Specialty Restaurant Chain Elevates People-centric Culture and Frontline Worker Experience with UKG, Driving Business Growth

October 17, 2023, LOWELL, Mass., and WESTON, Fla.

UKG, a leading provider of HR, payroll, and workforce management solutions for all people, today announced that Boba Tea Company, a thriving chain of specialty tea restaurants, is leveraging the AI-powered UKG Ready suite to drive significant business growth and create a culture where employees are inspired to deliver an exceptional customer experience.

Boba Tea Company is a bubble tea restaurant chain employing 175 people at 14 locations across Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Bolstered by UKG Ready, the flexible human capital management (HCM) suite designed specifically for businesses with lean HR and payroll teams, the organization is building an intentional and purposeful workplace culture, fueling its growth and expansion into additional U.S. states.

“We take great pride in our brand and believe that if you’re looking to grow, you need to have technology and a partner that can evolve with you,” said Hoa Luong, chief operating officer at Boba Tea Company. “UKG is that partner for us, and has helped us keep our people informed and engaged which has fueled our business growth.”

Committed to fostering a culture of empowerment and creating a great place to work, Boba Tea partnered with UKG to elevate the role of its frontline workforce through mobile-first technology that allows the organization to communicate with staff across all locations in a more consistent and transparent way, setting everyone up for success.

“One of our biggest improvements since going live on UKG is the ability to communicate with staff through the Ready mobile app,” said Luong. “Everything we need to convey to our people is done through our internal ‘BobaScoops’ announcement, which is the first thing employees see when they login to Ready. So, we can roll out a new policy, a new drink, or a new process and know that all employees across all locations are getting the same information. The app also lifts the burden on HR and managers since employees can easily do things like swap shifts, view schedules or paystubs, and update their address right from their mobile device.”

The ability for managers to create best-fit schedules and for staff to swap shifts has led to a greater employee experience — as well as higher sales and shorter counter lines — as Boba Tea previously struggled to properly staff stores without an accurate way to forecast how many employees it would need to meet customer demand. That ultimately cost the restaurant chain time and money.

“We were leaving money on the table as we were either understaffed and unable to serve our customers quickly, or overscheduled, which is a drain on our bottom line and on our people,” said Luong. “UKG allowed us to see how many people we needed to schedule at each location based on projected sales. As a result, store and district managers as well as payroll staff have saved a combined 70-hours per pay period in reviewing employee time ahead of payroll processing. With our stores more efficiently staffed, we’ve increased sales by 23% — and were able to serve more than 1.3 million drinks through 974,000 transactions last year — which is a big win for our organization and has led to a better experience for both our customers and employees.”

Ready has additionally led to more consistency and accuracy in hourly employees clocking in and out of shifts, helping Boba Tea remain compliant with federal employment laws.

“For many of our workers, this may be their first or second job, so it’s important for us to teach them responsible habits when it comes to punches, overtime, and absence tracking because that helps protect them and ensure they are accurately paid for their work,” said Luong. “With Ready, we have integrated facial recognition in every store and don’t have missed punches anymore, and we can now document everything accurately in an easily generated report.” 

“Smaller organizations are often forced to do more with fewer resources and a leaner HR team, which can be a significant barrier to growth,” said Chris Kiklas, vice president of SMB product management at UKG. “We designed UKG Ready specifically for businesses like Boba Tea Company on the verge of explosive growth, to make their day-to-day easier through intelligent technology that helps them become great places to work, elevating the role of their people to drive business growth.”

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About UKG

At UKG, our purpose is people. As strong believers in the power of culture and belonging as the secret to success, we champion great workplaces and build lifelong partnerships with our customers to show what’s possible when businesses invest in their people. One of the world’s leading HCM cloud companies today, UKG and our Life-work Technology approach to HR, payroll, and workforce management solutions for all people helps 80,000 organizations around the globe and across every industry anticipate and adapt to their employees’ needs beyond just work. To learn more, visit ukg.com.

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