PLANTA, a full-service restaurant chain operating throughout the US and Canada, believes that plants have the power to change the world — and with each new location they open, they’re helping to create a greener future.

In order to provide a world-class experience for their customers, PLANTA knew they needed to empower their team with training and knowledge. Their traditional paper-based training system, however, was coming up short, leading them to search for an alternative.

Challenge: Outdated, Inconsistent Paper Training

Like so many other restaurant groups, PLANTA’s training materials initially consisted of printed assets like PDFs, spreadsheets, and booklets. The production cycle was a tedious process that involved manually designing content, printing assets, and delivering them to different teams.

Also, different locations had different training needs, but the content they were given wasn’t easily customizable. As a result, some stores would take things into their own hands, using existing assets as a starting point then revising them and distributing them to their teams — without corporate approval.

“The biggest issue we had was that each one of our locations ended up doing things differently. We lacked consistency,” said Danielle Smali, Director of Restaurants.

On top of that, the materials just weren’t engaging their workforce — reading text and taking traditional tests did little to drive home the information. While PLANTA experimented with new paper formats, they ultimately decided that digital was the way to go.

"We desperately needed a platform that spoke to today's workforce," said Steve Salm, CEO and President of PLANTA.

Salm knew that “the difference between a great restaurant, good restaurant, and a mediocre restaurant was all in the hands of the leadership” — so they decided to partner with Opus.

Solution: Opus’ Collaborative, Customizable Platform

From the get-go, Opus’ easy-to-use content creation platform made it a snap to convert PLANTA’s existing training materials into interactive, engaging modules. Trainings range from one minute to one hour, covering topics like:

  • New hire orientation
  • Pre-shift & checkout procedures
  • SOP training
  • Workplace safety & compliance
  • Weekly promotions
  • ESL courses
  • Leadership training

The team is able to “divide and conquer” content production — different admins take on different courses, editing them as they see fit and adding additional touches like GIFs, videos, and other visual components.

"I'm loving Opus,” said Paul Weinstein, Senior Director of Restaurants. “I think it's incredible."

Multimedia elements like these not only help frontline workers more easily digest the information being presented, but also show them directly how to apply it in their day-to-day work.

And with a “seamless” revision process, the corporate team can easily customize content for different units.

“Restaurants are spontaneous. We need to be able to work on specific things, create course material just for that team at a whim. With Opus, we can do it swiftly.” - Paul Weinstein, Senior Director of Restaurants

Disseminating content to employees has been a breeze as well. Employees only need to scan a QR code to register for the platform and complete the courses their managers have assigned them right on their mobile phones.

”In hospitality, having a resource that is available at the touch of your fingertips is most definitely the solution for today’s workforce,” Salm said.

Results: Time Savings, Higher Adoption, & Greater Consistency

Better Training in Less Time

With Opus, PLANTA’s corporate team is able to create training content in record time — just about 30 minutes. And this content is more engaging and interactive than ever, which their workforce has truly been responding to. On average, Opus courses have received a rating of 4.7 out of 5 from employees.

Feedback from new hires has been particularly positive, which has been a boon for busy store managers. Assigning courses to new hires and directing them to educational resources empowers them to take a more proactive role in the onboarding process, cutting back on the amount of one-to-one attention they require.

Today, 100% of new hires are completing their onboarding training within their first five training shifts — allowing them to get up and running quicker than ever.

Increased Adoption & Accountability

With more engaging content, auto-translation into other languages commonly spoken by employees (including Spanish, Khmer, Portuguese, and French), and an accessible mobile-first interface, adoption has naturally increased. To date, 23,000 courses have been completed, with 90% of employees passing.

Opus has also allowed managers to take on more of a coaching role — real-time updates allow them to track employees’ progress, while the ability to send follow-up reminders helps them hold employees accountable.

"Engagement is better because now we can easily follow up and identify who's been assigned course to have they taken the course. Opus is extremely helpful for those who have multi-unit responsibilities."- Danielle Smali, Director of Restaurants

Consistent, High-Quality Service

Perhaps most importantly of all, Opus has helped PLANTA get all employees across all units on the same page when it comes to service standards. Now that corporate has the ability to quickly deliver customized content, individual locations no longer have to develop their own ad-hoc, off-brand training materials.

As a result, the experience a customer has in PLANTA’s Miami location is just as incredible as it would be in their flagship Ontario location.

”Opus has become the tool we use to verify that everybody is on the same page,” added Yuting Shen, Director of Training.

With 15 existing restaurants and several more on the way, the sky’s the limit for PLANTA — and with Opus, they know that their team has the tools they need to help their business grow.