DiscoverLink Honors Loyal Customers with 2018 Client Appreciation Awards

At DiscoverLink’s client conference, LinkUp, co-founders John Poulos and Jeff Tenut recognized two of their longstanding clients with Customer Loyalty Awards. The awards were presented October 9, 2018 at the LinkUp Celebration Dinner held at Bahama Breeze in Schaumburg, Illinois. Pizza Ranch was recognized for 5 years of loyalty, and Golden Corral was acknowledged for 15 years of loyalty.

15-year Loyalty Award Recipient

Golden Corral: DiscoverLink’s longest client, Golden Corral has been a loyal customer since January 2003. Headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, Golden Corral is an all-you-can-eat buffet and grill restaurant chain with more than 500 locations. In addition to the 35,000 employees using DiscoverLink Talent, Golden Corral has made extensive use of Custom Content development services and also use a selection of courses from the Content Library.

During initial implementation, DiscoverLink assisted in rolling out two dozen new courses in four months, creating a blended learning approach, and providing support that franchisees needed. Overall, Golden Corral noticed a 31% drop in turnover and new employee turnover dropped 20% within the first 30 days of being certified. Furthermore, the top 10% of Golden Corral stores with 99% learning management system (LMS) usage saw a 5.5% increase in sales, and profits skyrocketed by 170%.

In 2015, Golden Corral converted their Manager In Training (MIT) program to be 100% online. The goal behind this move was to develop the best-trained manager candidates while transitioning to more technology use and decreasing the need to travel for classroom trainings. Since the program launched, Golden Corral has seen less manager turnover, and the program is producing manager candidates who perform more like experienced managers.

More recently, Golden Corral noticed that new hourly employees were spending between 4 and 8 hours completing all their required e-learning. Learning retention rates were low and there was a disconnect between e-learning and on-the-job training. To combat this, they redesigned hourly employee courses into a more focused, micro-learning approach. Additionally, modern design elements were implemented to meet the generational needs of employees, tactics for all learning styles were integrated within the courses, and custom photos were taken in the restaurants that featured their own managers and familiar co-workers. Furthermore, a blended learning approach was implemented using the wait time feature to force on-the-job training activity between e-learning sessions.

From left to right: John Poulos, President/Co-founder of DiscoverLink, Kimberly Johnson, Senior Instructional Designer for Golden Corral, Thomas Qualls, Training and Communications Specialist for Golden Corral, and Jeff Tenut, CEO/Co-founder of DiscoverLink

5-year Loyalty Award Recipient

Pizza Ranch: Headquartered in Orange City, Iowa, with more than 200 locations, Pizza Ranch has been a DiscoverLink client since November 2013. This buffet-style chain was the first client to implement DiscoverLink Talent and the first to transition to the new user interface, dubbed Gen Z. Twice they paved the way for other DiscoverLink clients by being pioneers of new platforms.

Pizza Ranch initially started with e-learning as a way to solve a challenge they had getting their pizza buffet coordinators up to speed in a timely fashion. The buffet coordinator is a very complex role requiring multi-tasking, constant analysis, and decision-making as they monitor the buffet and place replenishment orders while tracking guest traffic. DiscoverLink analyzed an extensive amount of data, including the number of guests coming in at a certain time, the number of guests in the dining room and at the buffet, and how much product is on the buffet and in the warmers. With the use of gamification, DiscoverLink built a course that simulates what an actual buffet coordinator deals with during a shift. After launching the course, Pizza Ranch reported that their team members were getting up to speed much more quickly than in the past.

Today, Pizza Ranch utilizes many features on DiscoverLink Talent including: checklists, workbooks, surveys, wait time, exams, and certification tracker. They also extensively use conditional learning programs to filter content to specific locations and have leveraged a micro-learning strategy within the LMS. Pizza Ranch currently has more than 7,700 users on the LMS.

From left to right: Jason Lechner, Director of Training and Operations Services for Pizza Ranch, Jeremy Heersink, Instructional Design Manager for Pizza Ranch, Jeff Tenut, CEO/Co-founder of DiscoverLink, Jesse Boehm, Management Training Specialist for Pizza Ranch, Scott Post, COO for Pizza Ranch, and John Poulos, President/Co-founder for DiscoverLink

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