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Food and Beverage
Expanding businesses: How Lark helps Zero& connect 300+ store employees
Zero& is a new concept tea and boba brand with multiple locations spanning across the United States. They use Lark to streamline all business operations, from onboarding front-of-house boba employees to expanding new storefronts. With Lark, their employees are able to save 30% of their daily time from manual operations.
CEO at Zero&
"Everything that you can think of touching the day-to-day operation and communication within a company, we've been using Lark to make it happen. With Lark, you don't have to go for five other SaaS solutions: you can simplify your management, your staff's daily operation, and your training as well. You can't really find any solutions like that in the market that has all this broad range of offering that is just integrated so well together. It's just a huge win for us and we're grateful for this experience."
Zero& sources high-quality fruits and ingredients to make zero calorie sugar and additive-free drinks. As one of the most popular and growing boba businesses in the U.S., they currently have 16 store locations across the country and serve millions of customers on a weekly basis.
Food and Beverage
San Francisco, CA
Before using Lark, Zero& was juggling five different SaaS solutions: "We previously considered WeChat, Slack, GSuite, all those things. But, we were looking for a one-stop solution. It was really hard to find a product like that before Lark." Says Toby, CEO of Zero&.
With the rate of expansion that Zero& was aiming to achieve and the need to continuously innovate in this industry, it was crucial for their team to use a tool to centralize all of their business operations. Their key challenges included managing all employees in one place, completing efficient backend operations, quickly onboarding new employees, and standardizing store expansion processes.
Now with Lark, they only use one app for all aspects of their business, whether it's connecting employees and global teams, conducting waste reporting, launching new stores, or training their frontline Tearista workers.
"I'm a big fan of being simple and having one thing that can help you to finish multiple tasks." Says Toby, "Lark is well-positioned for that. We use it for operations, internal meetings, video conferences, scheduling, calendar, approvals—you name it. The whole company lives and breathes on it. You can easily replace Zoom, GSuite, other tools, and save money."
Clear communication is crucial for Zero&'s operations, given its presence across 16 locations with over 300 employees. They've set up specific chat groups for each store where their staff can send updates, address challenges, and facilitate urgent orders for ingredients, along with a company-wide chat for big announcements.
They also engage with their external stakeholders on Lark, including delivery personnel, warehouse staff, and IT teams, ensuring any onsite issues are promptly addressed. Regardless of where their stakeholders or teammates are located, Lark allows them to connect with their global teams seamlessly without any restrictions. "Lark is also good for cross-border team building," says Toby, "if you have a team in the US and also teams outside of the US, the translation function is great. If you are in a different time zone, your time zone will be a pop-up reminder for your counterparts, so they know, 'hey, it's actually nighttime for you.'"
An essential hub for all operations
Zero& manages multiple key aspects of their everyday operations through Lark Base dashboards and Sheets, which include:
Operations planning: daily inventory management, vendor management, and daily ingredients purchase orders
Store management: staff schedules and breaks, store item checklists, and waste reports
Quality control: fridge temperature tracking, trash removal reminders, and inspection management
For each store location, each employee has a phone to complete all of these operational tasks at their fingertips within seconds. Plus, they install tablets in the kitchen areas so that Tearistas and managers can quickly fill out forms and report real-time data within Lark.
To complete their tasks even faster, Zero& uses Lark's automation tools to create workflows for completing reports, logging freezer temperatures, and reminders for taking the trash out and staff breaks. In the words of Claudia, a Tearista at Zero&, "I love Lark because it sends me notifications before my shift actually occurs and reminds me to clock in/out. And since I have my phone on me at all times, I can easily get the notifications and respond while also moving around the kitchen and being able to do the tasks I need to."
With Lark's flexible customization features and robust integration tools, Zero& has also created their own staff management system with Lark, such as shift management and a clock in/out system, so that their employees don't need to waste time toggling between external apps. By using Lark's API, Zero& is able to connect all of their systems to Lark and employees don't need another app for work.
Putting employee onboarding and experience first
Talent development, which includes recruiting, onboarding, training, and career development, is a top priority for Zero&. As Zero&'s team is rapidly growing, they onboard multiple employees weekly, which requires a strong, standardized onboarding experience. They've developed comprehensive onboarding Lark docs and onboarding videos housed in a Wiki space detailing everything a new employee needs to know, such as recipes. They also track each new employee's training progress through checklists that managers can access and rate performances.
Zero& not only values an efficient onboarding process, but also an enjoyable working experience for all of their employees. Intentionally designed with a simple interface, Lark also makes it easy for their employees to navigate the onboarding process—especially their frontline workers. With Lark's simple mobile interface and easy-to-use capabilities, their Tearistas, who have limited time to spend on their phones, can quickly open Lark and complete their daily tasks in just a few minutes. Now, they can focus their time on delivering the best experience to customers instead of spending hours manually calculating numbers.
Growing and expanding the business
"We aim to have hundreds of locations in the years to come, and we're using the Lark to standardize our playbook. So for every single new store to be opened, the launching team knows what to do, and then they don't need to reinvent the wheel," says Toby. So, every time Zero& launches a new store, they go through a standardized process for launching new stores on Lark. They track all progress on one dashboard, assign tasks to specific owners, and create deadlines to ensure each store opens on time.
From leasing to real estate and construction, they track all new store management processes on Lark Sheets, and set advanced permissions so that the correct stakeholders edit the documents.
Aaron, a Zero& store manager, mentioned that they are trying to open 20 stores at the end of the year. "We're expanding so fast, so we really need an app like Lark to track us for everything. Because it would come with multitasking and across the department. We always need a productive tool to assist us to focus on different issues. I believe Lark saves us a lot of time and energy."
"Without a unified platform that can just be easily accessible at your fingertips with your mobile phone, no matter if you are a manager or a frontline staff, I don't think it would be possible without Lark," says Toby. "Lark has been super helpful keeping our internal culture, communication, and the values we want to bring to everybody. The team is really happy with it. They're embracing it. Customers are getting better services, better products, and seeing happier staff from us."
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