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Brightmine Five Guys case study graphic
Five Guys logo

Name: Sara Thompson
Title: VP of Human Resources
Organisation: Five Guys
Industry: Hotels, Restaurants and Leisure

Five Guys is one of the largest burger chains in the US, and it’s quickly becoming a global franchise brand. The company now has over 1,000 franchise locations across the US and in multiple countries.

It’s not surprising that Vice President of Human Resources Sara Thompson is constantly juggling multiple responsibilities. To execute their HR strategy and create efficiencies, Sara and her team needed a reliable source of practical HR resources and employment law compliance information.

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The challenge

Ensuring good HR practices across hundreds of jurisdictions

As vice president of human resources for Five Guys, Sara Thompson is responsible for overseeing HR activities and providing resources for more than 1,000 franchise locations in 47 states and six Canadian provinces. That’s no easy task!

With variations in federal, state and local employment laws, the playing field is always shifting for Sara and her team. Additionally, the team had extensive onboarding responsibilities for new franchisees (and their employees). It’s easy to see how costly serving these franchisees can be. 

Sara needed a seamless way to address these challenges. In alignment with Five Guys’ business strategy, Sara initiated the process of finding a software solution that fit the HR team’s needs.

She was looking for a solution that would do the following:

  • Provide easy access to state and international compliance-related content to save staff time and reduce legal fees.
  • Upskill the HR team by minimising time spent on research and online searches.
  • Be accessible to anyone in any location, even those without direct HR experience.
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The results

Sara immediately saw an opportunity for a direct bottom-line impact for Five Guys. The HR & Compliance Centre would be able to reduce time spent on administrative tasks, improve risk management and ensure strategic alignment across all franchise locations.

That opportunity has already paid off. “The HR & Compliance Centre provides great value,” says Sara, “Especially when you compare it against the cost of employing an HR person or seeking external counsel.”

The HR & Compliance Centre upskilled Sara’s HR staff, helping them work more independently on important HR projects and tasks while building their knowledge and confidence of HR-related issues.

This freed up valuable time Sara would otherwise spend coaching and verifying employee work and improved the work itself.

Sara shared some specific examples:

1. Researching employment Law

Before the HR & Compliance Centre, a single search could easily take up to several hours. And it didn’t even entirely remove the potential risk of overlooking some key issues. Now, the team uses the HR & Compliance Centre 50-State Charts, which offer accurate state-by-state guidance on a variety of employment law issues. These charts are regularly updated and vetted by attorneys, providing fast access to reliable up-to-date answers.

2. Training supervisors

Five Guys provided employee training once every quarter, and it was an extremely time-consuming task. Before drafting the presentation, Sara had to ensure the training was compliant, which required hours of research and preparation. She also had to draft the presentation and accompanying tests from scratch.

Through the HR & Compliance Centre training resources, Sara accessed templates and quizzes that could be customised in about 30 minutes. By saving valuable time and resources, Five Guys streamlined its training, enabling up to monthly training if needed.

3. Navigating international and state expansion

As Five Guys grew, so did its HR research-related needs, requiring additional time to read, review, compare, analyse and take action. To do this effectively, Sara’s team used the HR & Compliance Centre Employment Law Guide. This expansive resource offers accurate in-depth state-specific guidance in one place.

4. Managing HR documents

Sara and her team devoted hours of their time to creating policies, forms, handbooks, checklists, posters and other important HR documents to ensure staff were up to date and had the details they needed to serve franchisees. The HR & Compliance Centre provided model templates that could easily be customised to meet individual franchise needs, saving time and resources.

“One of the bigger things I’ve heard from my team is how easy it is to use. It’s very user friendly. Even without any training, you can figure out where things are,” concludes Sara.

Five Guys

Sara Thompson
VP of Human Resources

“The team truly finds the HR & Compliance Centre to be a one-stop-shop resource where they can find the information they need in a short amount of time, helping them to be more efficient and independent. In my opinion, it’s well worth the money.”

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