Back to School with Pizza Hut Launch Pad

Sure, we have a snazzy website, a hot new beta app feature, and fantastic social media presence. But did you know that Pizza Hut’s digital leadership also extends to our in-house training platform? The Pizza Hut training team is rolling out a new way to learn: the Launch Pad, a fun and interactive way to make it easier to find, enjoy, and complete your in-restaurant training.

Amy Gingerich, Senior Manager of Training Development, describes this ground-breaking new way to train. “Just as Pizza Hut innovates and pioneers the way people experience pizza, we seek to create the most engaging ways to prepare team members for their roles. While many organizations are just beginning to implement a learning management system (LMS), we have developed our own custom site that is tied to the LMS in a way that allows learners to get to their courses quickly, inside a visually dynamic environment. We learned from our sister brands and worked to ensure that the look and feel of the platform is as vibrant and compelling as the courses themselves.”

The actual technology being introduced is twofold: firstly, the training modules for our restaurant team members have gotten a makeover, complete with a new look and game-like format to make it more engaging. Secondly, the portal through which team members access this training is much cleaner. The Launch Pad is the new team member site through which they access their training modules. Whereas the original path to get to the training courses took almost seven clicks to get to open a course, the Launch Pad allows team members to access their training in as little as two clicks. They can also personalize their training experience with a customizable avatar. For example, I decided to see what I would look like with pink hair:

The concept behind the Launch Pad started with some basic thinking about the way people learn. As Amy describes, a rush of adrenaline and an emotional response goes a long way. “When you challenge people through a game, they get a rush of adrenaline. That rush helps stimulate memory and retention. We settled on gamification as a positive way for team members to feel—and actually learn—the training material.” Rather than sitting and listening to a cartoon talk at you, now team members play their way through challenges in food safety, customer service, food production, driver safety, and more. Along the way, participants collect smiles, hearts, and trophies for their achievements during the game sequences, which can then be viewed in their trophy room:

Amy and her team have brought team members along with them throughout the whole process. RGMs and team members have given feedback on the interface, user experience, and efficacy of the training modules. Team members helped choose the current interface, and have been very excited throughout development by the changes the team has made. After many more test runs here in Dallas and in the field, the Launch Pad went live in our company-owned stores for RGMs and team members to provide feedback in a real restaurant environment.

Feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive. RGMs are blown away by the new tool: more than 94% of those surveyed reported that this new platform makes their job easier, and 97% of Team Members say they will remember and apply what they learned using the Launch Pad. Team members no longer have to navigate through a deep chasm of links to get to their courses, and being able to customize their avatar and see their achievements listed in the trophy room makes the experience that much more positive.

The training team is continuing to improve the system before rolling it out nationally. Amy reports that they are working with the Quality Assurance team to do some load testing and trial through different web platforms. Stay tuned for more information as Launch Pad revolutionizes training at Pizza Hut US!

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