Crew Stories: CFO and head of IT share how their Arby’s chain boosted customer satisfaction
by Sean Oliver, on September 17, 2019
Earlier this year, Carisch, Inc., a 65-location Arby’s franchisee made the decision to roll out Crew to 1,400 employees across 7 states in a single week. We were so impressed with Carisch’s rapid adoption that we wanted to learn more about how they make the most of Crew. In our conversations with the company’s CFO, head of IT, and one of their GMs, it was great to hear about how Crew helps them optimize staffing, engage employees, and improve IT efficiency.
Read on for some of their lessons learned along the way and best practices that they shared with us.
Crew: Describe your focus as a corporate leader at Carisch.
Mark Gregory, CFO, Carisch: Those of us at the central office work for our general managers out in the stores. We report to them, and it's our job to make their life easier. We’ve reached out to them and heard things like, “We can't talk to you today because somebody didn't show up for their shift.' So we hear their pain when we're interacting with them, and we’re always thinking about ways we can both make our managers more efficient, and give our customers a better experience.
Crew: Tell us about the implementation process for Crew.
Mark: One thing that was great was Crew’s Command Center dashboard that told us who was using the app, how many texts were sent, and also how many people were sending out schedules. So, we could see how it was being implemented right away and follow up with stores that weren't using it to find out why. That’s how I found out that for one reason or another some of our older managers didn't want to use Crew on their personal cell phones. For those stores, we simply had the assistant manager become the point person responsible for getting communications out to people, and that helped us reach 100% implementation at all of our stores in just the first few weeks.
Crew: What do you think contributed most to your rapid adoption?
Mike Tibodeau, head of IT, Carisch: The big thing was the training. We got every manager on a web meeting and demoed the app so they saw how it was going to be used. They saw how important it was for filling shifts and pushing the schedule out. Prior to that, we worked with the team at Crew to get all of our general managers’ names, their phone numbers, and store groups set up in the system. We sent them each a text right during the training so they could download the app that day and start adding employees, and adoption started from the top down. It helped that our President was 100% on board, so he relayed that to the regional managers and got them 100% on board, and then they pushed that enthusiasm down to the GMs.
Crew: How did the Crew rollout compare with other systems you’ve deployed?
Mike: Because it's an app that's on a phone, Crew is easier to roll out than most platforms. You don't have to go into 60 PCs and install software. It's just available, and everybody can get it directly on their phone or other personal device. A GM can sit down and in 10 minutes have invited everybody in their store to join Crew. Since each store can set it up themselves, that takes a huge amount of IT labor and divides it up ~60 ways. It's probably the easiest thing we've ever rolled out.
Crew: As a restaurant general manager, what do you like most about Crew?
Stefanie Barber, GM, Carisch: The ability to request people to take over a shift is amazing. It's made things so much easier because there are people that don't want to share their phone number. And that puts it on the manager to try and go and find coverage, even if we’re in the middle of our lunch rush. Where with the Crew app, we'll just put it out there and somebody's gonna want to pick up that extra shift. Our shift coverage has improved around 80% because it takes so much stress off the managers. Sometimes we get a shift covered almost instantly after we post it, and other times, depending on the time of day, it may be a couple hours. But since we started using Crew, I haven't had a single no show, or shift that wasn't covered.
Crew: How else does Crew make your day-to-day work easier?
Stefanie: Within my region, we have a Crew group for the eight managers to communicate. Before this, if we were looking for extra product or shift coverage for our store, we’d send out emails and wait for managers to check their email and respond. Now, all our managers have Crew right on their phone, and we pretty much instantly get an answer, like, ‘Hey I'm gonna be on your side of town. I'll grab it and bring it up there.’ This happens probably daily between the managers, so Crew is definitely a tool that we are happy to have and utilizing very much.
Big thanks go out to Mark, Mike, Stefanie, and the whole Carisch, Inc. team for sharing their experiences and discussing how Crew helps the business increase productivity, shift coverage, and customer satisfaction. Learn more in their customer story here.