Just as the global pandemic shifted thinking in nearly all parts of our lives, it has given a dramatic jolt to the battle for talent. Once loyal team members aren’t necessarily returning to restaurants for a number of reasons including the rise in unemployment benefits, availability of childcare for school-aged childrenor concerns for health and safety.

The Frisch’s Big Boy revolution in the way we serve our team members and our guests was underway prior to COVID-19. Already nimble, the pandemic gave us opportunity to accelerate the way we serve our communities.

We pivoted quickly which resulted in a recent national recognition for Most Innovative Product Introduction from the Franchise Innovation Awards. Frisch’s was the first restaurant group in the nation to offer groceries and staples during the pandemic.We gave guests the opportunity to purchase items, through drive-thru, carryout and delivery, such as loaves of bread, gallons of milk and bathroom tissue.

In late May, with health and safety as top priority for guests and team members we were able to begin a staggered reopening of most of our dining rooms. And as we reopened, we did so with a new fast casual dining experience and the addition of new rolesto ensure restaurants are executing our COVID-19 Hospital Clean procedures.

“Frisch’s Big Boy continuously looks for innovative opportunities to engage employees and enhance culture”

Thanks to thesesuccesses and assistance from the Paycheck Protection Program, we were able to quickly rehire a significant number of our 5,000 team members at our more than 100 locations across Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.Frisch’s Big Boy continuously looks for innovative opportunities to engage employees and enhance culture. Here are threetools we are using to rehire, retain and rebuild trust with our team members.

Revolutionizing How We Pay Our Team Members

Whether bus fare or a medical emergency, Frisch’s Big Boy allows team members to access their wages without having to wait for their paycheck. Through a partnership withDailyPay, Frisch’s team members can instantly access up to 50% of unearned wages for a pay period. More than 30% of our team members are taking advantage of the DailyPay benefit.For our team members, this benefit has added alevel of financial support reducing anxiety and stress.

Revolutionizing How We Recognize Our Team Members

ShiftOneallows for meaningful recognition among team members and managers by creating app-based competitions based on Frisch’s Big Boy priorities. These can include the launch ofa new menu item or improving the guest experience. Team members earn electronic badges and appear on a leaderboard which recognizes and rewards top performing individuals in each restaurant and throughout the company. ShiftOne has helped reduce turnover, drive incremental revenue, and make for a better work environment.


ShiftOne uses real-time, individual performance data, usually from a point-of-sale system or guest review collector, to power competitions, encourage communication and recognition, and monitor operational health factors like attrition risk.

With the power of ShiftOne’s platform, Frisch’s was able to leverage the tool as our primary communication medium during COVID-19 to stay connected with our team members to keep them educated and informed, all the while, providing care, support and a sense of community and family.

Revolutionizing How We Take Care of One Another

As part of our shift in thinking due to the global pandemic, Frisch’s introduced a resource library called Your Wellbeing – Resource Library providing active and furloughed team members the information and resources they need most during these extraordinary times. Frisch’s included resources focused on our team members’ physical, personal and financial wellbeing. Examples included Teladoc care, Employee Assistance Plan (EAP), United Way 211 resources, other employment opportunity partnerships and unemployment information, just to name a few.

Separately, Frisch's has introduced the Gift of Time, an initiative that allows our team members to donate unused vacation days to team members with special situations and needs. This example of family helping family launched in 2018 and has already seen hundreds of hours of paid vacation donated.

Frisch’s Big Boy is also supportive of hundreds of schools, non-profits and events throughout our three states. We provide free meals for children and financial support for the Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Zoo, and ArtsWave. Recently, we were named Corporate Partner of the Year by Adopt-A-Class for our volunteer work in the program at Glenn O. Swing and Academy of World Languages.

Additionally, Frisch’s Big Boy, in partnership with United Way of Greater Cincinnati and Salesforce, has adopted the new Salesforce.org Philanthropy Cloud allowing team members to select giving and volunteer opportunities that interest them in the communities they live and work. This type of support keeps Frisch’s top of mind as a neighborhood gathering place to enjoy a meal and make new memories while allowing Frisch’s team members to engage in volunteer opportunities with special significance to them.