Verhage is a franchise company with 42 low-key restaurants for all eating occasions. They have been working with L1NDA for many years on employee scheduling. Both companies form a tight employee planning team, because the making of the schedules, the communication with the employees, and the payments have to run smoothly and flawlessly at all the branches.
Wesley Fok started working at Verhage when he was 14 years old. When he was 21, he already had his first location and three years later his second. Since 2020, he has been the director and owner of the franchise chain. Wesley talks passionately about the company. He explains why Verhage is such a special chain and why L1NDA fits in so well with it.
Verhage is a ‘modest’ business
Verhage is a real family business. Founded by two brothers in 1967 in Rotterdam, the company grew steadily to 42 branches. These evolved from traditional snack bars to beautifully furnished, but accessible restaurants where you can both ‘eat in and take away’ and for every meal of the day. The range includes high-quality products that are easy to prepare. All the outlets are supplied by their wholesaler: Verhage Foodservice. This wholesaler was established in the late 70s to distribute homemade croquettes. Today, Verhage Foodservice distributes over 700 different products from almost 100 suppliers to all its outlets.
It could have had many more branches, but the company deliberately chose a conservative strategy. It is a ‘modest’ business. Wesley: “For us, business is not just about making money. Making money is the result of good entrepreneurship. Just growing and making more profit is not our goal. We want our entrepreneurs to be well off. It is not for nothing that half of all franchisees once started as employees. And because I once had that opportunity, I also want to give it to others. The number of guests is much more important to us than the number of branches. And because we don’t want to lose sleep over our business, we consciously choose the best solution in everything we do.”
L1NDA is there for the employees
When Wesley still had his own locations, he was confronted daily with the amount of time it took to make a schedule. Together with the franchise board, he looked for a solution. They consciously chose L1NDA, because they only want to work with the best partners. “There was a wide choice of employee scheduling solutions. But they were all too focused on profit optimization and saving on payroll costs. Of course, this can also be done with L1NDA, but L1NDA is primarily there for our employees. This was a real difference and very important to us.
Our employees work with L1NDA every day and do everything with the app: viewing their schedule, reporting days off, and swapping with colleagues, etc. They don’t have to come to us to ask for time off. We always say: if L1NDA agrees, it’s OK! It works fine, our employees are very happy and it saves us a lot of time. ”
Preferred supplier and linked to Nmbrs
Although it’s not an obligation, the vast majority (85%) of the branches use L1NDA. L1NDA is the preferred supplier and linked to the accounting system Nmbrs. Nmbrs is an HR and payroll software supplier with which L1NDA has had a secure API connection for years. Companies working with Nmbrs can synchronize all their data with one push of a button. At Verhage, Nmbrs is linked to an even larger accounting system. As a result, the entire financial administration is fully automated. With just a few actions, we have come full insight, so that the franchisees can focus completely on their guests. Because Verhage’s philosophy is: if the guests are happy, the rest will follow.
Daily insight into labour costs vs. turnover
Each branch has daily insight into the ratio of payroll costs to turnover so that adjustments can be made on a weekly or monthly basis. Thanks to the integrations with their financial system, remuneration is a piece of cake. The head office can set KPIs based on the experiences in the various branches. With the help of these KPIs, (new) franchise owners can check their operational management and adjust it if necessary and possible.
Wesley is very clear about L1NDA’s service and support: “We really need your service and support. For example, if we open a new branch, a completely new L1NDA account has to be set up. The support we get is always fast and effective. I can’t remember ever not being supported by the people at L1NDA.”
People are at the heart of it all
Just like L1NDA, Verhage puts people first. The business does a lot for its 400 employees. After all, it has been proven that businesses with satisfied employees are more successful than others. For good communication and to ensure that employees are always well-informed, there is Verhage Social, a mobile-first employee platform for internal communication, onboarding, e-learning, and surveys. This is used to maintain contact with employees and to communicate about all kinds of things in and about the company. Every year, the company organizes a big New Year’s party for all employees. There is also a digital knowledge bank and extensive training programs.
It is a company to be proud of. Recently they opened a branch in Papendrecht and before the end of the year, they hope to open their 43rd branch in Breda. Verhage is a great business to work for and to develop perfect staff solutions for so that everyone can go to work happy every morning.
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