For many years, Salata—a customizable salad brand based in Houston, Texas with more than 90 corporate and franchise-owned locations across Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, and California—relied on in-person training to onboard new employees. As the brand grew, it became more difficult to ensure a consistent experience for every team member and manager in the field.
Salata made the strategic decision to search for a learning management system (LMS) where employees and franchisees could complete training in a virtual setting. “Our goal was to not only provide development resources to the managers-in-training and team members at new restaurant openings, but to provide the most up-to-date content for existing team members and managers all the way up to franchise owners by using a more accessible, virtual LMS program,” says Tiffany Perez, director of training and development at Salata.
Salata believes building team members’ confidence is critical to raising the quality of service as well as improving retention. The brand seeks to empower its team in their locations as well as in other parts of their lives. “We instill that operators within our brand should have a mindset that is centered around the team’s development. Retention can be significantly improved if team members feel you care about their learning and development,” says Madi Pickett, training content manager at Salata. “Learning the basics is just the start of building a team member’s confidence in their role. Once that foundation is laid, you can then focus on developing them as individuals.”
Salata chose Wisetail as the learning management platform best suited to help their team members grow. Wisetail’s Learning Paths, for example, have proven invaluable to Perez and Pickett in developing Salata’s program.
“Team members can complete modules on their own timetable, and to make sure they feel confident in what they’re learning, they can go back and reference whatever they need to,” Pickett says. “We have the basic training they need to do for their job, like cutting tomatoes and service procedures. But we also offer modules that help them grow and develop as people, and even learn about other departments open to them. Wisetail has made it super easy for learners to follow their own path.”
With a sizable percentage of users who predominantly speak Spanish, Salata’s training program has also benefited from Wisetail’s Multi-Language tool, which translates training content from English into other languages. “Before the Multi-Language tool, we had already created development based on different learning styles, such as visual learners, hands on, and auditory. But there was still a huge gap in communication,” Perez says. “Being able to translate all of our modules and quizzes with the Multi-Language tool provides another development path for every single team member within our brand.”
The results speak for themselves. Engagement has skyrocketed since adopting Wisetail, according to Perez. Since implementing a Spanish option in 2022, logins to the Salata training program have increased by 103 percent, and module completions increased by 38 percent. The benefits extend to retention as well—especially in the difficult-to-replace position of general manager. In the midst of ongoing labor shortages last year, half of Salata’s 22 franchise owners experienced no GM turnover whatsoever.
Salata prides itself on its people-first culture, cultivated and reinforced in large part through its learning and development program supported by Wisetail. “If you invest in your people, they’ll invest in you,” Perez says.
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By Kara Phelps