As the world adjusts to the spread of COVID-19, keeping frontline workers safe and informed is top-of-mind for restaurant brand leaders. With ample opportunity for misinformation to be spread on social media or by word of mouth, it is pivotal to make sure that a unified and consistent message is coming from the corporate offices of a brand.
Technology platforms can guarantee all employees access to timely information. Whether a brand is launching a reduction of store hours, or eventually, a return to normal store hours, or even simply trying to call attention to a training guide that outlines proper sanitation practices, an app like PlayerLync can be an operator's best friend.
Now more than ever, training guides printed on paper are obsolete. For one, they aren’t cost efficient, and must be sent to, or printed at, each impacted location. Printed materials also can’t be updated or amended at a moment’s notice.
Even in-person training campaigns have their own pitfalls, either taking management out of stores, or putting large corporate teams on the road, something that is hardly an option as travel bans and lockdowns are increasingly put into place.
Prior to the rapid spread of COVID-19, Schlotzsky’s Austin Eatery remodeled and rebranded over 150 units nationwide, and Catie Thompson, Schlotzsky’s field training manager, says that bringing technology into the mix made the process less daunting. More than anything, digital training solutions saved Thompson and her corporate team travel costs and time.
“We used to do ‘train the trainer’ sessions,” Thompson says, “where we would fly five team members into a market and train the franchisees and managers. But thanks to PlayerLync, that’s no longer necessary. All of the training materials can be uploaded to the iPad, and we can actually see who has watched it to track their progress.”
Here’s how it works: PlayerLync connects the corporate office to front line employees, by integrating content distribution, e-learning, and paperless operations into a single mobile solution. Employees can review video, information, and digital forms instantly to drive exceptional customer experience.
Thompson and her team assigned e-learnings in the app for every position across the restaurant, creating brand continuity and new expectations of their employees.
“Because we have consistent training and performance metrics now,” Thompson says, “we’re able to ensure that if everyone receives the same training protocol, they should perform equally. We expect the consistency of our food and customer service will continue to improve across all of our restaurants.”
With digital training in place, store employees are able to spend more time focusing on day-to-day operations rather than reading dense training manuals. When an important menu or procedural change affects multiple stores, a short video is sent straight to the store’s tablet device with the click of a button.
Another positive Thompson has observed is the way digital speaks to a growing number of Schlotzsky’s employees. In short, PlayerLync has made Schlotzsky’s a player in today’s digital world.
“PlayerLync has allowed us to engage with our team members in a way that they’re most comfortable communicating,” Thompson says. “Giving them something in a digital format makes training more fun.”
Learn more about how technology can help your brand through this crisis, visit the PlayerLync website.
By Charlie Pogacar.