Every crewmember in the system, from franchised stores and corporate operations alike, participates in Brand Champ, a half-day education program intended to put everyone on the same mission, even if the paths are different. Toward that end, participants are taught how to set goals, not only in their jobs but also for their lives or careers outside of the business.
“We spend about half the time talking about goal setting,” says Strait. Half of Arby’s crewmembers are under age 25. “This is where they’re starting their work life. We think it’s important to help them to start setting goals for the rest of their lives.”
Earlier this summer, the message of starting out right in life moved one participant to surprise his fiance, another crewmember in attendance, by asking her during a break to marry him.
After three years, about 170,000 Arby’s team members have participated in Brand Champ. All 80,000 of the chain’s team members will do so this year, according to headquarters.
The effectiveness of such an extensive indoctrination in a company’s principles is underscored by research. Among restaurant employers who provide less than four hours of orientation, turnover averages 106.3%, according to the research firm TDn2K. The rate is 96.4% for companies that provide at least a four-hour program.
Arby’s says it’s below the norm.