A case study with Church’s Chicken
Church’s Chicken is a chain of quick service restaurants (QSR) specializing in fried chicken in more than 26 countries in the U.S., Asia, Middle East and the Americas. The chain was founded as Church’s Fried Chicken To Go in 1952 in San Antonio, Texas. The company has more than 1,700 locations and is the fourth largest chicken restaurant chain.
The organization’s intranet was a bare-bones, outdated form of Microsoft SharePoint. With a lackluster platform of engagement, site admins were unable to retain the confidence of their end users ensuring that content was up-to-date and accurate. The site was not visually appealing and consistent with the brand, and also suffered from bad navigation and communications. Employees were not only less engaged and adoption of the site dropped.
A new, modern intranet platform for Team Church’s that features Church’s branding, including bold colors, logos, photos, and font. Church’s was also able to focus on organizing content for a well-executed user experience for staff and employees to easily get to the information most relevant to them.
senior systems analyst, Church’s Chicken and Texas Chicken
internal communications manager, Church’s Chicken and Texas Chicken
What were some of the challenges for Church’s Chicken?
The company didn’t have a unified strategy, purpose, and specific vision for its intranet. Church’s surveyed end users to identify what wasn’t working, and what the most important features they should build into the site.
The result of the survey focused Church’s priorities on searchability, making the intranet user-friendly, robust self-service, a visually appealing design, increased accessibility, relevant content, and mobile-friendly.
“To be the brand that we want to be and the franchiser that we want to be, we needed to raise our engagement levels,” said Justin Alemazkour, a senior systems analyst for Church’s. “And we’ve raised them. A third-party tool like Akumina has provided us the tools we needed to get that engagement.”
How has the Church’s site enabled employees to do their jobs better?
Communication has improved vastly, as has employee engagement since Church’s adopted a new intranet and digital workplace, Alemazkour said.
“We’re reaching more people and providing them with the tools they need to succeed through our communication platform,” Alemazkour said.
Franchises and restaurants have benefitted from a more collaborative environment, where they can share content, news, and truly become one community.
How has work experience improved from at the corporate level?
“One of the benefits that we’ve seen with Team Church’s on a corporate level is being able to share brand news and really engage with other employees,” said Allyson Otey, internal communications manager at Church’s. “So the marketing team can easily share information with the supply chain team on one tool. It’s really made our days really efficient, which has really helped productivity.”
Alemazkour said the company now also has the ability to show recognition to employees who have done a great job. The recognition has been pivotal in making sure employees are signing on and engaging.
Content authors for the site are able to quickly pick up the technology and the ease of training has helped the site grow and flourish.
“It takes about an hour for them to fully grasp the concept of how to be a content author and manage their page,” Alemazkour said.
How has the site helped on a global scale?
“Being a global brand, we have franchises internationally, domestically. We have employees that work in the field. We have employees that work out of headquarters. So it was vital that we had one tool so that we can all engage and that has really helped us be more efficient,” Otey said.
End users and licensees find the content they need now.
“Before, they were stuck in email chains, and there was information spread sporadically through the mass of communication tools that we use. I mean, it was just confusing,” Alemazkour said.
Why is branding important for Church’s intranet?
“Internal branding and employee experience is so important because it keeps our brand consistent. You know, we just went through a brand refresh, so keeping that consistency is key for us,” Otey said. “To make the employee experience better, we want to make sure that all of our resources and tools are found in one spot, they all look very uniform. So, it really made the employee experience more useful, and it has really aided in their day-to-day functions.”
Alemazkour said there’s no way Church’s would be where it is today without a digital workplace and modern intranet that offers global communications capabilities to franchisees and employees.
“What we’ve seen in our new platform is the opportunity to grow the knowledge base of our employees and our franchises. We’ve found that communication is at its highest point ever, and we really couldn’t have done it without the tool that we have now,” Alemazkour said.
“We’ve come a long way since launching Team Church’s, and I think we’re only going to continue advancing,” Otey said.
Key achievements from the project included:
- A modern intranet and employee experience platform.
- Consistent branding
- Improved content management, collaboration, and communications.