In the year and a half that Alex Chavez has worked as the director of training and development at Just Salad, a 74-unit chain based in New York City, he has seen the brand open 23 new locations. With each opening, Chavez and his team are challenged with replicating what has always made the brand so successful. Namely, the great customer service and food Just Salad’s loyal following has come to expect.
Chavez credits Just Salad’s new training platform for increasing employee retention rates, customer satisfaction, and a shared understanding of company values. Those successes have made broadening the brand’s footprint that much easier.
“Opus is a game changer,” Chavez says. “It has pretty much changed the way we train new and existing employees.”
Opus, a mobile-first training platform designed for the frontline worker, combines digital learning with hands-on instruction to engage and build confidence in employees. Through a series of training videos, short quizzes, and on-the-job skill checks, Opus offers employees an opportunity to feel their impact from day one by learning about company culture and policies in bite-sized chunks.
Instead of long, exhausting days behind a laptop that require a full orientation, Opus gets employees on their feet and achieving success from day one. Because Just Salad has over 300 training modules that cover a wide range of topics—from standard operating procedures to menu changes to marketing promotions or people skills—it’s pivotal that team members get the info in an efficient, easy-to-digest fashion. Thanks to Opus, Just Salad boasts a 99-percent training completion rate.
“It really has changed the way we connect with our employees and how they connect with our customers,” says Chavez. “There’s always been customer connection, but with Opus, it took away the necessity for the manager to be side by side with the trainee all the time.”
Collectively, Opus has helped Just Salad team members complete over 4,000 hours of training—that’s a lot of time that managers used to spend working with employees one–on-one. This change in dynamic has allowed managers at Just Salad locations to spend more of their time focusing on the guest experience, building customer relationships while trusting their employees are in good hands.
Chavez also noticed the impact Opus has on existing employees. For example, if management notices a team member needs new training on a certain process, Opus provides an easy way to offer specific refresher courses.
“It teaches the team member our culture, and I believe that’s the main factor that is keeping them with us and continuing to grow in our company,” says Chavez.
This increased understanding of company culture and values has allowed Just Salad employees across the country to contribute to the company’s overall sustainability goals. For example, through its partnership with Too Good To Go (TGTG), Just Salad’s end-of-day leftover food is repurposed into surprise bags for its customers. In the past 12 months, the program has saved 71,339 meals and removed 178.35 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the earth’s atmosphere.
Just Salad was able to educate employees about Too Good to Go and the role they were playing in making a difference through Opus. With the help of over 700 employees who completed the sustainability training across its 74 locations, Just Salad has already reduced in-store food waste by 10 percent.
For Chavez, it is results like that which help illustrate how Opus has been an instrumental tool in training and connecting with team members of the fast-growing brand.
“It really has opened the door for us connecting with the new generation,” Chavez says.
By Elijah Larson