After starting out as a delivery driver over twenty years ago, Mark Marshall moved up the ranks at Domino’s and eventually started Austex Pizza with two of his own franchise stores in 2007. Since then, the business has more than tripled in size and is now opening its seventh store. Given this growth, it became increasingly difficult to maintain effective communication and engagement with over 100 team members.
Earlier this year, Mark went in search of new technology solutions that could help revitalize Austex’ culture and reduce costly staff turnover. He started with an employee feedback tool, and quickly learned that people were eager for more recognition and connection.
After hearing about the 300+ other Domino’s stores already using Crew for team communications, Mark decided to roll out the app to his locations as well, and 95% of Austex employees were up and running within one month. Crew replaced a group messaging app that was previously limited only to trainers and managers, demonstrating the organization’s commitment to clear communication amongst all of its employees.
Now, rather than waiting for information to be posted on bulletin boards or for questions to cascade through management, team members use Crew to send messages (in both English and Spanish) or check for announcements, schedules, instructions and other important team files at any time.
“Before Crew, there was no good way of recognizing our high-performing employees on a regular basis,” said Beth Marshall, Austex’ human resources and customer care manager. “Today, I track point of sales and customer feedback data on a daily basis and can instantly award Gold Stars in Crew to specific in-store and delivery workers who receive high personal service ratings.”
In addition, Beth gives Gold Stars to top assistant and general managers each month, and any manager can award a Gold Star to an employee who exemplifies Austex’ guiding principles of integrity, people first, customer care, quality food and smart hustle. Beth also uses Crew to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, and several people have thanked her for noticing these achievements – mentioning that the company has been a great one to work for and its culture was changing as a result of Crew.
“Every month, we give out hundreds of awards in Crew and then send Amazon gift cards to employees with the most Gold Stars. It’s a simple, public way to let people know they’re doing a great job.”
HR & Customer Care Manager
Another major change is how easy Crew makes it to share information across Austex’ seven stores and invite employees to round tables and other company activities. “With Crew, we have been able to communicate with our employees and truly get to know all of them. Team members can directly explain issues they are having, and no one feels left out or in the dark,” shared Beth. Managers highlight motivational contests and new job openings on Crew. In fact, one store increased its average ticket by $5 per order – a 30% revenue boost – by sharing employees’ daily average ticket sizes on Crew as part of an up-selling incentive.
Work schedules are all posted to Crew, and one location already improved shift coverage by 80% through managing scheduling changes and requests in Crew as opposed to requiring employees to call in every time they needed a cover. Finally, Crew acts as a valuable resource for all of Austex’ key employment information, including instructions on how to access paychecks, PTO balances and annual W-2 forms via the company’s payroll portal. Austex’ CFO noted that better visibility via Crew drove 20%more adoption of the company’s payroll portal, saving him upwards of 30 hours he previously spent answering ad hoc staff inquiries.
By giving Austex meaningful ways to engage, connect and praise employees across the organization, Mark expects Crew to boost engagement, slash turnover and optimize store performance over the long-term. He noted, “We’re closely measuring employee engagement, and while we’re currently above the national average at 44%, we believe Crew will help us reach best-in-class levels of over 60%, while hopefully cutting our turnover in half through better retention.”