The formula might serve as a model for other brands fighting against turnover.
When Brook Mullen joined Snooze an AM Eatery as eLearning and instructional design manager in 2017, she immediately embarked on a search for a learning management system (LMS) that would partner with her company.
She knew it was a pivotal decision—the LMS would help store and deliver training content so that the restaurant brand could further solidify an already strong culture, and reinforce its emphasis on employee engagement. Mullen knew that team culture suffers when employees aren’t enthusiastic about their work or workplace. Ultimately, disengagement results in turnover, which is a huge problem for the industry, now more than ever.
Mullen ultimately opted for the Wisetail LMS platform because she was impressed it was “catered toward the restaurant industry,” Mullen says. “In hospitality, employees don't sit in front of a computer all day. We needed a solution that was customizable and mobile responsive. Wisetail fit that bill.”
Snooze an AM Eatery began developing content, such as culture-rich media, tutorials for navigating the LMS platform, position-specific training modules and knowledge check ins. Snooze refers to its Wisetail portal as “The Experience,” as the brand emphasizes storytelling during its training process—the name is also a nod to the experience diners get when they dine at Snooze. Once hired, new “Snoozers”—as the brand refers to its employees—are auto-enrolled in classes that tell the story of the brand’s unique culture, along with position-specific training modules within The Experience.
“When you’re entering a relationship with an LMS, your content must be organized,” Mullen says. For Snooze that meant, among other things, forging a plan for archiving and “keeping everything relevant, up to date and on-brand.”
As Snooze an AM Eatery continues to expand nationally, Wisetail LMS has enabled the brand to keep in touch with employees, Mullen says. It’s also been a great way for employees to interact with one another—it allows them to connect across the brand’s 50 restaurants coast to coast. This connection is so important to Snooze that in 2018 it started the Compass Foundation. The program is built by Snoozers, for Snoozers, and is intended for those who fall on hard times and need financial assistance. The Compass Foundation is facilitated using the Wisetail platform.
“We’re not just a ‘mom and pop shop’ anymore, so we needed to be able to deploy content relatively easily and keep all Snoozers in the loop,” Mullen says. “We’ve always been like family and didn't want to lose that as we expand. The platform’s a way we can connect with Snoozers across the brand.”
While attracting quality employees isn’t easy today, Mullen said the restaurant’s exacting emphasis on culture, in conjunction with the platform’s adeptness at engagement, go a long way toward navigating the process.
“In this market and in these crazy times, the fact we already have that strong culture sets us apart,” Mullen says. “Job seekers can go anywhere and get a job right now, so it's really about sharing that ‘Snooze Life’ experience and welcoming new Snoozers into what’s likely to become their second family.”
Not to say Snooze is immune to staffing issues: “it continues to be one our biggest headwinds,” Mullen reports. But as operators know, attracting employees is only half the battle— sometimes retaining employees is much harder. Fortuitously, the platform provides that “continuous engagement piece to help us use our strong culture not only to attract talent, but to retain it. The focus must remain on engagement.”
Despite all the on-point strategy, sometimes, the best way to reach people is through their stomach. Snooze initiated a program called “Pancake of the Week” to further encourage engagement. The program allows any employee to submit a recipe
idea through Wisetail. Ultimately, the winner receives a shoutout on the platform, where photos of the recipe are posted, and the pancake is featured on the menu at all restaurants for seven days.
It’s just another way that Wisetail is helping Snooze an AM Eatery keep employees engaged and passionate about their work.
“Through the platform, we encourage Snoozers to show their individuality and passion,” Mullen says. “Wisetail is a one-stop shop for learning and communication for our company—a place for Snoozers to get what they need.”
For more on engaging employees, visit the Wisetail website.