This solution also cut meal-prep time by nearly 20 percent. But that’s just the half of it. 

Hughes Investments is a franchisee in the McDonald’s system, with nine stores in the Pennsylvania area, and a tenth store in the construction phase. Prior to the pandemic, Hughes had little trouble staffing its restaurants. The group offered competitive pay and gave team members shift meals and free uniforms—things owner and founder Robert Hughes believes should be table stakes in the industry. 

When the pandemic hit, things changed: turnover spiked. Key employees left the industry altogether. Like so many other restaurants across the country, the nine McDonald’s stores were left with thin, inexperienced teams scrambling to keep up with increased demand. “It was suddenly extremely difficult to get people into our restaurants,” Hughes says. “We knew we needed to find a new way to attract people to work in our stores.” 

Hughes hired HR and training supervisor, Isaac Kleinsmith, to oversee a program that would help attract and retain employees. Kleinsmith poked around and found an exciting solution that has helped accomplish that goal: Onaroll, a performance-based, digital incentives platform that helps gamify shift work, including at quick-service restaurants. Onaroll’s self-proclaimed “employee-obsessed” approach incentivizes both productivity and longevity.  

Employees bank points based on their personal performance and are able to redeem those Onaroll points to get deals from Nike, Spotify, Uber—it’s a long list of over 500 of Gen Z’s favorite brands. Best of all, the rewards are automated, so there’s no additional work for operators like Kleinsmith and his team to help hourly employees redeem their points. All of that happens in the background. 

Since implementing Onaroll in several stores about six months ago, team-member performance at Hughes Investments has reached new heights. For example, the franchisee group leveraged Onaroll to challenge crew members to improve drive-thru times, and guests experienced a 9 percent improvement in service speed. On average, drive-thru times dropped from 210 seconds, to 191 seconds. 

Similarly, Hughes Investments challenged employees to improve meal-prep times. The stores showed a 19 percent improvement, slashing meal-prep times from an average of 102 seconds, to just 82 seconds. 

“Onaroll has given our employees ownership,” Kleinsmith says. “Now they know their performance is directly tied to getting a gift card sooner, and that’s been hugely motivating for them.” 

“Onaroll has given our employees ownership. Now they know their performance is directly tied to getting a gift card sooner, and that’s been hugely motivating for them.” 

This is exactly what Onaroll was designed to do, says Onaroll founder and CEO Pete Ginsberg. In the mid-2010s, Ginsberg spent two years working directly with former Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson to build their innovation group, Siren Ideas. What Ginsberg took away from that time was the laser-focus the Starbucks organization had on frontline team members. Any idea that Ginsberg and his team came up with would be met with the same recurring question: “will our partners—(our employees)—like this?” 

During that time, Ginsberg also noticed a growing disconnect between quick-service brands and their workers. Even prior to COVID, frontline workers were starting to explore the gig economy, or other employers that paid based on performance. He saw an opportunity to create an experience that would help quick-service companies, like Hughes Investments, offer something similar. 

“Onaroll supercharges operators,” Ginsberg says. “It gives them a digital lever to influence and improve their stores. We’ve created this simple tool where an operator can set goals to drive the most critical levers that contribute to a store’s success. Team members have become obsessed with hitting those goals, and as a result, winning tons of rewards. Now employees are more focused on what’s most important, and want to work harder, not just because they were told to do so, but because they earn gift cards to spend on the stuff that they enjoy outside of work.”  

Ginsberg loves that Hughes and Kleinsmith have seen eye-popping numbers in regard to speeding up drive-thru and meal-prep times. There is a separate set of statistics, however, that he believes best exemplifies what success means to Onaroll.

In a recent survey, 90 percent of crew members at Hughes Investments said Onaroll has helped them focus on what’s important at work. On top of that, a whopping 98 percent of crew members say they enjoy using Onaroll. Those results, Ginsberg says, go back to what he learned during his time at Starbucks: the frontline worker comes first. 

“Everything that guides us is an obsession with team members,” Ginsberg says. “There are other platforms out there that give out kudos and badges on a job well done. That’s a good start, but the reality is, the employee doesn’t care about that at all. They want—and deserve—something that’s not only relevant to them, but also has real value. Our obsession with the team member experience, paired with our completely automated data ingestion technology, makes Onaroll super relevant to the team member and super easy and effective for the operator.”

CTA: For more on supercharging your storefronts, visit the Onaroll website

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