Twin Peaks franchisee group mitigates HR risk with Crew
“Regularly rewarding staff has been really beneficial...”
HR Manager & Director of Training
DMD Restaurant Group operates four Twin Peaks sports lodges in Florida, and plans to open a fifth franchise location in the coming months. With over 1,000 employees in what is typically a high-turnover environment, keeping everyone – from young servers at the front of the house, to kitchen staff in the heart of the house, to managers – engaged, up-to-speed, and connected with the corporate office is not easy.
Karena Korokous, human resources manager and director of training and development at DMD, is responsible for building strong management teams in preparation for future growth, closely monitoring customer satisfaction, and handling HR complaints. All of this was difficult before the company had an official communications platform. Managers sometimes forgot to pass along important updates and regularly kept in touch informally by texting team members’ personal phones, while frontline staff often didn’t know how to contact the support center if necessary.
DMD’s leadership wanted a better way to connect teams, keep workers motivated, and capture documentation of conversations for potential legal matters if necessary. They found Crew’s mobile communications app, and rolled it out to all employees. As the business’ primary channel between managers and their teams, Crew ensures that important operational information gets funneled down to frontline teams in a consistent, timely manner.
“Now I don’t have to worry that managers will forget to tell the staff about new dress guidelines or training documents,” mentioned Korokous. “Through the Crew app, I post an announcement directly, and everybody sees it right away on their phones.” Both above-store leaders and restaurant managers use Crew to share monthly uniform calendars, menu specials, new food items, beverage changes, service procedures, and schedules.
“Crew is absolutely leaps and bounds better than other tools for getting information out to our staff right away. I check in on the app every hour or so, and our employees thoroughly appreciate that if they ever need to reach out to HR, we are but a Crew message away.”
Director of Training & Development/HR Manager, DMD Restaurant Group
Employee recognition boosts morale
Crew is also instrumental in sharing achievements and reinforcing positive behavior. Karena receives a daily social media report of every customer review or comment on Yelp, Twitter, Facebook and others, along with weekly mystery shopper reports for each restaurant. She parses these for the main themes and issues, and passes along the relevant posts to each manager to share with their team. “Regularly rewarding staff has been really beneficial,” Korokous said. “Team members love getting that Crew Gold Star in front of their peers, and the managers enjoy having an easy way to acknowledge good work.”
Karena finds that the managers who do the best job of recognizing employees on Crew see the highest engagement from their frontline workers. They participate by chiming in with Crew’s fun reaction icons, indicating their thanks, likes, high fives, congrats, or even a mic drop.
Direct line of communications heads off HR issues
With Crew, the company also has a more formal, controlled process to manage and document HR cases. Everyone knows how to get in touch with HR, and Karena can proactively address potential policy violations before they become big issues for the business. By requiring managers and employees to put all work communications in Crew, DMD also minimizes the risk of side text exchanges that can’t be tracked or referenced should a complaint arise.
“Since adopting Crew, the number of HR requests I get has increased, which is actually a great thing, because we want employees to know that we're here, they can reach out if they have a concern, and we’ll respond right away,” noted Korokous.
In DMD’s two years on Crew, the business has seen the powerful impact of improved communications. Now that people have the information they need to be successful, they’re more productive, make fewer mistakes, and do better work overall. Employees are happier because they are recognized for their accomplishments and know they have a direct line to HR. And the corporate office can keep their finger on the pulse of restaurant activities and make sure each team is on the same page and reaching their goals. All of this ensures customers receive great service and want to come back, which helps drives up overall sales.