How automated employee incentives improved employee retention by 10% and reduced terminations by 37% at a large fast food franchisee.


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The Challenge

The Castleberry Group is a thriving Sonic Drive-in franchisee group with over 30 locations across West Texas and Oklahoma. Like many franchisees, they have experienced the direct impact of the low employee retention rates in the QSR (quick service restaurant) industry. A recent study found that “only 54% of QSR employees worked 90 days before quitting.” Employee turnover not only increases training and recruiting costs for franchisees but can reduce the quality of the customer experience due to new employees lacking experience. With all of this in mind, the Castleberry Group set out to take a creative approach to improve employee retention.

The Approach

The Castleberry Group decided to implement the SocialCrowd employee incentive platform at 6 of their stores to test out how automated employee incentives could improve employee retention. SocialCrowd is an automated employee incentive platform that tracks employee performance, reminds them of their progress toward their goals via text and email, and instantly rewards employees (gift cards, PTO, free meals, etc.) when they achieve their goals. The automation allows managers to simply set team goals and the platform makes sure everyone achieves them.

To tackle their retention goals, they implemented an incentive campaign for employee retention; where employees earned:

  • 500 points ($5) on their 30-day work anniversary
  • 500 points ($5) on their 60-day work anniversary
  • 500 points ($5) on their 90-day work anniversary
  • 2000 points ($20) on their 1-Year work anniversary
  • 3000 points ($30) on their 2-Year work anniversary
  • 4000 points ($40) on their 3-Year work anniversary
  • 5000 points ($50) on their 4-Year work anniversary or greater

To implement this campaign, the platform pulled data directly from their HR system to track employee anniversaries, while also reminding them of their upcoming rewards.

In addition, the Castleberry Group implemented similar automated incentive campaigns for:

  • Birthdays
  • Order Speed
  • Food and Safety Scores
  • Completed Trainings
  • And more!

The Result


Higher Employee Retention


Lower Terminations

After six months of testing SocialCrowd at 6 of their locations, we compared the performance of their stores on SocialCrowd to stores not on SocialCrowd, and there was a direct improvement on key metrics.

First, employee retention in the 6 test stores was 10% higher than stores not on SocialCrowd. In addition, the stores also had a 37% lower employee termination rate during that period which indicates improved employee performance.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed our partnership with SocialCrowd and look forward to expanding our collaboration.”
Paige Hadley - Sonic Drive-in

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