How Applebee’s Uses Gamification to Retain Staff, Boost Sales

How Applebee's Uses Gamification to Retain Staff, Boost Sales

One of the restaurant chain’s largest franchise owners was suffering from high staff turnover rates, so it launched a custom gamification system that uses competition, recognition and awards to motivate its staff.

Retaining staff and preventing constant turnover are two of the most significant challenges in the restaurant business. For the second largest franchisee of Applebee’s restaurants, turnover was a costly problem. At one point, the franchisee experienced 120 percent annual turnover, and it cost $400 to $10,000 to replace individual employees, depending on seniority. The franchisee also didn’t have any sort of modern rewards and recognition program to motivate its largely millennial employee base.

“We needed a program that allowed us to do that,” says Robin Jenkins, communications and employee engagement manager at RMH Franchise, owner of 173 of Applebee’s roughly 2,000 U.S locations. “It’s not just about money but an opportunity for employees to earn status, more power and motivate them to have short term goals.”

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