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Dave & Buster’s Gives Employee Onboarding Process a Tech Overhaul

New hires now have access to an interactive, immersive training module that allows them to learn when they want, how they want.
Dave & Busters NIDUM Training module
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About a year ago, Jose Azares of NIDUM reached out to Chris Schricker, Sr. Director of Training, at Dave & Buster’s and asked if the brand would be interested in revamping its onboarding process for new employees. When Azares explained to Schricker that he was a restaurant owner who was fed up with the traditional onboarding process and had created a more interactive, technology-savvy process – Schricker was intrigued.

Like many hospitality brands, Dave & Buster’s used to ask new hires to come in for an orientation day. The new staff members would sit in a room and watch a 17-minute video that covered the company’s culture, history, mission/values, and some core job responsibilities.

“This worked fairly well pre-pandemic when we would often have group orientations, but with the current labor crisis it’s now rare that we get a large group of new hires together to do this type of orientation,” says Alex Findlay, Sr. Manager, Team Engagement.

But Schricker and Findlay were interested in NIDUM’s training module for another important reason.

“We’re in the gaming business and we recognize how important it is to stay relevant not only to our Guests but also to our Team Members,” Findlay says. “If we’re going to offer cutting edge games to our Guests, why wouldn’t we offer cutting-edge training processes to our team? This immersive training technology was something we hadn’t seen before and offered a ‘guide your own adventure’ experience that we felt would resonate with new team members.”

Additionally, NIDUM’s training technology is mobile-friendly, which was important to the Learning & Development department at Dave & Buster’s.

“We’re finding that more and more of our hourly team members don’t have access to a desktop computer and our managers don’t have time to sit them down at a computer on site to click through a thirty-minute training program,” Findlay explained. “That fact that our team members can do everything needed via their mobile phone works really well for us.”

How It Works

To create this module, Azares’ team went into a Dave & Buster’s location and used their 360-degree cameras to digitize a variety of areas, from the entrance to the midway, from the restaurant to the kitchen, and even the manager’s office. Then NIDUM worked with Dave & Buster’s to add short, important pieces of information from their current training materials to the 3D imagery. New hires are encouraged to click around on buttons that pique their interest, listen to audio snippets and watch very short video clips.

As new hires interact with the module, they are able to learn about the company’s history, its values, and even take a tour of the company’s kitchen, dining room, bar, sports lounge, and arcade. And unlike more traditional training methods that require employees listen to a specific topic for a specific amount of time, new hires can decide for themselves what they want to learn about and when and for how long.

[For a more in-depth review of how the technology works, check out our recent interview with Azares.]

While the module has only been available to new hires for a few months now, the company is seeing some real results.

“New hires are showing up more prepared on day one,” Findlay explains. “They’re showing up with more knowledge of what the day-to-day operations of Dave & Buster’s looks like and even our terminology.”

Managers have also reported that the module teaches new hires important concepts and values that trainers can’t always get to on the first day, which also adds to their preparedness level.

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