Syed Restaurants is a large franchise group that operates dozens of Burger King, Popeyes and Denny’s restaurants in the greater New York City metropolitan area. With new locations opening every year, nearly 1,000 employees and an increasingly competitive talent market, the organization is always looking for innovative ways to drive operational excellence by improving scheduling, team communications and employee engagement.
After a wildly successful Crew pilot at its largest restaurant, the company decided to roll out the powerful communications app across all locations in order to comply with New York’s Fair Workweek Act. This is a critical requirement for the business because the city council’s new law imposes heavy penalties on quick service restaurants that fail to post schedules two weeks in advance, offer shift covers to all eligible employees or document missed shifts.
Nearly 100% of Syed Restaurants’ employees are now on Crew, and every new hire commits to leverage the platform for scheduling updates, time off requests, shift covers and important company information. Crew’s intuitive scheduling and mobile messaging capabilities make everyone’s work life easier and keep the team running smoothly by improving coordination, productivity and accountability.
Employees save time by simply checking schedules from their smartphones, rather than disrupting business by calling or visiting their store just see when they’re working that week. Management can distribute company news or customer feedback to the full team at once, as opposed to forwarding one-off emails to individual managers to be passed along through unreliable word-of-mouth. Amir says, “With Crew, there’s no longer any doubt schedules are posted on time and messages are getting to the right people. Now I don’t hope, I know everyone receives my updates directly.”
“I can’t think of anything more essential to our business than Crew. If we didn’t have the platform in place, we would have definitely struggled with Fair Workweek audits. Thankfully, we’re ahead of the game because Crew gives us everything we need to demonstrate scheduling compliance.”
Chief Operating Officer
By empowering team members to find coverage for shifts they can’t work via Crew, Syed Restaurants’ managers get help faster and ensure every shift is filled. Anyone who is available to work can request to pick up a shift, and managers then review and approve all schedule changes.
At the corporate level, Amir appreciates Crew’s transparency into both positive and negative employee patterns – for example, people who frequently receive happy customer comments or perhaps call in sick too often. This helpful insight informs decisions about who to move into the company’s management program.
Another benefit of Crew is how it brings people together and makes connections across all parts of the business. Sufiya Syed, the company’s chief human resources officer, shared, “We’ve really seen a boost in morale since adopting Crew. It’s like each restaurant having its own social network, which employees use to communicate and encourage each other with happy birthday messages or other announcements.”
By more effectively engaging and retaining employees, Crew is helping Syed Restaurants improve the guest experience and meet demanding customer satisfaction thresholds for each of its three brands. Corporate executives and area directors can clearly and consistently communicate with staff in order to set and emphasize goals, and explain new product offers, cooking procedures or policies.
According to Amir, “One of the biggest benefits we get from Crew is better, more streamlined communications at all levels of our hierarchy. I feel like I know everybody in our organization, even though I’ve never met some of them in person. I can quickly blast updates out to every single employee, or share relevant details with only the appropriate groups, such as cooks, cashiers or managers. When we get a compliment or complaint from a guest, I send that instantly to the right people to make sure it’s celebrated or addressed as needed.”
While Syed Restaurants is already enjoying many initial benefits from its new communications solution, Amir and Sufiya expect all locations to achieve even greater results over time. At the store that’s been using the app longest, morale is high, turnover is extremely low and guest satisfaction is up because Crew keeps people enthusiastic, engaged and motivated.