By Ya’el McLoud
In the fast-paced and ever-evolving world of the restaurant industry, effective training is essential; it’s the foundation upon which successful businesses are built. Zalat, a thriving pizza chain with a mission to deliver delicious pizzas and unparalleled employee and customer experiences, understands the critical importance of training its workforce. However, for years, it grappled with outdated training methods, which were expensive and time-consuming, and tools that just weren’t efficient or effective. That is until Zalat searched for a solution and found Opus, which transformed Zalat’s training programs and set a new standard for robust training with strong reinforcement.
Zalat Pizza has a unique company culture that has proven effective in building a fun and driven working environment. Part of this was finding a training platform that could be customized easily. “We’re very mission-driven,” says Khanh Nguyen, CEO of Zalat Pizza. “We have three primary missions, to make the best pizzas in the universe, to make customers for life, and to make our frontline workers wealthy through employee stock options.”
Before Opus, Zalat’s leadership experimented with another training system, but they weren’t satisfied with the outcomes. They didn’t have enough control over landing pages, they had to create all aspects of the program on their own, and it was completely computer-bound. “As a company, we put so much effort into creating the training program, and six months later, we came back, and nobody was using it,” Nguyen says. “Opus fixes all of those issues.”
Opus is built to be intuitive and highly customizable so that leadership and employees can get exactly what they need when and where they need it. Now Zalat touts an impressive training record with the assistance of Opus. After two years of partnership, it has a 99 percent training completion rate.
Opus allows operators to create training on various topics and at different lengths so employees can go in-depth on the topics they need most. More complicated matters, such as training for managerial tasks, can be completed with the same simple process. According to Zalat Pizza’s leadership, they can distinguish within a training module what is critical, what is recommended, and what are reinforcement materials, which employees can look back on for a quick refresher. Meanwhile, Opus’s verification product helps Zalat Pizza’s managers check that employees are completing their training modules.
“A lot of other LMS systems are static and do not have a lot of tactics to keep people engaged,” says Yvette Munoz, director of training at Zalat Pizza. “Content with Opus is so dynamic. You can throw in a gif, a YouTube video, or vertical videos, and include elements like swiping up and clicking through.” These elements allow Zalat Pizza leadership to highlight what is most critical for employees to learn in a fun way.
Munoz and Nguyen have first-hand experience creating training together. “We just opened a new location, and we made this new interview-style course with me talking to Khanh for almost two hours. We cut it down into bite-size pieces, which became two- or three-minute videos,” Munoz says. Not only did this allow Munoz and Nguyen to highlight what they wanted most in a training program, but the content was made without a pricey production team. Opus made the process simple and cost-effective.
Because Opus is fully integrated as a mobile training platform, Zalat Pizza can pay employees for the training they complete on their own time. Training is highly interactive with quizzes and multimedia. “We know phones get people’s attention,” Nguyen says. “But if you look at corporate training tools, there’s a huge gap there in terms of potential effectiveness versus the reality of how corporate America thinks about training and what’s possible. Restaurants have to lean into modern technology and think about what makes everybody glued to their TikTok and Instagram accounts and have training mirror that, so training is not painful for anybody.”
Opus doesn’t stop at simple tasks; it excels in training for even the most complex managerial roles. Zalat’s manager-in-training (MIT) modules demonstrate Opus’ versatility, offering in-depth insights with real-world examples and even injecting a touch of fun with entertaining content. In an era where technology rules, Opus proves that effective training need not be a painful experience. With Opus as its training partner, Zalat Pizza has not only elevated its employee training but also paved the way for a successful future where employees can proudly hold a stake in the company.
For more information, visit the Opus website.