the feedback from your franchise owners? 

Kim: It’s been overwhelmingly positive. We have an adoption rate of over 80 percent, which is fantastic. When they see where they rank and compare against their peers, they realize how they are performing and can transform that information into ways that will help them. Our franchisees have also taken it upon themselves to implement action. These tools are used by the field operations as well. So our laser focus on these areas means we not only help our owners, but our owners also take the initiative to resolve any issues. These analytics are for everyone, not just franchise owners, so we can continue to improve overall.

Most importantly, these tools have created awareness. We believe this is the first step in driving sales growth. That perception allows us to take a deeper look at the systems, define areas of improvement, focus on contingency plans, and apply them accordingly.

Are there other tools you are using to drive profitability?

Kim: Yes. We’ve also engaged with a third-party investment tech company, and they are able to establish cadence on how we measure operations along with coaching and training on the store level.

Along with ProfitKeeper and Tableau, our partnership with Steritech heightens our sanitation efforts and enhances our implementing procedures for the safety of our franchise owners and their employees. Steritech helps actualize and monitor procedures for the health and safety of everyone. They reinforce, document, and train, allowing franchise owners to provide ongoing education for any new measures due to COVID. They offer recommendations from the highest quality of safety guidelines, are always up-to-date, and are tied to the local and federal jurisdictions.

We wanted to make sure there was a cadence for how we provide this information to each store. These tools were ideal in terms of managing through the pandemic, and we made several adjustments from an operational standpoint. 

And finally, a major benefit of being in a franchise system is you don’t have to do this alone. It’s paying off, and we are pleased with the results. Being able to provide our teams with a systematic approach to measuring profit and operations, along with applying successful training, was identified as a companywide priority.  

Why is it important to Papa Murphy’s to keep investing in cutting edge technology for franchisees?

Kim: We want our franchise owners not only to be profitable but also to improve their business and overall guest experience. It’s important they know our brand is not successful unless they are successful. And it’s just as important for us to invest in resources that make it easier for our franchise owners to continue to grow. It speaks volumes about the culture of this franchise. Our continual recommitment to the owners and their success—at a time when the economy and food industry is shrinking—is a priority to our business as a whole. This market and our current economy is ever-changing, so our expectations have to adapt on a daily basis. We have to make investments like these to stay on top of that – and also for the sake of our team. 

We need to provide the necessary tools so that we all have the ability to see data that acknowledges a scope of progressions. These tools forecast business that alludes to goal-setting resources. The more data you have about your business, the better decisions you can make. We only succeed if our franchisees succeed, and these tools are benefiting our business owners, and allows for better support from teams at the Support Center. It’s a big win for our franchise network. 


A Papa Murphy’s franchise is a low-cost investment opportunity offering high growth potential. Join this dynamic brand as we expand our footprint across the United States. Initial investment costs range from $286,919 to $524,205, depending on numerous factors, including geographic areas, condition of the premises and construction costs. We have grown to more than 1,250 locations thanks to a business model built for entrepreneurs who are passionate about making a difference in their community, bringing families together, and most of all – pizza.

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