“Everybody is super excited about it!”

Zach Welch, General Manager at Buffalo Wild Wings in Windcrest, TX, recently started up his Front-of-the-House and Heart-of-the-House Blazin’ Team Member of the Month programs in his restaurant.

As part of the leadership team at a previous restaurant and from prior use at his current location, Zach saw first-hand the power of employee recognition and knew it was imperative to get back on board in Windcrest. Sounds like his team loves it, too!

Listen to it in Zach’s own words

Zach Welch, GM of Buffalo Wild Wing in Windcrest, TX

(See below if you prefer to read a printed transcript)

We love hearing positive feedback from managers like Zach. It’s always a “win” when managers are actively recognizing and engaging their team!

their face lights up and they think it’s the coolest thing in the world. That goes a long way with me. I care more about that stuff…

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Here’s the transcript from Zach’s audio

“I’m super excited about this program. I still have team members that were here that still actually have their plaques from 3 years ago when they won, so once they saw me hang it on the wall… they instantly lit up! Everybody is super excited about it!

I love your program. It’s a huge benefit for us. Just on reporting itself, actual numbers… I can relay to my bosses its a huge benefit. My turnover went down 40% in one year. On average we have about 70 team members, so you’re talking about losing about 40 less people that year than we did the year before. That alone is a huge, huge benefit. Financially, obviously not having to train as many people, and hiring, and all that…

Also, just the quality of our restaurant. We had a bunch of long-term people running around here instead of all rookies. Fewer mistakes, higher guest satisfaction…

Honestly, just giving the plaques to the team members… their face lights up and they think it’s the coolest thing in the world. That goes a long way with me. I care more about that stuff… my job as the general manager is always numbers, everybody knows that, it’s always about numbers, reporting, and that kind of stuff; but I get a big smile out of the stuff you can’t measure on a report. Like team member happiness and day-to-day looking at our staff and them having a smile. You can’t always measure that on a report.

As far as numbers specifically, and reporting, we have our blazing rewards program, which is out loyalty program, it’s a huge, huge push with our company right now. That’s gonna be part of the criteria for our front-of-the-house team members. There’s an actual report on that so we’ll 100% be able to track that. Then just kind of a combination of leadership qualities, being a role model, punctuality, showing up to work on time.

When we have our manager meetings, we all vote on who we think the front-of-the-house team member should be and the heart-of-the-house, and then we have our WPT’s; they get a vote as well. I do that to empower our trainers. There’s not a huge, huge benefit to being a trainer. I’m a training general manager myself, so every new manager that gets hired trains through my store. There’s not a huge benefit as far as compensation or anything like that. It’s a lot more work, so I do my best to empower my trainers and make sure they understand we appreciate what they do.

We always do a team huddle. Basically it’s an all-staff meeting… that’s when we plan on doing it. That way we can make it as big as possible. Everybody will be a part of it.

I think the excitement is already building now that they see the plaques up there. Once they actually see it presented, that first time, everyone is gonna go crazy about it and they’re gonna want one themselves.

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