“Gamifying” Training [With The Cheesecake Factory]

The Cheesecake Factory is using leaderboards to encourage sharing of problems and solutions between employees.  It also has an iPhone app for learning how to make “glamburgers.”

via hreonline.com

The Cheesecake Factory, a well-known national chain of high-value restaurants, set out to “gamify” its operational training over the last two years. The concept was to change training from a typical “operational training” process to a Disney-like gaming portal.

The company put in place a knowledge-sharing portal that enables employees at any location to upload videos of their experiences solving typical restaurant problems. These videos are shared among the company?s staff in its online “Video Cafe;” employees can comment, rate and blog about every training asset.

The authors who receive the highest ratings are shown on a “leaderboard” (a gaming feature) and leaders receive “slices” (for example, of cheesecake) to rank their contributions to the team (a points system).

The company believes strongly in the value of branding the employee experience, so the training system uses the concepts of “Why You?re So Cheesecake” wherever it can. The goal is to make all aspects of the job — and learning how to do the job — fun (a virtual environment).

Corporate Training at Cheesecake Factory — Contribution Leaderboards

To go even further, a training executive at The Cheesecake Factory then built an iPhone game that teaches employees how to make “glamburgers.”

When the company teaches employees about building glamburgers, it does not ask them to memorize the ingredients — employees actually “build the burger” on their iPhones. The game shows a hamburger bun and various parts (e.g., lettuce, meat, condiments) fall from the sky; the employee has to catch them in the right order to get points.

Then another burger comes and another one — increasing in speed (and in point value) as the game progresses.

The game then moves to a new level — and the burger orders start to change. People order different types of burgers, so now employees have to arrange different parts into a different order. This is the game mechanic of “achievement levels” — after you master the first level, you can move to the next.

This game works. By the time an employee has played it three to four times, he/she has memorized what is on the burger.

Now, 16,000 people have to learn what is on a glamburger. You can learn through the game. Would you rather have a test — or show that your phone has gotten to level 4?

If the game has the chef with the blue-striped coat (achievement), then the employee has progressed through all of the menu items.

For a complimentary copy of Bersin’s 11-page research report, The Gamification of Corporate Human Resources, that explores how game mechanics are used in HR and training organizations, click here.

Case study reprinted with permission from Bersin & Associates, based in Oakland, Calif., which provides HR, learning and talent leaders with research-based best practices, benchmarks and tools needed to deliver business results.

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2 Responses to ““Gamifying” Training [With The Cheesecake Factory]”

  1. I need to traning class


  1. This Week In Gamification: June 10-16 | EnGaming - June 16, 2012

    […] learned about The Cheesecake Factory’s gamified training program, which includes an iPhone app.  We also learned how Quixy has gamified its hiring process by […]

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