Trail meets Creams Cafe's Gavin King

In our new interview series, we're putting operations in the spotlight. Getting unique customer insights, straight from the front line.
Jo Stephenson-Thompson
 • 
Jul 2021
6 min read

Creams—the UK’s favourite dessert parlour—rolled out Trail across their 92 stores to centralise their compliance and digitise their records.

We caught up with Gavin King, the Audit and Compliance Manager for Creams.

We cover all the important topics, from his favourite dessert to how they maintain brand standards across the franchise.

What is your role at Creams?

I am the Audit and Compliance Manager for Creams Franchising. I’m responsible for keeping our stores, teams and customers safe. I work with our franchisees and company stores to ensure brand compliance and 5-star scores on all of our doors.  

Let’s get the hardest question out  the way…What’s your favourite Creams dessert?

I am partial to cookie dough and chocolate gelato with extra chocolate sauce.

How easy is it to keep consistent brand standards across all your franchised sites?

We’ve started working with a new food safety partner who’s helping us design a centralised brand audit to be completed on Trail. Along with our Food Safety tasks, this audit will form part of our brand blueprint for all franchises to follow.

What has been your biggest challenge at work during Covid-19?

As the Covid coordinator at Creams, keeping our teams safe has been the toughest thing.  Staying on top of the changing situation, sometimes day-by-day, has made things hard. But we have been determined to keep doing our best each step of the journey, and we can’t stop now. As we enter the next stage of the government’s road map, it’s so important we don’t relax and allow Covid to regain strength in the UK.

What’s the biggest thing that has changed in the way you operate since Covid-19?

With the introduction of Trail, we can review aspects of our stores' performance remotely. For example, we asked all our stores to share pictures of their one-way systems. We could then review which store layouts had challenges in upholding the new regulations and plan visits to those stores specifically. This helped us on a time, cost and covid safety view.

Why did you decide to implement Trail?

It was such an easy decision to roll out Trail to our 92 stores. Before the pandemic, we used paper-based record keeping. Switching to Trail meant no more issues with losing or damaging our records.

The stores use Trail to record their daily checks, e.g. temperature checks and cleaning procedures. The ability to add or remove items to the system instantly was a hit with all the stores.

And we now use Trail as a forum for sharing training videos and important updates.

Do you have a sense of where Trail has saved time/money?

We can now do things instantly that previously would have to go to the printers and be posted out to stores. That process itself can be time-consuming, not to mention the costs of printing record books.  

The last 12 months of Covid changes have required quite a few adjustments along the way, but it has meant Boris can make an announcement at 4pm, and by 4.05pm we can issue a company update and track if everyone has seen it.

As Trail can be used with any mobile device, including a phone, it has meant teams can update Trail anywhere in the store, ensuring the records are fully up to date.

Creams Cafe customer testimonial



What customers are saying

"Trail has given us realtime insight into every facility across our estate, so we can react to maintenance issues before they become large."
Scott Vernon
Chief Financial Officer
"We turned our Costa Checks and various compliance forms into regular tasks on Trail, which has contributed to some of the best scores we have had."
Delroy Daniels
Operations Director
"It’s the app I can’t live without in my working day."
Beth Cole
Assistant General Manager
"We rarely provide training to our guys, they just bought into the idea straight away. I love that I have a full visual of everyone's activity in front of me."
Katrin Toots
Compliance Manager
“Probably my favorite system. The uptake on it was so quick, and support has been great.”
Matt Pinchard
HR, Systems & Compliance Manager
“The EHO visited almost every site last year and every store was given a five star rating."
Jay Brown
Operations Chef

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