Plan Brothers' platform of audits.io and incy.io was implemented in all Restel restaurants for occupational health and safety (OHS) management during 2017. Human Resources Director Marika Mäkelä has been satisfied with the system from the outset.
“No matter what the function or application, a modern system must be fully mobile-compatible and adaptable to a changing world. Since our employees work during evening and night times in our restaurants, there are specific risks that relate to this type of work. We need the information of these risks, potential incidents and observations quickly, regardless of time and place”, says Mäkelä.
At Restel, all supervisors carry out the risk assessments and inspections and incident reporting is done by all 2,500 employees in over 200 restaurants.
Restel is one of the largest restaurant companies in Finland with over 200 restaurants, sports bars, block restaurants, gas stations and fast food restaurants. Restel's portfolio includes nationally and internationally renowned brands such as Burger King, Taco Bell, O'Learys, Rax, HelmiSimpukka Shell, the traditional Kaarle XII, and the latest newcomer Ísey Skyr Bar.
Restel and its subsidiaries are part of Tradeka, an owner-cooperative with more than 200,000 members and a total revenue of over EUR 430 million in 2018. With over 2,500 employees nationwide, Restel is a major employer and social influencer throughout Finland.
Prior to the implementation of the Plan Brothers’ platform, risk assessments were traditionally conducted at Restel's restaurants in paper format, which were then archived in files at the offices. From a management point of view, this produced gray hair, first and foremost because each site had to make sure the risk assessment was up to date, and even then, just rely on the Site manager's words: “Basically, the risk assessor could only change the date and then announce that the task is done,” says HR Director Mäkelä.
Incident reports of near misses and accidents had to be stored in a legacy system tailored for Restel that wasn’t being developed anymore. The system worked only on computers, and hence a lot of incidents were not reported. Also, even the reported incidents never reached the right people. "We did know that a lot of incidents went unreported, but the reported incidents didn't send any alerts to the right people," Mäkelä continues.
At least as big a challenge was the lack of management view as Mäkelä was managing more than 200 restaurants: “We did not receive any aggregate report of the risk assessments, and regarding incidents, we only saw totals. If we wanted to delve deeper into the causes and types, we had to manually open each report individually. ”
Restel tendered the overall system for occupational health and safety management in the fall of 2016. Ease of use and mobile features were considered important criteria. “We also have restaurant managers doing service and routine work, which is why the tool had to fit seamlessly into everyday life and work on all devices, even in a hurry,” says HR Director Mäkelä.
According to Mäkelä, Plan Brothers was selected as a partner especially because of industry references and the platform's ease of use, flexibility and analytics features: “In addition to risk assessments and accident reports, we also included forms for disruptive and threat situations, criminal security incidents, and property damage. A completely customized checklist for monthly rounds was also created for occupational safety representatives. ”
The old system was shut down and the new system implemented at the same time by all Restel subsidiaries. “When the restaurants understood how everything could be applied to the new system and how the information flows directly to the area, chain and central management without separate middlemen, even the slightest negative attitudes related to the deployment of the new system were overcome,” Mäkelä continues.
According to Marika Mäkelä, the system developed by Plan Brothers is above all a management tool that helps to stay on top of things. “At the same time, all employees have the opportunity to be heard and the information is effectively transmitted to the right parties,” Mäkelä tells.
Mäkelä feels that reporting and analytics have also been taken to a whole new level with the system: “We now see real-time the reported observations and submitted audits by restaurant, region, chain and organization as a whole. With this information, we are able to prioritize our improvement areas more effectively.”
Positive experiences have expanded the system's use within Restel to other needs: “Burger King and HelmiSimpukka utilize the system to conduct restaurant excellence visits and concept audits to monitor deficiencies in restaurant concept, appearance and operational performance. The flexibility and scalability of the platform enable rapid implementation in any process, ”says Mäkelä.
The cooperation has worked well and there are regular development meetings: “The service has been first class since the beginning. Whenever you ask for something, the solution has been found on Plan Brothers' side like being on Burger King's line, ”concludes HR Director Mäkelä.
“We now see real-time the reported observations and submitted audits by restaurant, region, chain and organization as a whole. With this information, we are able to prioritize our improvement areas more effectively.”