Since opening its doors in Brisbane in 1989, The Coffee Club has become Australia’s largest home-grown café group. With 450 stores throughout 13 countries and upwards of 40 million dedicated customers walking through its doors each year, its vision is to offer the most ‘connected cafe experience’ for its customers and be their ‘happy place’.
To provide the best customer experience, The Coffee Club’s leadership knew they needed to connect and engage employees across the organization, from corporate employees to franchise partners and team members in-store. With franchises making up 97% of their network of stores creating a diverse, primarily frontline workforce, effective and timely communication has always been a challenge.
The separation between head office and the frontline made it challenging to collect valuable feedback, collaborate between stores, showcase work, and champion subject-matter experts. With a better-connected culture, The Coffee Club could use insights from the frontline to deliver a best-in-class customer experience. Still, first, they needed a way to break down geographic and store-based silos so their people could share, grow and learn together.
of team members in store now receive updates
feel connected to team members in other stores
feel connected to staff in head office
Digging into the data
An employee survey conducted by The Coffee Club before launching Workplace revealed 47% of store staff sometimes or never received updates and information from head office, 41% did not feel at all connected to team members in other stores, and 73% felt somewhat or not at all connected to head office staff. Promisingly, 85% said they would like the opportunity to feel more connected with others in the business on a two-way communication platform.
Not only were employees crying out for better company communications, they also wanted the opportunity to make connections with other store members.
At the same time, The Coffee Club was embarking on an expansion of their network as well as a brand refresh for which they needed to understand the full customer experience. Engaging their franchise stakeholders in this process was critical to getting the best outcome.
Delivering on the vision to stay connected through the pandemic
With a newly formed project team headed by Chief Operations Officer Brian Finch that included Internal Communications, Human Resources, Training, and Operational Excellence; The Coffee Club assessed several different communication and collaboration tools. It became clear that Workplace was the platform that would help the company deliver on its vision by bringing the pulse of the business to the forefront and giving frontline staff a way to engage meaningfully with company leaders.
Planning their launch to all users in March 2020, The Coffee Club faced significant challenges with the onset of Covid-19, forcing dining restrictions, cafe closures, and large numbers of teams being furloughed. Rather than hitting pause, the leadership team knew it was more important than ever to stay connected in these turbulent times, forging ahead with their launch plans and rolling Workplace out to over 3,000 users across head office, franchise partners, and store team members by the end of July.
The Coffee Club reached its onboarding target within three months and now has approximately 80% of its people active on Workplace. Of these users, around 75% are monthly active.
A follow-up employee survey conducted six months after the launch of Workplace has shown that 85% of team members in-store now receive updates regularly, 77% feel connected to team members in other stores, and 68% feel connected to staff in head office.
“The positive effects that [Workplace] has had on our network, at one of the most challenging times in its history, has been profound and we continue to see growth in engagement and connection each week.” Nick Bryden, CEO, Minor DKL (The Coffee Club).
“With Workplace, there is no corporate hierarchy, everyone is on the same level, whether that’s a trainee in the kitchen, a manager in Head Office, the CEO or a Director. Communication is direct and open, creating a level playing field which is incredibly positive and beneficial for culture.”
Anthony West, Franchise Owner, The Coffee Club Kippa-Ring
Just the beginning
The Coffee Club will also leverage Enablo’s Campaign bot to support its communications campaigns.
The bot allows Workplace administrators to pre-load messages and calls to action into a central system and send these out via Workplace chat messages to the entire organization, or targeted teams of people.
“One of the things we’re looking to use the Campaign bot for is launching our new menus, which we do multiple times a year. With each launch, there’s a training component, a need to update Point of Sale systems and have stock and staff ready to go,” says Jessica Crokidas, Partnerships and Community Manager.
With Campaign bot, we’ll be able to set everything up ahead of time and then it will look after itself. It’s also really useful for targeting particular teams, or areas who might need additional support.”