Bondi Pizza started in 2009 from a passion to bring good quality, reasonably priced food to Australians in a relaxing, vibrant and fun atmosphere. Bondi Pizza’s Chief Executive Officer Jeff Fisher and Chief Financial Officer Glen Lees had both spent time in the US and enjoyed the many large casual dining restaurants catering for families. Addressing this gap in the Australian market the Bondi Pizza business was born, which has grown to seven restaurants across Sydney. As the business and staff number grew, they began experiencing typical growing pains in relation to manual processes and resources. As such Bondi Pizza began using different types of technology to assist them with things like online training, rostering packages, fingerprint scanning and online ordering. Operating in a customer service focussed environment, Bondi Pizza know all too well the importance and relationship between overall experience and operating efficiency, and so they looked to Flare HR to address the Human Resources function of their expanding business.
Due to the nature of hospitality in Australia and Bondi Pizza locations, there are a number of their employees on various work and working holiday visas. As such, it is incredibly important for them to make sure their employees are compliant with Australian employment laws and work permits. Prior to Flare this meant going through staff files monthly, in each restaurant, to ensure visa information and compliance was up-to-date. And whilst Bondi Pizza pride themselves on compliance around the working rights of their employees, the associated admin caused by this manual process was significant.
All these processes were executed across currently 400 employees, each with 20 pages of paperwork in their personal staff files. Combine this with a seasonally fluctuating workforce in the hospitality space which, in general, sees high employee turnover, and the hard costs from an administration perspective were too restrictive to be ignored. Branch managers were sifting through 8,000 pages per month, taking up to half a day for each restaurant. Across the group this took up to a week lost in administration and paperwork, not including time spent chasing employees up on missing or updated paperwork.
Apart from being administratively cumbersome, manual processes have left them exposed to human error across the group. Errors which potentially flew under the radar putting a strain on the business in terms of time, resources and even legal exposure.
Bondi Pizza does not have a centralised HR department. With HR handled by each individual branch it presents a number of problems from an administrative and compliance point of view. They outsource their payroll, however it remains a time consuming process from a paperwork perspective for branch managers. Making sure the business remains compliant from a training perspective, as well as everything to do with policies during onboarding and the associated administration, also eats up a large slice of management’s time.
The initial driver for Bondi Pizza choosing Flare was to help them centralize HR administration. Glen Lees previously worked with Flare’s Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Saul Kaplan, and felt confident Flare could deliver a great employee experience built around the nuances of the hospitality industry. Flare has also been able to build an integration with their online training provider which would allow new employees to enrol in training through the Flare platform, reducing the need for employees to jump between multiple systems.
The tracking of visas was a time-consuming pain point which Flare solved for Bondi Pizza by activating the visa tracking feature to specifically cater for their needs. Through the onboarding process Flare helped Bondi Pizza ensure it is now mandatory to upload current visa information. Through this, notifications have been set up to notify Bondi Pizza 60 days before any visa expiry. Bondi Pizza no longer have to go through each employee’s staff file as this is now an entirely automated process. In addition, Bondi Pizza will be notified every three months to double check visa validity through VEVO (Visa Entitlement Verification Online).
Manual processes have been eliminated through automation on Flare. All documentation from onboarding, contracts, policies and compliance, through to offboarding are entirely automated on the platform. This has also eliminated the risk of human error which provides significant compliance relief.
The associated time savings generated are significant, with these previously manual processes moving online. But perhaps more importantly what it has done is enable the restaurant managers who previously undertook this task to focus on what they do best: create a beautiful customer dining experience for Bondi Pizza’s growing clientele.
Another exciting addition for Bondi Pizza was the Benefits platform which Flare provides. Through the platform employees gain access to discounts and vouchers for around 500 different retail companies such as supermarkets, retailers, as well as 40% off cinema tickets and much more. They felt this would be engagement, recruitment and retention offering, which aligned nicely with their employee demographic.