WKS Restaurant Group is a licensed franchisee of El Pollo Loco, Denny's, Wendy's, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, and Blaze Pizza that operates almost 400 restaurants across 19 states.
Departments using Domo
IT, Operations, Other
With five brands representing nearly 400 locations, WKS struggled to bring in data from disparate, legacy systems and make it usable so business leaders could understand the commonalities and differences in the business.
Thanks to Domo, WKS can now leverage all its data from across every brand and location, including data from point of sale systems, HR platforms, accounting systems, and customer sentiment measurements.
WKS can now better understand its business performance across brands while using data to significantly improve its approach to hiring, training, and retention.
WKS Restaurant Group feeds their hunger for data thanks to Domo.
Founded in 1987, WKS Restaurant Group operates five iconic restaurant brands spanning almost 400 locations across 19 states: Denny’s, El Pollo Loco, Krispy Kreme, Blaze Pizza, and Wendy’s. Thanks to its aggressive growth strategy, the company doubled in size in just the past five years. To help manage this growth while maintaining a winning customer and employee experience, the company relies on Domo.
“Domo is a powerful tool for aggregating data from all our disparate systems, and then sharing the right data with district leaders and restaurant general managers to accelerate their ability to understand and analyze the health of the business.”
Trevor Fitzgerald| VP of Innovation and Technology
Data without delay.
While each of their five brands are all restaurants, they couldn’t be less similar in terms of operations. A Denny’s must be measured based on the fact that it provides sit-down service with waitstaff, while a Krispy Kreme acts as a production facility that can sell dozens of doughnuts a minute. WKS needed a solution that could bring in data from disparate data sources, many of them legacy technologies, and make it usable so business leaders could understand the commonalities and differences in the business.
“When you operate five different brands, they really act as five unique businesses that have similar types of data but are totally different. The challenge of organizing that felt insurmountable, especially at the rate we were growing,” Fitzgerald said.
Today, WKS leverages Domo to collect all its data from across every brand and location, including data from point of sale systems, HR platforms, accounting systems, and customer sentiment measurements. The company worked with business intelligence consultancy MERGE to craft a data visualization strategy, link data sources, and create visualizations, accelerating WKS’ time to value. “By joining forces with MERGE, WKS has expedited adoption of the Domo platform,” said Stuart Fern, SVP of Growth, Business Intelligence Solutions at MERGE. “The achievement of speed-to-delivery is the cornerstone of MERGE’s consulting belief of tying data-driven storytelling to technology as a growth tactic for our clients.” Personalized data permissions ensure users can only access the data they’re supposed to, ensuring data security while keeping managers from getting overwhelmed by data from other brands.
“Before Domo, it took a full-time employee most of her week just to pull basic sales data together for all our brands, format it into reports, and send it out,” Fitzgerald said. “Now it’s done automatically, which has freed her up to start doing some really creative things for the business.”
Improving visibility into business performance.
WKS relies on Domo for complete insight into its sales and revenue across each brand, regional district, and location.
“One thing Domo helped me with is to see how profitable our restaurants can be in different regions,” said Seth Shaner, President of Sunrise Restaurants, WKS’ Denny’s division. “I can slice and dice data however I want, and compare any cohort of stores to any other. It’s really helped me figure out where the regional differences are so we can plan appropriately.”
WKS uses the data it collects in Domo to have smarter, data-driven discussions with district managers and each location’s general manager, helping them understand where their businesses are excelling and where they can use improvement. Executives can then use this insight to redirect resources or provide additional training as needed to improve performance.
“We want our general managers to think of themselves as business owners, not someone who just shows up and runs a shift,” Shaner said.
“Domo helps them not only drive business results in a better way, but feel like they’re learning and part of helping the team be more successful.”
Seth Shaner| President of Sunrise Restaurants, WKS’ Denny’s division
In addition to tracking its revenue performance, WKS uses Domo to keep better track of its costs. For example, the company recently added its repair and maintenance budgets to its dashboard to understand where equipment is failing and why. Not only does this help the company better budget for repair costs, but it can help identify trends that indicate a need for proactive maintenance, reducing downtime.
Because each restaurant location requires a strong, consistent internet connection to operate its point of sales systems and provide diners with WiFi access, WKS also tracks the speed and uptime of its internet at each of its locations. This helped the company when planning an IT upgrade to its internet infrastructure by helping it prioritize which locations to transition first.
Ensuring employee success.
As a people-intensive business, the WKS HR team is another primary user of Domo. The fast-casual restaurant industry typically experiences 100% employee turnover every year or so, making recruitment and training an ongoing concern. With 12,000 employees across all its restaurants at any given moment, the right data is critical to ensuring employee engagement and productivity.
“Prior to Domo, I would spend days running multiple reports to track turnover, headcount, and reasons why people were leaving,” said Fabiola Ramirez, Director of Human Resources at WKS. “If someone wanted to know our turnover numbers, that wasn’t something I could easily pull, and once I did the information was quickly outdated.”
Today, WKS uses Domo to access real-time data showing the company’s headcount and turnover across brands and locations. Using this data, HR team members can quickly and proactively identify the recruitment needs for the company so they can target how it promotes open positions. In addition, general managers can now easily access HR data through Domo at any time, saving them from having to wait for HR to produce reports.
WKS also uses its HR data to identify trends among districts that are struggling to hire and retain workers, which helps the HR team proactively provide the training each district needs to improve its performance. “We can now tailor our training depending on the needs of a particular brand or specific location,” Ramirez said.
Using Domo to analyze its turnover data, WKS identified an opportunity to create a new retention program targeting employees within their first 90 days of employment, a period that experienced significantly higher than average turnover. With the new program, the company improved the recruitment, onboarding, retention, and employee appreciation process, helping general managers reduce their turnover numbers.
Fitzgerald reiterated their founder’s mantra, “if you’re not serving burgers, doughnuts, chicken or pancakes, then you should be serving someone who is.” He added, “Domo helps us empower our restaurants to run the best businesses they can.”
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