National Restaurant Group Creates Great Workplace for Frontline Workers with UKG

UKG Pro suite featuring UKG Talk supports culture of belonging through connection and communication

LOWELL, Mass. & WESTON, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#HCMUKG, a leading provider of HR, payroll, workforce management, and culture solutions for all people, today announced that Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants, a nationally recognized restaurant group, is building a culture of belonging and engagement for its frontline workforce with the AI-powered UKG Pro suite — featuring UKG Talk — in support of its great workplace mission.


Lettuce Entertain You is an independent restaurant group that owns, manages, and licenses more than 130 restaurants and employs over 7,000 people across a dozen U.S. states. Recognizing that clear communication and a sense of belonging are fundamental to a successful workplace culture, the longtime UKG customer recently deployed UKG Talk across its locations as the best way to connect with its hourly workers and share information with them in real time, while also allowing them to engage with management and each other.

“We had a vision to dramatically improve our culture with open and honest communication, from our managers to restaurant staff and among frontline staff. UKG Talk not only fulfilled that vision but is a key driver of our culture and a vital component of our technology infrastructure to help us become a great place to work,” said Ethan Samson, executive vice president and deputy general counsel at Lettuce Entertain You. “UKG Talk is fundamentally about peer-to-peer communication, so employees can communicate with each other inside or outside of work right from the app and feel a greater sense of belonging and community.”

Designed specifically to encourage collaboration amongst frontline workers and remote employees by giving them a voice, associates leverage UKG Talk as a place to discuss shifts and schedules as well as what is new in the restaurants. The mobile-first solution doubles as a communications hub for the restaurant group, allowing it to push important announcements to managers and employees within the flow of work, including open enrollment reminders or messages specific to their location or role.

“UKG Talk gives us a business-critical communications platform so our corporate leaders can communicate directly with our management teams. It empowers managers and chefs to communicate information employees need to be successful, such as weather contingencies, daily specials, menu updates, and wine list changes,” said Samson. “Furthermore, Talk is an extension of our customer service vision. Our frontline staff — servers, bussers, and carryout employees — all interact with guests, and we need them informed and engaged.”

While UKG Talk is central to its employee engagement, Lettuce Entertain You is leveraging the power of its UKG Pro suite to further empower employees by giving them real-time access to schedules and easy-to-understand benefits information. Pro also allows the organization to be transparent around pay, which is especially important to the restaurant industry.

“Employees want to get paid, understand how they’re being paid, and know what their schedule is, and UKG has simplified all of that for our frontline staff,” said Samson. “In the restaurant industry, pay transparency is especially important because of the complexity of pay rules. Tipped employees need to understand their pay, including seeing tips reflected on their pay statements and viewing their pay breakdown from working different jobs. Giving employees easy access to pay and scheduling information in one place gives us a competitive advantage when it comes to retention and engagement.”

With restaurants in states where there are strict labor and Fair Workweek laws in place, Lettuce Entertain You says UKG provides peace of mind for managers as it gives them guidance to help build fair and equitable schedules in support of their people, while mitigating compliance risk. Employees can also be confident they’re being scheduled appropriately and paid accurately for the work they do.

“Having a solution as flexible as UKG is essential for us to meet the requirements of each state and locality where we operate,” said Samson. “When scheduling employees, UKG lets us know how far in advance schedules need to be posted, and we are prepared with a backup plan in the event our original plans change.”

“Great workplaces go to great lengths to ensure every employee is heard and cared for. Lettuce Entertain You is creating a culture based on trust and transparency, bolstered by technology that promotes a sense of community and connectedness,” said Hugo Sarrazin, chief product and technology officer at UKG. “The conscious decision to lead through culture alongside UKG is creating an unparalleled experience for frontline workers that deepens their sense of belonging and connection to the organization and each other.”

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About UKG

At UKG, our purpose is people. We are on a mission to inspire every organization to become a great place to work through HCM technology built for all. More than 80,000 customers across all sizes, industries, and geographies trust UKG HR, payroll, and workforce management, and culture cloud solutions to drive great workplace experiences and make better, more confident people and business decisions. With the world’s largest collection of people data, work data, and culture data combined with rich experience using artificial intelligence in the service of people, we connect culture insights with business outcomes to show what’s possible when organizations invest in their people. To learn more, visit ukg.com.

About Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants

Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants is an independent, family-owned restaurant group based in Chicago that owns, manages and licenses more than 130 restaurants in Illinois, Minnesota, Maryland, Nevada, Texas, Virginia, Florida, Washington D.C. with Tennessee coming soon. We were founded in June 1971 by Richard Melman and Jerry A. Orzoff with the opening of R.J. Grunts and today, thanks to the creativity of our partners, we proudly serve guests at more than 60 concepts ranging from fast casual to fine dining restaurants. For more information, visit www.lettuce.com or follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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