Connecting Wahaca with Workplace and Connect by Cocentric
Mexican market eating restaurant chain Wahaca kicked off 2022 with a brand new internal communications platform – Workplace from Meta. Wahaca and their sister brand DF Tacos, who collectively refer to themselves as the WDF Familee, have just over twenty locations throughout the UK and over 600 staff. They were looking for a platform that would connect the entire business in one place.
Pre-Workplace, there were no two-way communications channels for Wahaca’s restaurant staff. Head office and managers had email, but the majority of the WDF Familee had no way to communicate with each other or with other restaurants. WhatsApp was heavily used across the whole business for rota changes and key updates.
Wahaca needed to not just connect their frontline employees, but give them a voice for the first time. They wanted more authentic and transparent communication from their leadership, and to create a culture of discussion and authenticity; so that no matter who someone is in the business, they can feel connected to leadership and to their brand values.
Cocentric partnered with Wahaca in their deployment of Workplace, leading up to their launch in February 2022. Cocentric also worked with Wahaca to integrate Connect by Cocentric, so their frontline staff could activate their accounts with ease.
Workplace appealed because it had the feeling of ease and familiarity, with most of their workforce having experience of using Facebook. Being able to upload videos and pictures was a big plus, and as a platform it aligned with their employer branding. Wahaca and DF Tacos pride themselves on being a WDF Familee; Workplace is a platform that lets them keep in touch like one.
The Launch Strategy
Cocentric were brought in to give Wahaca and DF Tacos the tools to launch Workplace from Meta successfully. We structured a deployment plan that included:
- project team training on how to use Workplace
- guidance on the structure of their groups
- guidance and documents for policies and governance regarding Workplace usage
- assistance with deploying functionality such as the Org Chart
- a launch communications session to advise Wahaca on how to communicate the launch of Workplace to their groups
- With most of its workforce frontline and working in the restaurants, we integrated Connect by Cocentric to allow for easy account activation by smartphone, using their existing HR system.
Wahaca celebrated their Workplace launch with an event at Hijingo Bingo for all their general managers and Head Office staff. This included a competition where they gave away a trip to Mexico to one lucky winner.
Physical communications were distributed to each branch in time for Workplace going live, with a QR code to get to Connect’s activation portal. When staff activated their accounts on Launch Day, Connect allowed them to be automatically added to their respective restaurant group.
A new era of top-down communication
Workplace is a hive of conversation for Wahaca and DF Tacos, and that’s coming from the top. Their CEO and co-founder is consistently posting content to advertise social events, share branch reviews, mark milestone anniversaries, and document their visits to branches.
Introducing video to Wahaca
Wahaca and DF Tacos have taken to using video across the business, from their CEO to the chefs in their kitchens. Some of the things documented include videos of their company summer party, social events and moments from their restaurants, and even behind-the-scenes footage of how their tacos are made.
Clear groups to find information
Each of Wahaca and DF Tacos’ branches has its own group on Workplace, giving all staff a home hub to find updates and incentives relevant to them and their restaurant. All company news is communicated in a news group, and culture-building activity happens in their WDF Familee Fun group. After four months, these two groups are regularly their top two highest engaged groups.
From WhatsApp to Work Chat
Work Chat is diminishing the need to communicate via WhatsApp, making conversations about shift swapping, business updates or just general social chat, more work compliant. In the four months since Workplace launched, over 110,000 messages were sent on Work Chat. It’s part of the furniture.