With 55 locations around the world serving up salads, wraps, smoothies, soups, grain bowls, market plates, and more in a fast-casual setting, restaurant chain Just Salad is proving that “healthy” and “convenient” don’t have to be at odds with one another.
In order to expand their efforts to make everyday health and sustainability possible, however, Just Salad knew they needed to equip their team with top-notch training — but their previous legacy learning management system (LMS) was holding them back.
Challenge: An Outdated, Unengaging Training Platform
Training at Just Salad used to follow an indirect distribution process. The corporate team would create content around topics like policies and procedures, dish components, and customer service, then release it to store managers via their desktop-based LMS — who would, in turn, share that information with their frontline team through in-person trainings and workshops.
But the system was less than ideal. The content creation time was lengthy, while the text-heavy format was unengaging. Alex Chavez, Director of Training & Recruiting, said he and his team could see that store managers were skipping to the bottom of training modules without having fully read everything.
Moreover, because Just Salad was relying on managers to relay training information to their frontline teams, they had no way of seeing which frontline team members had actually completed the training, or how well they understood it.
As a digital native himself, Chavez suspected that Just Salad would benefit from a higher-tech training platform. Fortunately, his team agreed — and soon, they switched to Opus.
Solution: Accessible, Engaging Training for Every Topic & Every Employee
Since switching over to Opus, Just Salad has been able to easily create 300+ engaging trainings, many of which feature video. Both new and existing employees are leveraging these trainings — which can be instantly translated into multiple languages — to ensure that service standards remain consistently high.
Like many other fast-casual establishments, the frontline workers at Just Salad are predominantly younger folks for whom video-forward platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube have become an integral part of day-to-day life. With Opus, Chavez could easily create videos in addition to written material — which could be directly accessed by frontline staff through their mobile devices.
“Our workers were more engaged. They kept expressing how awesome Opus and video content is,” Chavez said. “Even if you put in a picture or GIF, they’re amazed. They’re more likely to read the content thoroughly.”
And with just the click of a button, Chavez could translate these trainings to any language the frontline workers might need, which was critical for the 30% of Just Salad workers who prefer to learn in another language such as Spanish, French, Mandarin, or Haitian Creole.
“The best parts of Opus is how accessible it is and how easy it is to create and distribute content.”
- Alex Chavez, Director of Training & Recruiting
Just Salad’s 300+ trainings cover topics such as:
- New hire training
- Culinary & kitchen prep
- Menu changes
- English as a second language
- Standard operating procedures
- Workplace & food safety & compliance
- Marketing promotions (such as app rewards)
- HR benefits & policies
- IT & tech training
- Leadership training
- Corporate initiatives (such as sustainability)
But beyond that, these trainings also help reinforce the company culture. Opus trainings cover the company history and mission, so that employees can speak knowledgeably about these topics with customers — something that Chavez said consistently delivers a “wow factor.”
Just Salad doesn’t just focus on training new team members, though — they also use the same content to retrain current ones.
“There might be something [from our previous trainings] that team members didn't fully understand, but now, because of the content we’ve created through Opus, they can,” Chavez said — which has helped ensure company-wide alignment.
And if anyone at Just Salad encounters any difficulties with the platform itself, Opus has their back. Even after helping onboard them to the platform, the Opus team has offered ongoing support to Just Salad, something that both Chavez and his Chief Operating Officer have found immensely valuable.
Results: Greater Adoption & Comprehension Plus Time & Cost Savings
Within just four weeks, Just Salad saw their adoption rate skyrocket to 90% due to Opus’ accessible, engaging digital trainings, with a 99% completion rate and 82% passing rate to boot. To date, 42,000 trainings have been completed, with trainees rating them at an average of 4.9 out of 5.0.
“The trainees were able to capture everything in detail. Opus is just very simple for them,” Chavez said.
Opus’ reporting and analytics, meanwhile, help store managers see who may have fallen behind on training, or who may need additional help — and store managers have appreciated these training tools, rating their satisfaction with them at 4.5 out of 5.0.
"Opus offers the opportunity for our managers to feel empowered. They cascade down all of the information and follow up with trainees immediately afterward so they can sit down and talk about it,” Chavez said.
Opus’ skill verification capabilities even allow for greater accountability, as store managers now have a concrete way to confirm that frontline staff have truly digested the information they’ve trained on. And the benefits they’ve seen as a result of having more capable employees — such as reductions in new store opening costs (5-15%) — have served as proof points.
Close up: Sustainability Initiative Pays Off
As part of their sustainability efforts, Just Salad created a dedicated training around reducing food waste. After 700+ trainees each completed the roughly 13-minute training, they ultimately reduced food waste by 10% across their 55 stores. Talk about going green!
Opus has helped Just Salad save a significant amount of time as well. New hire orientations that used to take twelve hours now consist mainly of trainees consuming and reviewing trainings on Opus rather than managers guiding them through each individual step. In total, store managers have saved a whopping 4,000 hours of training time (and counting).
"Managers are busy throughout the day. We want them to focus on customer service and let Opus do the training. We call it 'the power of training in your hand.’"
- Alex Chavez, Director of Training & Recruiting
The corporate team also saves time during the content creation process, with trainings now taking just about 10 minutes to create versus the two to three days that they used to — 100x faster than before.
With results like these, it may come as no surprise that Chavez raves about Opus.
“If you're doubting yourself, just sign up. Opus is awesome,” Chavez advised. “It's revolutionary. It's extraordinary. It's a game changer.”