Most businesses have a set of core values that define their organizations. Captain D's, a national restaurant chain that provides quality seafood at competitive prices, is no different. Everyone at Captain D's, from the CEO to the fry captain, operates under six core values that together uniquely describe Captain D's approach to serving seafood—F.A.S.T.E.R.
However, five years ago, faster would not be the best adjective to describe Captain D's delivery of employee training. The restaurant chain struggled to find a streamlined approach to training over 5,000 employees located in various states throughout the southeastern U.S. Traveling to training sites, or mailing training tapes and materials, meant high costs, inconsistent quality, and timing issues—since locations in Florida, for example, couldn’t even count on getting their training information at the same time, let alone locations in other states throughout the southeast.
Today, thanks to the combined efforts of a dedicated internal IT team and HNS, Captain D's employee training program is not only faster, but the restaurateur has also enhanced customer service, significantly decreased training-related travel costs, and won national accolades from the restaurant industry.
Upgrading to a Broadband Network
For years, Captain D’s relied on its transaction-based satellite network from HNS. However, when the company realized it could achieve even greater productivity by implementing a broadband network to handle its new browser-based applications, Chris Crabtree, vice president of Information Services, called on HNS for a solution.
“The upgrade to broadband was a big decision for us, so we devoted a lot of resources to evaluating options and providers,” said Crabtree. “We looked at DSL, cable, satellite, and frame relay solutions, but ultimately came back to HNS, based on network performance and their ability to meet all of our business requirements.”
Once Captain D’s was ready to proceed, the HNS team installed DW4020 satellite terminals at all the restaurants to enable broadband communications between headquarters and the stores. From improved quality of training, to decreased travel costs, to increased customer satisfaction, the decision paid off exponentially.
Delivery of training was a critical factor in Captain D’s decision to upgrade to broadband. Given the varied geographic regions and numerous locations, training programs often arrived late, got lost in transit, or by the time managers could get employees together to administer the training, they were out of date.
This led to a lack of continuity in the Captain D’s customer experience. In some cases, recipes were different, or promotions were run at different times—or perhaps not at all.
Thanks to the DIRECWAY® broadband satellite service, Captain D’s is now better able to deliver and monitor training to ensure that the employee and customer experience is consistent everywhere, and everyone receives training and promotional materials simultaneously. In fact, since deploying training by satellite broadband, Captain D's has experienced a decrease in worker compensation claims and an increase in customer satisfaction levels. The chain also has significantly reduced travel expenses since employees are able to train remotely.
Bottom Line Benefits
Captain D's employees are not the only ones realizing the benefits of DIRECWAY. The new system has allowed Captain D's to take their business operations to the next level in terms of management and customer service.
“Broadband satellite really enables us to be proactive with the business,” said Crabtree. “Every day at 2:00 pm EST, we poll our restaurants. Through DIRECWAY, we are able to get a snapshot of our sales that day. If there is a region or store that is performing extremely well, we contact that store to identify best practices and share its success with other stores, as well as use their success as a recruitment tool for franchises.”
According to Crabtree, the DIRECWAY system provides a great sense of comfort to prospective franchisees. They know that by simply putting a satellite dish on their roof, they can instantly become integrated into Captain D's corporate culture and benefit from their national programs.
The company also uses DIRECWAY for credit card processing. By moving from dial-up to broadband satellite, Captain D's has shortened the time it takes to authorize a credit card. More importantly, it allows stores to move customers through the line more quickly, resulting in greater customer satisfaction and increased traffic.
According to Crabtree, “HNS’ DIRECWAY service creates a national information highway that enables Captain D's to move its business forward. Our plans call for a number of new technology initiatives, but, whatever decisions we make, we know that HNS will be a central part of our operations.”