Last month at DiscoverLink’s third annual client conference, LinkUp, attendees voted for winners of the Best Custom Login Page and the Success Story of the Year contests. The winners were announced on October 9, 2018, at the LinkUp Celebration Dinner held at Bahama Breeze in Schaumburg, Illinois. A&W Restaurants was crowned this year’s winner for Best Custom Login Page and Lehigh Valley Restaurant Group (LVRG) was named the first ever winner of the Success Story of the Year.
Best Custom Login Page
To enter the Best Custom Login Page contest, DiscoverLink clients are invited to customize their DiscoverLink Talent learning management system (LMS) login page. Entries are judged by the DiscoverLink team based on most visual appeal and best portrayal of their brand or culture. Five finalists were invited to present their custom login page on stage during the Conference Kickoff at LinkUp, and included A&W Restaurants, Pappas Restaurants, Roaring Fork Restaurant Group, Rubio’s Coastal Grill, and Ted’s Montana Grill.
Ted’s Montana Grill
Ted’s Montana Grill is “inspired by the pioneer spirit of the American West” and their login page reflects this. The Atlanta, Georgia-based restaurant chain implements sustainable practices by providing locally sourced foods, reducing waste, and serving meats free of antibiotics and hormones.
Rubio’s Coastal Grill
Headquartered in Carlsbad, California, Rubio’s Coastal Grill aims to provide fresh foods, bold flavors, and a fun, beachy environment for their guests. Their claim to fame, and something they still brag about, are their fish tacos. Other fresh menu items include handmade salsas and guacamole, produce, and all-natural meats.
Roaring Fork Restaurant Group
Roaring Fork is the largest Qdoba Mexican Eats franchise with 55 locations and is locally owned and operated in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their login page was designed to focus on their high-quality ingredients and welcoming environment.
Pappas Restaurants is a family-owned restaurant chain out of Houston, Texas, with more than 80 locations. Pappas initially started as a casual dining concept but has since evolved their newer brands into an upscale dining experience. They are known for their variety of seafood, steaks, an extensive wine list, and a cigar room.
Based in Lexington, Kentucky, A&W Restaurants is the first and oldest restaurant chain with more than 630 locations in the United States and another 450 locations in eight countries. To celebrate their 100th year of being in business, A&W designed their login page to reflect the brand’s journey. A&W originally opened as a walk-up root beer stand and soon became famous for their “frosty mugs,” which they kept chilled in the freezer. Their login page commemorates the founders’ original prototype and reminds staff of the brand’s roots.
A&W, who just became a client of DiscoverLink in May, was crowned the winner of the 2018 Best Custom Login Page contest.
Success Story of the Year
The Success Story of the Year contest was announced by DiscoverLink in July. Entrants were invited to share their stories of how e-learning has impacted their brand in a notable way. Stories could cover any area of the brand that has been impacted by e-learning, such as culture, operations and training initiatives, management and franchise development, or FOH/BOH performance. Entrants were judged based on the impact the e-learning initiative had on their brand.
Out of six stories submitted, the DiscoverLink team selected three finalists, including Taco Mac, Rubio’s Coastal Grill, and Lehigh Valley Restaurant Group (LVRG).
Taco Mac: “50 Apprentices”
In the fall of 2017, Taco Mac committed to training 50 apprentices by participating in the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s (NRAEF) Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship (HSRA) program. Taco Mac secured 20% of the available restaurant apprenticeship spots and $50,000 in grants for the inaugural year. Taco Mac now has 59 active apprenticeship participants and uses the success of their program as a recruiting tool.
Rubio’s Coastal Grill: “Penalty Pay Training”
In California, where about 75% of Rubio’s locations are, a team member is eligible for up to 30 days of penalty pay if their final payment is not issued on time, which can cost the company thousands of dollars. To address this, the Training team and People Services team created a course to teach general managers the importance of filling out termination forms in a timely manner. DiscoverLink Talent allowed Rubio’s to deploy the course, track completions, and tie those completions back to performance management. Only two pay periods after implementing the course, Rubio’s saw a 50% reduction in penalty pay costs and remains a permanent part of their Manager-in-Training program.
Lehigh Valley Restaurant Group: “Knowledge Knockout”
LVRG manages 21 Red Robin restaurants in the Lehigh Valley, Northeast, Southeast, and Harrisburg regions of Pennsylvania. They became a DiscoverLink client in December of 2016 and started as a basic learning management system (LMS) user before rolling out Knowledge Knockout in June of 2018 with the full DiscoverLink Talent platform.
In an effort to improve manager knowledge company-wide, LVRG implemented Knowledge Knockout, a friendly competition with restaurants facing off against each other followed by playoffs. Utilizing the exams feature within DiscoverLink Talent, LVRG created a question bank with more than 500 questions and used it to create weekly tests for their management teams. At the end of the 10-week season, the top 12 teams entered the playoffs, a tournament with a winner take all cash prize and the title of the Knowledge Knockout Champions.
As a result of Knowledge Knockout, LVRG saw a tremendous increase in engagement and the desire for GMs to want to be brand champion bearers. Management teams had a lot of fun competing and the camaraderie between them enhanced their best practice sharing.
Congratulations to LVRG for being awarded the first-ever title of Success Story of the Year winner.