Quick-service chain Farmer Boys is dedicated to serving fresh farm-to-table burgers & sandwiches, cooked-to-order breakfasts and hand-chopped salads. As the chain quickly expanded its franchises throughout California and Nevada, it needed a solution to train a quickly growing workforce. So it turned to Wisetail for help.
Camille Chavez is the Director of Training for Farmer Boys. The restaurant chain is growing rapidly due to their franchise model, which now consists of 91 locations across California and Nevada.
The Quest for an LMS
Camille spearheads a mighty team of two, responsible for top-down corporate communication and all training for new and existing corporate and franchise employees. Rapid growth and geographical expansion made traditional paper-based, in-person training impossible. Rather than spending all her time on the road and exhausting travel resources, as well as her own stamina and sanity, she made it a company-wide initiative to find a system that would scale with her. She needed an LMS that would increase training efficiency within the company, create consistency, improve retention and increase employee engagement and participation.
The Wisetail Learning Management System (LMS) immediately caught Camille’s attention, because it looked and felt like Facebook. It was interactive and intuitive – critical factors in communicating with a millennial workforce. Wisetail also offered a level of customization and support that was unprecedented in this space—and Camille would know. She researched and demoed 40 different solutions before making a final decision. In the end, Wisetail’s client experience model, the level of customization, and the social engagement made it a clear winner.
Camille took a strategic approach to rolling out the solution in order to demonstrate irrefutably to both corporate leadership and the individual franchisees that Wisetail was the best solution. She chose a controlled pilot test to produce the most convincing data. Out of the entire chain (Group A), she separated out 12 stores (Group B), who were trained using the Wisetail LMS. After both groups completed the training, she waited 28 days and then sent mystery shoppers to quiz both groups. Group B, the Wisetail group, outperformed Group A by six percentage points.
The Wisetail Learning Management System translated to immediate and tangible savings. During pilot testing, control stores reported that new cashiers had a reduction in training time to productivity from an average of five days to four. Over the course of a year, this reported reduction can save each location a possible 20% in new cashier training costs. There’s also a more intangible, slow-burning savings through ongoing employee development and engagement at all stages of an employee’s career. Knowledge is power, and providing a simple, community-based way to build know-how creates a cohesive, high-functioning team. Performance, customer service, employee retention and overall job satisfaction spike when employees feel educated and connected.
The amount each location can save in new cashier training costs.
Once the pilot was complete, Camille had two stops along the way to final, company-wide adoption. First, she successfully sold the solution up the ladder to executive leadership. After gaining their stamp of approval, she was tasked with selling it to each individual franchise, who would have to make it part of their ongoing P&L. Locations were open to seeing the long-term value and today all of its 91 locations are running strong with Wisetail.
Farmer Boys’ LMS Implementation
Wisetail’s implementation and support helped Camille customize her system to mimic brand standards and company culture, making it a true Farmer Boys experience. Enhanced customization also allowed for dual language preferences and in-depth data and analytics on the company’s learning goals. Wisetail even assisted in developing a localized admin as well as uploading every employee into the system for Camille, so her time was spent building modules and content. Wisetail’s assistance with the upload meant that Camille could visit a store, boot up a few laptops, open the system, and each and every employee was loaded and ready to go.
The Wisetail LMS in Action
Today, the solution has many arms that support employees at all stages of their career. New employees complete orientation and training by finishing mandatory modules, while management stays up to date on corporate initiatives such as roll-outs, marketing, and employee relations. Employees also have a sense of community through the social interaction, which prompts questions and spurs learning but also, most importantly, creates a sense of belonging and value, the most fundamental principle in keeping employees engaged and motivated.