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How Wendy's Fresh Approach Trained Employees Faster

Brightcove Helps Streamline Operations, Improve Restaurant Safety, and Create Inclusive Culture

What started in 1969 as a single hamburger restaurant in Columbus, Ohio has now transformed into one of the world’s largest franchise operations. Wendy’s founder, Dave Thomas, began franchising the restaurant in 1973, opening more than one thousand locations within the company’s first 100 months. Now, 95 percent of its restaurants are franchise-owned.

Effective, streamlined communications is critical to the successful training, aligning, and engaging of Wendy’s diverse workforce, which includes corporate staff, company-owned restaurant employees, and franchise teams. Today, the company uses Brightcove-powered video to drive its internal communications and training programs for all constituencies. By replacing written memos and hard copy learning material with video, Wendy’s is able to rapidly deliver secure, consistent, role-appropriate content and aligned messaging to all.

Also, using Brightcove to distribute Wendy’s training videos has played an important role in reducing the length of employee training time, which has subsequently helped facilitate more effective operations, improve restaurant safety, and create an inclusive company culture.

Live Event Streaming and Portals Create Internal and External Engagement

Wendy’s partners with Brightcove to deliver video on demand (VOD) through the organization’s intranet portal, "WeConnect." The portal, accessible only to Wendy’s corporate employees and franchise owners, features video communications announcing news, updates, and vital corporate information. Chelci Fauss-Johnson, Wendy’s digital media senior specialist, says the company has become more involved in creating and distributing video content through the internal portal, simply because it works better than email or written memos. Plus, executive staff has grown increasingly enthusiastic about it, even requesting more frequent communications to the franchisees, including monthly quiz videos.

Wendy’s also makes use of live stream video through Brightcove Live, which delivers off-site viewers real-time video footage of officer and director meetings, employee meetings, general conventions, and the company’s annual Investor Day via the WeConnect portal. The latter event, hosted at Wendy’s corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ohio, covers the organization’s fourth quarter and cumulative year results, attracting over 700 views across the company, primarily servicing those who can’t be on-site. Meanwhile, live stream video of Wendy’s general conventions, which have high physical attendance, garner over 500 off-site views.

To continue driving employee engagement across the Wendy’s organization, Fauss-Johnson says live stream footage is repurposed into VOD assets, which are then posted on the WeConnect portal. "Ninety-five percent of things we do are for our franchisees. That's really what our main goal is, getting information out to them," says Fauss-Johnson.

Live stream and VOD not only help boost Wendy’s employee engagement and enhance inclusiveness, but also save the company valuable operational expenses. Fauss-Johnson explains: "If we buy the streaming hours [through Brightcove], it’s more reasonable to go with a live stream versus an operator-assisted call and a WebEx. So, we’ve been using streaming a lot more in the past two years here than we ever have. We like to use video to get people more involved. And I think what we’ve done so far really helps."

Wendy’s Brings Employee Training and Restaurant Safety to Life Through Brightcove Video

Wendy’s also uses video for training, education, and HR-related purposes. In fact, HR and operations teams have been heavily involved in creating short-form videos, typically three minutes long, that help explain new products, equipment management, and food preparation. So far, they’ve produced over 300 VOD assets, which are published to the WeConnect portal. These same videos are also uploaded to company’s learning management system (LMS).

As video has become an integral part of employees’ professional development, Wendy’s has seen tremendous results in the way of training and education. Teams from human resources and operations are requesting so much video that production has more than tripled.

“Videos are a great addition to our blended training approach,” says Tim Wicks-Frank, lead learning architect at Wendy’s. “The videos are playing a big part of our overall training program.”

Wendy’s instructional videos, which include pop-up quizzes and other interactive features, have had such a positive effect on employee learning retention, the company has decreased seat time in training courses. Employees are spending less time training and more time being productive in restaurants. Also, the Wendy’s training team has received positive feedback from restaurants regarding the use of training video. Employees have praised the training methodology for helping enhance safe work environments—a good thing for staff and customers alike.

“Our training videos promote safe behavior and help to reduce the risk of accidents in our workplace,” notes Wicks-Frank.

Wendy’s Relies on Brightcove for Secure Video Distribution to Extend Reach

With Brightcove’s easy-to-use technology, streamlined functionalities, and fail-safe security, Wendy’s has pushed video communications front and center. Says Wicks-Frank, “It’s made it easy for us to distribute video for training purposes.”

Brightcove’s integrated file transcoding, in particular, has made content distribution a breeze. The Brightcove platform automatically formats multiple renditions of a single video file for multipoint distribution. This ensures Wendy’s can provide all audiences a great viewing experience on any device—desktop, mobile, or connected TV—regardless of connection speed.

“Not all our restaurants have equal network capabilities, so those multiple renditions are wonderful. Because of that, it’s enabled us to reach a much wider audience,” says Wicks-Frank.

Brightcove’s security capabilities are also critical, given the company’s sensitive information shared via video behind the Wendy’s firewall. Support for encrypted video and flawless streaming via the WeConnect private portal are just a few of the security features that give Wendy’s IT team peace of mind.

“It's important to us that we distribute video in a secure fashion,” says Fauss-Johnson. “Brightcove helps support that requirement.”

Looking ahead, both Wicks-Frank and Fauss-Johnson expect to introduce more interactive video to Wendy’s communications repertoire, encouraging users to engage with video content directly on screen. They both agree this feature, along with additional Brightcove functionalities, will help them further maximize the power of video for Wendy’s.


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