Managing Labor Compliance and Optimizing the Employee Engagement at the Leading Fast Casual Restaurant

About the Fast Casual Restaurant Chain

  • 2,000+ LOCATIONS

  • OVER $3B IN SALES

  • US HEADQUARTERS

  • QSR TOP 50

A leading fast casual restaurant chose Legion’s AI-Powered Workforce Management to help resolve their most pressing issues. They began their journey with Legion to address compliance management challenges in key locations. After successfully automating compliance, this chain expanded its use of Legion WFM to help improve communication with hourly employees and reinforce its corporate culture.

Compliance Management Challenges

Managing compliance can be a huge challenge for any employer of hourly workers but especially for those who operate in California, Chicago, New York, Oregon, Philadelphia, and Seattle. Those cities have some of the strictest labor compliance laws, including requirements for predictive scheduling, minors, minimum wage, clopening, mandatory meal and rest breaks, hazard pay, premium pay, and more.

With Legion WFM, their goals were to reduce compliance risk and the time managers spent on scheduling and compliance management.

Too often, organizations rely on manual, paper-based processes to tackle compliance management which often leads to mistakes. For example, it’s impossible for payroll teams and managers to track and record every schedule change, evaluate the timing, and calculate the premium pay for the change. In April of 2021, New York City sued Chipotle Mexican Grill for multiple violations of laws regulating employee workweeks. The city claimed Chipotle owed workers more than $150 million in relief for the violations.

Compliance Management Challenges

Before choosing Legion, this leading fast casual restaurant opted to pay a flat-rate premium for every employee in Oregon because they couldn’t afford to manually track schedule-change premiums. With Legion WFM, their goals were to reduce compliance risk and the time managers spent on scheduling and compliance management.

Automated, AI-Powered Demand Forecasting

A critical step in automating compliance management is creating an accurate demand forecast. Managers need to have enough staff to accommodate peak periods. Suppose there’s a rush at the end of an employee’s shift. Their manager may ask them to stay a little longer or reach out to another employee to come in a little early, potentially leading to overtime and conflicts with schedule predictability.

Legion enabled this fast casual restaurant chain to automatically create highly accurate demand forecasts to ensure they have the right staffing level to meet demand. And based on demand, Legion WFM creates the optimal labor plan.

Automated, Fully Compliant Scheduling

Compliance is automatically built into Legion WFM. Administrators can centrally configure compliance rules as well as scheduling and shift collaboration policies. They can leverage template-based configurations by city or state, and they can centrally configure the rules for overtime, predictable schedules, meal and rest breaks, and more.

Legion WFM enables the fast casual restaurant’s managers to create fully compliant schedules, based on the optimal labor plan, with the click of a button. It automatically checks for violations when a manager manually edits a schedule. Managers receive real-time notifications about potential compliance issues introduced by manual edits that make it easy to correct the issue before publishing the schedule. And Legion Automated Scheduling automatically suggests the best employee to fill a shift based on compliance factors, skills, and employee preferences.

Legion WFM notifies managers when a schedule is due and performs end-to-end checks from schedule warnings before publication to automatically compute premium pay based on employee clocks, not just the schedule, with our Time and Attendance module.

Efficient Good Faith Estimates

Predictable scheduling laws require employers to provide new employees with an estimate of their work schedules before starting work. Before using Legion WFM, this fast casual chain required its managers to print Good Faith Estimate (GFE) forms, get employees to sign them, and then file the paper form.

Legion’s digital Good Faith Estimate template makes it easy for managers to create and send the estimate. Employees can review and acknowledge the GFE, and the content and employee read receipt and confirmation are reportable. The GFE report includes details about the date the report was sent, who viewed it, who acknowledged it, and when it was acknowledged.

With Legion’s GFE template, the restaurant chain eliminated the manual, paper process, saving managers time and effort. Now managers can easily send good faith estimates to employees electronically, and recordkeeping is streamlined.

Efficient Good Faith Estimates

Legion WFM automatically calculates premium pay for the restaurant’s employees, saving managers valuable time and reducing compliance risk. While meal and rest breaks are automatically scheduled, it’s easy for them to be missed. There could be a rush at the location, and the employee doesn’t take their break or takes it late. It’s easy for managers to forget to calculate the premium pay - which is why employees of the Oregon location were automatically being paid premium wages. Legion’s Time and Attendance module automatically calculates if an employee is due premium pay. Legion’s schedule-aware clocks automatically flag schedule changes, clopening violations, and records employee consent and attestation. Employee consent forms are captured electronically, eliminating cumbersome paper-based processes.

With Legion's GFE template, the restaurant chain eliminated the manual, paper process, saving managers time and effort.

Employee Health and Safety

Ensuring the health and safety of their employees and customers is critically important to this restaurant chain. Before using Legion, they had no way to capture information about employee health. They partnered with Legion to create and implement an employee COVID-19 survey to operationalize healthy worker protocols. An admin can configure a health-check questionnaire with multiple yes-no questions and disclaimer statements. For example, they can ask workers if they have: 1) a temperature of 100.4 or higher, 2) any symptoms, or 3) have been exposed to anyone within the last 10 days that’s been diagnosed with COVID-19. The Legion Time Clock automatically prompts the questionnaire upon clock-in and can disallow the clock-in based on an employee’s answers. All answers are automatically recorded and reportable.

Automated, Fully Compliant Scheduling

Like all organizations that rely heavily on hourly workers, attracting and retaining hourly employees is critical to the restaurant chain’s business. So Legion helped the restaurant build a digital relationship with its employees.

Schedule Empowerment

Legion enabled the restaurant chain to offer schedule empowerment to its hourly employees without the risk of overtime or other compliance issues. Employees can use the Legion mobile app to specify when they want to work, how long they want to work, where they want to work, and easily update their preferences anytime. And employees love the mobile app. They can claim open shifts, swap shifts, and request time off, all with a few taps on their mobile phones.

Managers can automatically offer open shifts to employees without worrying about whether they are available that day or have already worked too many hours. Legion WFM tracks that data and only suggests eligible, available employees for the extra shifts.

Modern Communication

This restaurant chain was focused on attracting and retaining hourly employees. Improving communications was vital to improving the employee experience and reinforcing its core values with the frontline team. Before using Legion, the chain couldn’t communicate directly with their entire hourly workforce. Instead, communication flowed from the corporate office to general managers who forwarded them to hourly employees. Key information was often lost with the handoffs. And a lot of the communication was done via text which raised compliance concerns. The pandemic intensified the communication challenges because the restaurant chain couldn’t communicate key health and safety policies and protocols.

Legion WFM was the perfect platform to deliver better frontline communication. The optional mobile app had a >80% adoption rate, so the team knew the hourly employees received the messages. Legion WFM is also clock-aware, so it knows when employees are on the clock and can receive messages. And Legion Frontline Communications has strong moderation controls, which gave the restaurant chain peace of mind. The restaurant chains’ legal team is very conservative, so they took the additional step of preventing work-related task communications through the app.

The results have been impressive. Communication reaches their hourly employees more effectively, and the frontline team engages with the content.

The results have been impressive. Communication reaches their hourly employees more effectively, and the frontline team engages with the content. The Frontline Communications module lets managers communicate important and time-sensitive COVID-related information, such as vaccine policies and health and safety protocols. The module also enables the restaurant chain to reinforce corporate values and share philanthropic performance. Message view rates have been 51% higher than initially expected.

The Road Ahead

The restaurant chain will be rolling out Legion WFM, including the Frontline Communications module, to all US locations in the coming months. Across the country, managers will save time and effort with compliance management, and employees will enjoy better communication and schedule empowerment.