Tennessee-based Vestco Group deploys Squadle Checklists and Remote Temperature Monitoring across all nine locations
In Lexington, Tennessee, Vestco Group operates nine Wendy’s restaurants with plans to open two more establishments this year. For the past year, the Vestco Group has been working to ensure that all stores are uniformly and efficiently designed to provide customers with a consistent experience. While some stores have features that allow for quick and contact-free ordering like self-serve kiosks, other stores still rely on a more traditional layout. Finding ways to improve and speed up service is important to keeping all stores running smoothly and uniformly. Squadle has been a critical part of this transformation, ensuring a consistent and automated workflow across each location.
At Vestco Group, general managers are the most efficient when they are able to drop into any one of these nine locations and ensure that they are all running as one smooth machine. Wendy’s is unique to the QSR industry in that all of their products are fresh, not frozen. This delivers a high quality product to customers, but can also make it harder for employees, as the food only stays fresh for four to five days after delivery. At Wendy’s, fresher products mean a shorter shelf life.
Although ordering for and running a fresh food franchise is harder compared to other quick service restaurants, Squadle makes the job a lot easier. Since the onset of COVID, Vestco Group restaurants have been limited to two shipment orders per week. This increases the need for employees to follow proper handling and safety protocols, as the product being delivered to the store’s coolers and freezers is much more sensitive to temperature mishandling. This is where Squadle has been a game-changer. Temperature checks and monitoring of the temperature-controlled areas is automated via Squadle’s Remote Temperature Monitors, allowing managers to check in and ensure the safety and quality without even needing to be there. Not only has this made temperature monitoring worry-free, but it has also given time back to employees. Any time they would spend checking and documenting the temperature of inventory can be used on customer service or food prep.
Working at Wendy’s comes with a couple of key priorities. These include staying consistent with the quality of products served, and a focus on customer service. Managers also work hard to foster a positive atmosphere where employees love coming to work. One of Vestco Group’s biggest goals, however, is to keep operations organized. Squadle has played a major role in fulfilling these goals.
“Squadle’s workflow automation features have allowed employees to wash, rinse, and repeat so that daily tasks can go off without a hitch,” said Casey Cleveland, GM at Vestco Group. At first, management had a concern that a digital system would feel like micro management to employees, but that concern was quickly subdued. Throughout the first week of implementing Squadle products, the team quickly adjusted to the shift away from manual record keeping. By the second week using Squadle, the team was very impressed with the impact that a digital product could have on daily operations. “Once we got the hang of it, everything became quick and easy. We never want to go back to pen and paper,” Casey said.
Digital opening and closing checklists have saved employees time across the board. If everything reads as expected, these tasks can be done in just a few minutes. If not, the corrective actions give employees peace of mind that their quality of work is consistently high and properly documented. The time this saves employees also saves managers time downstream, as it allows them to be self-sufficient and resolve most issues on their own.
The Vestco Group now feels more confident than ever that their operations are running smoothly and are highly compliant with food safety and freshness standards. Squadle’s digital reporting features ensure that employees are completing their tasks on time, and within quality and safety standards. “Now, I know that all the data in my reports are real. Employees cannot fake documentation or compliance,” states Casey.
Squadle has also really helped during health and safety inspections. Now, when inspectors come for check-ups, everything has already been temped, and it’s easy to pull the necessary data up without extra legwork on the spot. This in turn makes the inspector’s job easier too, since reports and documentation are prepared, accurate, and already right in front of them.
Squadle has encouraged employees to maintain safety standards while serving high quality products and customer service. It drives them to be more aware of necessary tasks and how they contribute to the overall operation. With better organization, it has become easier for employees to stay accountable and for managers to quickly pinpoint issues that might arise. With the employee signature feature, they can know who to go back to and ask questions when something goes wrong. Employees have found that operations are more manageable, allowing them to complete most of their tasks using this one tool. Overall, the implementation of Squadle has saved management time, allowing the Vestco Group to focus on continuing to expand the footprint of their operation. As Casey states, “when Squadle enables us to save an hour and a half at each store, it’s really something you can’t put a price on.”