Domo brings your data into one place. Sounds simple, but streamlining your tech stack can create unexpected value—from cost savings and confidence during deals to employee engagement and productivity.
Domo’s CTO Daren Thayne and WKS Restaurant Group’s VP of Innovation and Technology (IT) Trevor Fitzgerald discussed it all in our webinar.
Who is WKS Restaurant Group?
Fastfood businesses such as McDonald’s and Wendy’s use a franchise model. McDonalds rents out its name, brand, and menu to franchisees. Franchisees run the daily operations (e.g., hiring, inventory, management) and try to turn a profit.
Sometimes, a franchisee is a person. One of my childhood neighbors, for instance, owned a string of Bojangles in eastern North Carolina—the best in the state, in my opinion. Sometimes, though, the franchisee is a group that staffs and runs the restaurants. That’s what WKS Restaurant Group does for five brands: Krispy Kreme, Denny’s, Wendy’s, El Pollo Loco, and Blaze Pizza.
How chaotic was the WKS tech stack?
Restaurants are technology hubs now—as anyone who’s had a robot server deliver their meal knows. All of this tech needs to be organized and governed, but that’s a herculean task—especially for WKS, which franchises several brands.
Fitzgerald and his team had four chaotic elements to their tech stack:
Scattered, ungoverned data. A single restaurant’s stack includes cash registers, drive-through management, food inventory, integrations with third-party delivery services (e.g., DoorDash), and hardware such as kiosks and tablets. Spreadsheets got emailed around—not a very secure system.
Five brands, five different systems. WKS didn’t have much flexibility in choosing their tech stack. Each brand selected its own tools, which meant that WKS had to operate within five different systems.
No uniformity in the data. Each brand had its own terminology—for instance, a “check” at El Pollo Loco is called an “individual guest” at Denny’s. These differences showed up in the data sets, making cross-comparisons frustrating.
Competing stats from different sources. In meetings, someone would share a metric to justify their decision-making—“and then someone else completely undermines that decision by throwing out a contradictory metric,” said Fitzgerald.
4 ways having a single platform created value for WKS
Here’s what WKS has done with a streamlined tech stack:
1. The HR team calculated the cost of turnover—and had trusted data to justify initiatives for improving it.
Turnover is high in the restaurant industry, but the HR team struggled to understand the cost of losing and replacing employees. Pairing sales and HR data in Domo gave WKS a trustworthy way to calculate it.
Streamlining WKS’s tech stack mobilized WKS to make the employee experience better. “We’ve created a dashboard with one big headline number [for turnover],” says Fitzgerald. “It’s a big number, and it’s motivating.”
2. The CFO answered financial questions in real time—and earned the trust of WKS’s partners.
Everyone can access the data relevant to their roles at any time—from individual contributors to executives. A group of bankers started peppering the group’s CFO with financial questions. The CFO pulled out Domo and gave accurate answers on the spot—stunning the bankers, who were used to hearing “the CFOs just BS,” in Fitzgerald’s words.
That created trust. “If you don’t think that builds confidence in a banker when you’re trying to work a deal with them, I mean, I don’t know what else does,” says Fitzgerald.
3. People who never worked with data before became data storytellers and enthusiasts—without needing technical support.
Domo makes it easy to build dashboards—another simple idea that’s more powerful than you might think. In Domo’s data experience platform, anyone in your company can create their own dashboards that update in real time. And IT doesn’t get bogged down with repetitive requests.
“Every couple weeks I’m seeing whole new suites of dashboards—and our IT team had nothing to do with them,” says Fitzgerald. “We have seen departments and individuals in those departments who I would have never guessed had analysis deep within them take such a deep interest in the numbers of their aspects of the business.”
4. When certain data got exposed, WKS could immediately reign the information back in.
Before Domo, WKS had little-to-no governance strategy. As Daren Thayne noted in the webinar, “If you’re sending spreadsheets around via email, your governance is essentially zero.”
But pulling your data into Domo brings it all into one secure location—and if needed, data access can be immediately revoked. “There have been times where we exposed data that we didn’t want to, but we were able to close that off immediately because we had a single access point to it,” says Fitzgerald.
Check out the webinar for more insights
“It takes creativity to make this tool sing,” says Fitzgerald. But the potential value—savings, confidence, trust, and motivation—will make the effort worthwhile. To learn more about WKS Restaurant Group’s use case, check out the full discussion.