How to Deliver The Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen Experience

Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen is a welcoming neighborhood restaurant featuring quality homemade food at reasonable prices. Founded in Texas in 1979, the brand now has 160 company-owned and franchise locations in 23 states. They use quality ingredients and take the time to prepare them in their kitchen — each meal is prepared and cooked fresh for each guest.

Their Big Challenge

Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen had always received high scores on their food and atmosphere, but their services scores were lackluster and inconsistent. The company had several front of the house trainings and the inconsistency was a problem for team members — and therefore for guests as well.

And because Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen doesn’t place ads on TV, they need their team members to be the ones promoting their scratch differentiation — if they don’t do it, guests won’t know. Leadership knew that if we could fix this problem, we could win.

Elevating the Experience for New Team Members

Root quickly put together a team to help Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen create a consistent and engaging experience for its team members. To begin the work, Root came in to present its point of view to the leadership team so that all decision-makers would support the initiative and provide input on the strategy.

Our Immersive Process

  1. Together, Root and Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen created a Learning Map® module. The Map explored:
    1. Why the Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Experience is important to Guests, Team Members, and restaurants.
    2. What the Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Experience is, and what makes it unique.
    3. The differences between the current state and the Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Experience.
    4. How Team Members should interact with the guests to consistently deliver a Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Experience.
  2. Managers and team members were involved in the design sessions for the Maps. Their input was invaluable in ensuring the content was applicable and would resonate with the organization at large.
  3. Several focus groups were held with potential future team members, current team members, and managers to ensure that all perspectives were represented.
  4. The program was then piloted within one restaurant. Once the feedback was received, modifications were made and an additional six restaurants piloted the experience. Next up was full deployment to approximately 142 restaurants and 13,000 team members.
  5. The Learning & Development team is in the process of visiting each location to facilitate the Map over three to four days. During this time, the restaurant manager is also trained to be a facilitator to ensure that future new hires will be trained on the Map as well.
  6. Currently, deployment is still occurring, and the goal is to have the entire organization trained on the Map by the end of the year.
  7. Post-Map surveys are conducted to get real-time feedback from team members.

Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen was very specific in their objectives and goals and all are being met.

The Learning & Development team knows the Map is being well received, but the positive results go beyond anecdotal feedback, as the intended hardline metrics are being met as well.

“Our team members are integral to the guest experience. We need them to understand our differentiators and feel comfortable sharing them with each guest that comes into our restaurant. Root helped us arm our front of the house team members with the knowledge they need on our scratch differentiation so they can create the best experiences for our guests. Feedback from the Map has been great and team members are delivering better service than ever.” — Lynne Bartusek, Executive Vice President, Talent & Human Resources