Unpacking great performance and baking it into the business at PizzaExpress

The objective of the programme was to positively impact revenues and profitability through increased spend per head, by putting a programme in place to accurately identify the behaviours, skills and attitudes used by top performers when serving customers, and showing managers and front of house trainers how to teach others to do the same.


Identifying ‘high performers’ and how they did it

PizzaExpress had evidence that certain people can take a smaller or worse section in a given restaurant and have customers try more items, and yield more tips, than others working more favourable sections.

Vybrant brought a proven methodology to bear on finding out exactly how those ‘high performers’ created these results, and to distil those things into a method which could be trained-in to others.


First, into the field…

In the first stage we provided a number of highly skilled and experienced field observers to study some of the best performing restaurant staff, and see them in action serving real customers in restaurants. We interviewed the high performers, and we interviewed a number of restaurant managers together with a comprehensive sample of other people from across the organisation to collect their thoughts and opinions. These two methods were backed up with focus groups of high performers, other contributors from across the business, and PizzaExpress customers. 

From these observations we were able to isolate and ‘build a model’ involving personal characteristics, behaviours, language and conversational structure that differentiated high performers. 


Delivering the training

With a population of around 7,000 people and over 300 managers to cover it was decided to run training around the regions, with groups of around 12 managers, together with their front of house trainers, attending focused half-day workshops, run by PizzaExpress trainers. The PizzaExpress trainers attended pilot workshops run by Vybrant facilitators to learn how to deliver the training most effectively. The workshops were coupled with a set of ‘enabling materials’ to enable the managers and trainers to carry back to their restaurants a fully- formed plan for changing staff behaviour with maximum impact and follow-through.


Get in touch

We’ve been helping our clients deliver great customer service for years. It starts with creating collaboration – no-one works in isolation, after all – but combine that with giving your team the capacity to know how to help customers best. Not to mention the clout to be able to do what’s needed. Then they need to know how to connect, really connect with other people. 

If you want to think aloud about a change, culture or leadership challenge, you can book a 25 minute call straight into Alan Sears’ diary at no cost, and he will help you any way he can.