Pinchos is an exciting restaurant concept based on a Swedish original idea from Gothenburg 2012. With a colorful interior with a show feel, dishes and drinks inspired by places around the world and an entertaining and mysterious atmosphere, the restaurants have quickly gained popularity. Today, Pinchos has 71 restaurants in four countries and is in the middle of a booming expansion. But with growth come also the challenges. For Pinchos, this meant ensuring that all new employees were given the right conditions to be able to get started quickly in their new roles.
Today, they have an entire academy online – Pinchoversity. We talked to their HR Manager, Johanna Hagström, to hear more about Pinchoversity and what lead them there.
Tell us about yourself Johanna!
– My name is Johanna Hagström and I am the HR Manager at Pinchos. A big part of my job is to make sure we are the most attractive employer for our current and future employees. In the middle of a pandemic, we have of course had to change our plans and priorities. Right now, my HR role is about being ready when it turns around, to build a digital training platform, support our leaders in the transition work and build an organization that is equipped to handle both a normal situation and an expansion.
We realized that we needed to build a proper digital onboarding platform where new employees could quickly get into their jobs and deliver wonderful guest experiences.
What is the most fun thing about your job?
– To be part of the Pinchos journey and start to feel that it will soon turn around, look ahead and prepare for expansion. Pinchos is the most fun part of my job – the people, the culture, the commitment, to see and hear happy guests and employees who love their job. But also to find solutions where it doesn't always work painlessly, to support our leaders, for example in daring to take difficult conversations. This is where much of the trust is built.
What can be challenging?
Who do you need to convey knowledge to within your organization?
– Knowledge needs to be communicated to everyone, but the right knowledge to the right target group. That is why we are now building learning according to the target groups: Kitchen, Tableware, Bar, New franchisees and Managers in the restaurants. We also have further development for more senior employees.
What challenges have you solved with digital learning and what did you want to achieve?
– We defined early on that we needed an efficient and pedagogical "shell" that can easily administer and distribute learning information to our employees. Something that helps us to have an overview and is not too complicated. Of course we have to take care of the content ourselves, at Pinchos we learn Pinchos.
How did you train your employees prior to e-learning?
- Previously, much of this was done in the classroom or by imparting knowledge via employees who worked with us and knew Pinchos in their sleep. However, we realized that we needed to build a proper digital onboarding platform where new employees could quickly get into the job and start delivering wonderful guest experiences.
A short training in filmmaking and then we started with scriptwriting, filming and editing. We simply learned along the way. The result was exactly what we wanted from the beginning: very operational training.
What challenges have you seen when it comes to training your employees?
– Making everyone absorb the information and look ahead in the middle of a pandemic with short-term work and tight schedules. The focus has been on taking care of the guests who choose to visit us
and simply surviving the pandemic. Right now everything is done online but we really believe in the combination of digital training and the physical meeting. We are in the starting blocks to get started with the physical trainings, especially for our kitchens. It is everything from cooking school to train-the-trainer concepts.
How do you work with technology when creating learning experiences?
– We have just launched our learning platform which we call Pinchoversity. From December 2020 to February this year, we invested heavily in creating digital learning, especially in short film formats.
The focus has then been to show what situations our employees face when they are out in the restaurants. What scenarios arise? How do we treat the guests?
- At present, there are the basic courses Introduction to Pinchos as well as Bar, Dining Room and Kitchen. However, we see that this is just the beginning. We will continue to build and hopefully also be able to create a more vibrant platform where we can learn from each other through forums and
"share your thoughts."
Your Pinchoversity Academy looks great!
How did you create the courses?
Did you hire external help or did you do it all yourselves?
– Thanks! We chose to do it all ourselves and put together an internal team consisting of me and my
wonderful colleagues Matilda, Simon and Sofie. In front of the camera we have our Head Waiter Evelina, a real star! A short training in filmmaking and then we started with scriptwriting, filming and editing. We simply learned along the way.
The result was exactly what we wanted from the beginning – very operational training. It was important that this did not become a so-called “head office product” but that the needs and situations that occur in our restaurants are really captured. This is one of the most fun projects I have been on, especially to see the team go from insight to insight with the mentality that nothing is impossible.
Today we can present Pinchos' wonderful world in a unified and educational way. We have a good solution for the administration of our courses, have gained the insight that this is extremely good and that we will continue to create relevant content.
You have made an integration between your system and Learnifier. How is this set up, what does it solve and what is the value to you?
– Of course, we want our employees to feel that it is Pinchos, that they do not have to log in to an external system. We easily created an OpenID solution where our employees reach Pinchoversity via our internal VIP portal (Very important people).
The organization is also integrated so that we don't have to administer the users in Learnifier but only in our in-house system. The value is of course that we minimize administration and get a self-propelled
system. Now we look forward to create continued integrations and solutions. Next in line is the connection to our BI tool.
Which was the greatest aha-experience you had using digital learning to onboard and train your employees?
– That we didn't have to make it so complicated. Trying to stick to the core and start from scratch.
After many years at Pinchos, you may think that a lot is pretty obvious, but as a brand new employee, you need the basics in a completely different way and we can provide that with this platform.
Not everything is suitable digitally, but we think we have found a good level of content.
And we're just getting started!
If you could choose 1–3 concrete results you have achieved with digital learning?
– I would say that today we can present Pinchos' wonderful world in a unified and educational way.
We have a good solution for the administration of our courses, have gained the insight that it is extremely good and that we will continue to create relevant content.
What is the dream going forward?
- The dream is that we have a well-attended, learning and engaging digital Pinchoversity platform. We have also built up our own cooking school. Our managers and leaders meet regularly to learn
from each other and share challenges and experiences. We also see that we have built up an internal Trainee program where you can and may grow in our fine chain. We want to make it easy to do right and easy to be new.
How has your work with digital learning so far helped you get closer to the dream situation?
– We wanted to build a digital learning platform that in step one would serve as a good introduction to Pinchos. Today we have effective learning. The scalability is there and we can teach Pinchos to everyone in the same way. With the English language, we now also reach our restaurants outside Sweden in a good way.
Interview by: Rebecca Cannerfelt
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