Pizza Properties, Inc. is in the limited service family dining segment of the hospitality industry doing business as Peter Piper Pizza and currently owns 48 Peter Piper Pizza stores throughout Texas and New Mexico. The Company is a franchise that is based in El Paso, Texas and has been in business for over 35 years.
Employee recognition has been central to the Peter Piper Pizza brand since Pizza Properties, Inc bought their first Peter Piper Pizza franchise. The company had always recognized employees’ birthdays with gifts, however, after almost 50 years in operation the company needed a change that would bring their rewards program into the 21st Century.
Not only did Peter Piper Pizza need a platform that better reflected the needs of its dynamic young workforce, they also were looking for a tool that could enable them to enhance and expand their offering. Finally, the company didn’t want to add to their workload, so they needed to implement a program that would streamline processes and cut down on admin.
“We operate in 12 different cities and 48 locations, so it made total sense to do something online or with an app that you could customize.”
While searching for a solution, Vice President of Human Resources and Risk Management Sharon Voelz, discovered Bucketlist. She was instantly drawn to the software’s suite of features, particularly the ability to customize the powerful rewards platform to suit Peter Piper Pizza’s needs. After contacting the customer service team she knew she had found her solution, and worked closely with Bucketlist’s implementation experts to specifically tailor the platform before launch.
With a large number of employees in the 16-20 demographic, Peter Piper Pizza wanted an app-driven platform that would enable them to communicate directly with team members on the devices that they used the most. But it was important that any software wasn’t just convenient, it also needed to be customizable so that it could reflect the brands and values that Peter Piper Pizza had been built on.
Sharon and her team gravitated towards Bucketlist because the customer service team were able to help her weave Peter Piper Pizza’s mission and values directly into the rewards program. This meant that the platform wasn’t just rewarding team members for their work, it was helping to reinforce the kind of values that the brand wanted their team members to embody.
Peter Piper Pizza knew they needed a platform that they could customize to help meet their unique needs. A key part of this customization was blending offline rewards with the online functionality of Bucketlist’s platform.
The company had always prided itself on recognizing team members’ birthdays and work anniversaries and so they worked to incorporate these elements into their new recognition program. With the help of Bucketlist’s implementation experts they customized awards to focus on these landmark events. In particular they found that their employees wore anniversary pins – which were awarded after each year of service – with pride on their uniforms, and so they incorporated this into their new digital platform. They also gave regional supervisors the power to recognize their staff as they chose to, enabling them to reward team members with points outside of the company-wide awards.
A structured approach
What started as a family-run business in a single location has since grown into a nation-wide success story with team members spread across multiple locations in multiple states. However, despite growing to 48 locations, Peter Piper Pizza didn’t want to lose the family feel that the company had been built on but they also knew that their rewards and recognition program needed to be formalized, so that it was uniformly applied to every team member at every location.
By centralizing their efforts within Bucketlist, Peter Piper Pizza were able to standardize their recognition program and reaped the benefits of a better connected workforce.
“The platform has formalized what we do, but it also helps to reinforce the type of employee we want and what we will recognize you for,” says Sharon. “It’s done everything we set out to do with it.”
The biggest impact that Peter Piper Pizza has seen since increasing their use of Bucketlist is in terms of employee engagement. In fact, the company has consistently received positive feedback from its team members, who have all praised the platform’s impact on the company culture.
After a big rollout to the entire organization, which included training to management teams, Peter Piper Pizza have found that the recognition and rewards program has become a part of peoples’ everyday routines. Staff interact with the platform every single day and with daily recognition from managers, Bucketlist has become an integral part of life at Peter Piper Pizza.
Younger employees in particular have loved using the app, but across the board Peter Piper Pizza have seen great uptake within the company. Recognition has now been formalized across every location; with specific rewards for birthdays, anniversaries and quarterly targets baked into the program.
Bucketlist has also had a knock-on effect for Peter Piper Pizza’s recruitment and retention. The company now actively promotes its program during the recruitment process and feels like it has become a useful tool to help retain their best people, particularly in younger age groups.
Coping with COVID-19
Like so many companies in the hospitality space, Peter Piper Pizza had their operations turned upside down by COVID-19. With business-as-usual now a distant memory, the organization was forced to adapt in order to overcome conditions that challenged both the business and its family of team members.
When the pandemic hit Peter Piper Pizza had to furlough 80% of their team members, however the company worked to ensure they remained employed. With their people scattered around the country, unable to work together at locations, the company found that Bucketlist became an invaluable tool. By ensuring that their recognition program continued, Peter Piper Pizza was able to make sure everyone continued to feel connected, offering a ray of hope during an immensely challenging time.
“Somebody is getting recognized for something every day…It’s now part of everybody’s day-to-day world.”