Explore how BBSI helped Connor Tews streamline HR processes, manage high turnover, and build better support for his Crumbl Cookies management team.
The Crumbl Cookies franchise is the fastest-growing cookie company in America, starting with one location in 2017 and growing to over 783 stores across the United States as of March 2023. BBSI is currently supporting 35 of those stores through a partnership with 18 individual franchisees.
Connor Tews, the franchise owner of 5 Crumbl Cookies locations, needed HR and administrative support from a team of professionals he could trust. Frustrated with high turnover rates and looking to transition to a paperless HR process, Connor tried multiple HR service providers before the Crumbl Corporate Team recommended BBSI.
Impressed with the personal, customized approach to developing solutions for his franchise group, Connor partnered with BBSI to tackle challenges in multiple areas of the business, including payroll, benefits, workers’ compensation, and compliance. Along the way, Connor and his Business Unit Team also improved management support and established a number of focused training initiatives.
Since partnering with BBSI, Connor’s 5 Crumbl Cookies locations have:
Before opening his first Crumbl Cookies franchise, Connor Tews was no stranger to the food service industry. To pay his way through Utah State University’s Business Administration program, Connor started a successful food truck business.
While he was still in college, Connor’s older brother Austin Tews began a relationship with Crumbl. Austin opened his first Crumbl franchise in Eugene, OR, and Connor and his wife quickly became integral to its development.
Connor then moved to San Antonio, TX, where he realized his new home would be an excellent spot to open another Crumbl Cookies location. The Eugene and San Antonio locations would go on to become the first two of ten successful franchise locations for the Tews family, with plans to open six more stores.
“I was really drawn to Crumbl’s franchise model,” Connor said. “Five stores and 225-plus employees keep me busy. But as our group grew, I realized that I needed more support for HR and payroll operations.”
Connor embraced opportunities for exponential growth and continued opening more locations, but quickly became overwhelmed by the logistics of HR, payroll, benefits, and training at scale.
Before BBSI, Connor and his team were passing out paper fliers to attract potential employees, and the majority of their hiring process was paper-based. As his franchise group grew, Connor knew he needed a more efficient process for attracting and hiring new talent.
Connor also needed a new approach to the seasonal hiring market. Younger workers are available during the summer, but when summer ends, there tends to be an employment shortage. Before BBSI, Connor’s team faced an annual turnover rate of 75%, which vastly cut into their training and onboarding budgets.
Adding a robust and well-administered employee benefits package was one tactic Connor considered to address this problem. But without streamlined, efficient approaches to HR, compliance, and workers’ compensation, logistical challenges took up much of Connor’s time — time that he wanted to focus on the continued growth of the business.
Connor’s HR-related challenges were simply too time-consuming before BBSI. His franchise team was looking for a solution that would both:
“We needed better professional support,” Connor said. “Without proper systems in place, our onboarding and training procedures started to become a burden.”
In pursuit of a solution, Connor tested the waters with various HR service providers, but none provided the streamlined service and professional, robust support his team needed to scale.
Connor had three main goals during his search for a business service provider.
Connor and his Crumbl Cookies franchise group were introduced to BBSI in mid-2022. The Crumbl Corporate Team recommended BBSI as a potential vendor for HR-related services, but Connor admits that he thought BBSI was “too good to be true.” After brief stints with other service providers, his team was used to vendors over-promising and under-delivering.
Connor and his team were on the fence about choosing BBSI and actually considered a different provider. The tipping point was meeting Kiley Hix, BBSI’s National Account Manager. He described the importance of creating a long-lasting partnership with Connor’s group and that emphasis on longevity was a breath of fresh air for Connor and his franchise team.
Before any contracts were signed, Kiley and the BBSI Business Unit Team started developing a customized service plan to meet Connor’s needs — an effort that didn’t go unnoticed. Even in the early stages of their partnership, BBSI worked hard to understand the Crumbl business, the franchise group’s goals, and the challenges holding them back from continued growth.
Even the best solutions require time investments and Connor’s team was looking for robust, accessible support — support BBSI was uniquely positioned to provide.
Anytime Connor and his team had a question about a new software or process, they had a direct line to Kathy, a BBSI HR Consultant. With over 25 years of experience helping businesses build streamlined HR procedures, Kathy was instrumental during the transition period and beyond.
BBSI also offered training opportunities and brainstorming sessions to help Connor’s team resolve issues across their business model. The team reviewed handbooks, policies, and procedures and made future-proof changes to support the franchise group’s HR and administration efforts.
BBSI also helped Connor’s Crumbl team rethink and revise their Shift Lead position — one of the roles plagued by high turnover.
Transitioning the Shift Lead role into a Shift Manager position was the first step. Reframing the role as a management and leadership position allowed Connor’s team to create a more effective support structure.
They began hosting bi-weekly and monthly calls with the Shift Management team, featuring training on a variety of topics and offering a sounding board for Shift Managers seeking answers and help. This approach built trust between Connor and his management team, resulting in a more dedicated workforce. By October 2022, the Shift Manager role boasted a 100% retention rate.
Connor’s franchise group was plagued by paper-based processes and other outdated HR procedures that ate up time and resources.
When they adopted the myBBSI platform for HR, payroll, and benefits management, they discovered a streamlined BBSI resource for onboarding procedures and document storage. With a robust system that could adequately replace paper-based processes and handle procedures more efficiently, the Crumbl group freed up operational time to focus on continued growth.
“Kathy, our HR [Consultant], has 25-plus years of experience, and she has had a great impact on improving our operations and our human resources within our stores,” Connor said. “We’re able to communicate with her via text, and she’s just very responsive and really good. This has allowed us to focus more time on the things we want to focus on.”
BBSI helped Connor accomplish his primary goal: freeing up time to focus on his goals, like management support and growth efforts. The team reports that their management staff feels more supported than ever before, and the transition to paperless hiring and having access to HR support has transformed their back-office efficiency.
Improved management support and specific strategies to reduce turnover helped Connor’s franchise group spend less money and time on employee training and onboarding, freeing up resources to direct to future growth.
Connor attributes these positive results to his close working relationship with their BBSI Business Unit Team, a dedicated group of professionals who can answer questions, provide support, and brainstorm solutions for pain points. While adopting myBBSI’s software significantly improved their HR processes, Connor reports the BBSI team has been integral to their trajectory change.
Perhaps most important for the franchise group was developing a deep understanding of national, state, and local labor laws. Connor reports that BBSI’s compliance knowledge was invaluable to their multi-state franchise group.
“Get to know the local business branch — the people who will be on your Business Unit Team,” Connor said. “They have impressive experience and resources, and they specifically designed our unit to help support franchisees.”
Connor is confident BBSI will continue to provide the support they need to maintain streamlined processes and focus on growth. Connor’s franchise group is opening six more locations in 2023 — growth and speed that Connor says simply couldn’t have happened without BBSI’s support.
“Our biggest priority is doing things the right way — taking care of employees, creating a good and safe work environment,” Connor said. “We know that our partnership with BBSI will continue to support these goals moving forward.”
Whether you’re a partner in a successful franchise group or a stakeholder in a large organization, BBSI can provide the tools and support you need to overcome business challenges on the way to sustained growth.
Our payroll, workers’ compensation, HR, risk, benefits, and consulting services are designed to help you and your business prosper. While the myBBSI digital platform will help you streamline complicated and time-consuming processes, our team of dedicated business professionals can support you through transitions, maintenance periods, and every stage in between.
Your success is our success — learn more about how BBSI helps franchise businesses manage risk, implement consistent HR practices, streamline operations, and position their company for growth.