Kevin Newell, CEO and owner of Supreme Foods, has had his share of experience with imperfect communicative channels. Once, while promoting an LTO product Newell visited a couple of his stores. He talked with the district managers and general managers and thought that everybody was ready for the product to come out. But then, a couple of days before its launch, he mentioned the product to a crew member and it turned out that they didn’t know much about it.
This was one of the moments that helped Newell realize that information wasn’t cascading to all levels of his company’s footprint, which totals nearly 2,000 employees. Newell decided to install UPshow SHIFT in his stores, a portfolio which includes 36 Burger Kings, 34 Popeyes, and 3 Taco Johns.
“We tried it out in a few Burger King stores and we noticed that engagement from our team members, and just general communication with them, was much better,” says Newell. “And we noticed that our operational metrics from speed of service to guest complaints—everything improved!” Based on such successes, Newell then expanded UPshow SHIFT in all of his Burger King stores, and now is repeating the same process with Popeyes.
UPshow SHIFT is a digital employee engagement platform tailored to improve internal communications and reduce turnover. It has a simple modus operandi: an UPshow device is plugged into a TV in the back-of-house. Using this TV and device, Newell and his team can broadcast different types of messages to employees, like company benefits, instructions for how to make new menu items, speed-of-service metrics, and more. Moreover, any new content can be easily uploaded and displayed across all of their franchise stores.
“Employees now have a better understanding of the different benefits that our company offers them,” says Newell. For example, Supreme Foods provides its employees the option of early pay based on the hours they have already worked through an app, with no cost to the employee. However, there wasn’t much utilization of this benefit system in the past. So Newell and his team decided to display this information on the TV powered by UPshow SHIFT. “And next thing you know, a lot of people started using it.” Newell accords a higher retention rate across his businesses because of this intervention.
UPshow SHIFT can also create excitement, increased competitiveness, and connectedness among employees. “We do speed-of-service competitions amongst different stores in similar areas or categories,” says Newell. Since UPshow shows real time data, employees in different stores rally together. “They will say, ‘Hey! Today we’re gonna win the award.’ All of this creates a little excitement, a little competition going on.” Ensuring camaraderie and competition through UPshow SHIFT has facilitated in upholding one of Supreme Food’s core company values—love and respect for their team members.
“For me, it's just that the employees truly feel more connected with the company, they have a chance to communicate with us using UPshow SHIFT too,” says Newell. Employees can use a QR code displayed in the TV to upload their messages to the management team. All of these benefits have vastly improved their operations. “We saw the improvement on those four or five key factors, whether it's retention, whether it's use of benefits, whether it is operational metrics, improved understanding, or different products coming out for us.”
For more on improving employee output, visit the UPshow website.
By Dikshant Uprety