Last Call Operating Company

A Major Operator of Sports Bars Improves Customer Satisfaction with HappyCo

Case Study — Restaurants & Bars

Last Call Operating Company

Last Call Operating Company runs three chains of sports-themed bars/ restaurants under the names Fox & Hound Sports Tavern, Bailey’s Sports Grille, and Champps Kitchen + Bar. The Dallas-based company has been in business since 1997 and has more than 80 locations throughout the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states.

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Last Call restaurants are well-established, popular bars and restaurants offering a laid-back, unpretentious environment, good food and a large variety of local, craft and specialty beers. By successfully implementing the HappyCo Platform — including the Happy Inspector mobile app and Happy BI — Last Call has automated its rigorous restaurant audit and inspection process, speeding action on issues and concerns, resulting in high customer satisfaction.

From Paper Process to Mobile App and Business Intelligence

To ensure that it consistently provides a prompt, friendly and satisfying dining experience, Last Call management conducts extensive inspections and audits at each location to assess quality and brand compliance for food and beverages, facility cleanliness and maintenance and staff performance and friendliness. Overall, the process covers roughly 200 items, ranging from restaurant appearance and condition, to kitchen tools and systems, to compliance with food safety rules and regulations.

Prior to adopting the HappyCo platform, district managers collected this information with paper forms. They would then manually transfer their notes to computer spreadsheets and reconcile them with photos taken during the inspections before sharing the information with local managers and senior management via email. This was time consuming and inefficient, and didn’t provide local managers with immediate access to key information required to fix issues quickly. It also made it difficult for senior managers to compare data from multiple locations to spot key trends and broader issues. The HappyCo platform addresses these shortcomings for Last Call.

Last Call bartender pouring draft beer

“The app allows senior management to analyze data from inspections and audits conducted across multiple locations to spot trends and issues,” said Ryan Vann, Executive Vice President of Operations and Services at Last Call. For example, in one case the data showed that restaurant staff were not offering a beer list to patrons when initially seating them, and revealed that there was a problem with communication of weekly promotions to employees.

HappyCo’s business intelligence tools enabled Last Call to implement a range of enhancements to its operations, from improving the way customers are greeted at the door, to better communication with employees, to better cleanliness and appearance of its restaurants. As a result, its internal shopper score has improved from 85 percent to 91 percent, its cleanliness rating has increased from 91 percent to 94 percent according to a third-party certifier, and guest complaints have dropped from 1.7 per location to 0.8 per location.

“The business intelligence software lets us focus on being on the ground, working with our teams, instead of in the office dissecting analytics — it’s priceless for streamlining our operations,” said Vann.

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“The business intelligence software lets us focus on being on the ground, working with our teams, instead of in the office dissecting analytics — it’s priceless for streamlining our operations.”

Ryan Vann
Executive VP, Operations & Services

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Last Call bar seating

Automation Saves Time, Drives Improvements

With the HappyCo platform, district managers now conduct inspections and audits in less than half the time.This information is then instantly shared with local managers for immediate correction of critical issues, like food and beverage quality, service standards or facility maintenance.

“Since we had standardized on iPads for our operations, I started experimenting with Happy Inspector app and showed it to our CEO, knowing that it would dramatically improve the speed and efficiency of our inspections and audits,” said Vann.

Last Call senior management can now remotely manage all restaurant locations in real time, reviewing quality score ratings instantly and spotting top issues from HQ — so district and regional managers know which issues to focus on when visiting individual restaurants.

“Our food and beverage service is 100-percent better than it was just a year ago, our cleanliness has improved and we have been able to communicate our core values more effectively due to the intelligence we have now across all of our locations,” added Vann.

Fast Deployment, Greater Customization

Rolling the solution out was quick and easy. “As soon as the district managers began using it, they started giving us ideas on how to customize it, and HappyCo immediately started making updates along the lines of what we wanted,” said Jeff Burrus, Vice President of Supply Chain and Operations at Last Call. Happy Inspector’s Template Library provides exhaustive selection forms that are fully customizable, allowing users to tailor and modify them to their own individual needs.

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“The best thing about 2015 – HappyCo! The best thing so far in 2016, also HappyCo!”

Jonathan Tibus

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Key Challenges

  • Cumbersome, inefficient and time consuming paper-based audits and inspections.
  • Nearly impossible to identify global issues across restaurant operations.
  • Nearly impossible to analyze and optimize operations based on inspection and audit data.

HappyCo Solutions

  • Inspection information is now quickly and efficiently collected and shared.
  • Issues and concerns are immediately shared with local management for fast correction.
  • Senior management can analyze data from multiple locations to spot key trends and broader issues.

Successful Outcomes

  • Internal shopper score has improved from 85 percent to 91 percent.
  • Cleanliness rating has increased from 91 percent to 94 percent.
  • Guest complaints reduced from 1.7 per location to 0.8 per location.

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