Black Rock Coffee Bar is Brewing Digital Training & Operations with PlayerLync

Black Rock Coffee Bar selects PlayerLync as their digital employee training and operations platform. With the growth Black Rock Coffee Bar has planned, PlayerLync’s paperless, modern approach to learning management was a perfect fit.

At Black Rock Coffee Bar, coffee is a tradition. They have a seemingly endless supply of custom blended roasts and bean varieties, yet they seem to adhere to the age-old idea that coffee is something to be treasured. Behind this veil of tradition, lies a surprisingly modern company. The core ideology behind Black Rock Coffee Bar has always been connection. Their tagline “Fuel Your Story” is driven by their never-ending march towards community and inclusiveness. This tagline presented an interesting opportunity for PlayerLync as they realized their values align closely with Black Rock’s, “At Black Rock Coffee Bar we strive for excellent customer service and we’re delighted to see that PlayerLync has that in common with us,” said Black Rock Coffee Bar Arizona Regional Manager Bobby Kaufmann. Creating a learning platform for companies that drive a unique vision is one of the more exciting parts about PlayerLync, and Black Rock Coffee’s vision was certainly unique.

When PlayerLync was first called in, they saw lots of mixed-technologies at Black Rock Coffee Bar. On one hand, Black Rock had leveraged innovation in a fantastic way, making use of advanced brewing technologies and immersive social media campaigns. On the other hand, the modern-traditional company was still pouring personality and craftsmanship into each cup of coffee. There’s no doubt that Black Rock Coffee Bar was an ideal candidate for PlayerLync’s technology-driven training.

Black Rock Coffee Bar is a younger company that is taking the world by storm. With 50 locations already open and 20 more planned, Black Rock’s popularity is surging. Of course, this wasn’t surprising to PlayerLync, because during their updating process they got the chance to try some of their coffee. Black Rocks coffee alone merits a visit, much less their unique community-based values. Together, Black Rock Coffee Bar and PlayerLync have created an incredible eLearning program that is entirely unique to the core traditions of the company, without sacrificing modernity or innovation. “The PlayerLync team was so helpful with our deployment and responded in a very timely matter to all requests. The PlayerLync product has taken 99% of all paper forms from our stores and streamlined several key processes helping our managers out immensely” said Kaufmann.

From Paper to Digital:

The first thing on Black Rock’s mind was paper-training. They were having difficulties keeping paper-training up-to-date, interconnected, and mindful with an increasing number of locations. PlayerLync comes across these challenges often; once companies start to open more and more locations there becomes a necessity to transition training styles. Black Rock’s core philosophies and creative coffee blends have skyrocketed them to success; this success made a more interconnected and branching learning system a necessity. Beyond learning, all traditional paper-based systems were able to move into a digital format, including operational procedures, recipe cards, and new employee application processes.

Bandwidth Issues:

Of course, along with paper-training, some forms of digital training were being provided, but Black Rock was running into some issues with bandwidth. Simple digital assets loaded slowly, videos had buffering issues, and there were occasional system crashes. In a localized system, bandwidth often becomes an issue once training goes digital. With PlayerLync, they now have automatic localization and synchronization of content, allowing devices that are synced to be connection-free with no video buffering and loading.

Mobile Training vs. Mobile Integrated Training:

One of PlayerLync’s key understanding is the difference between and using mobile devices in an integrated way with your overarching system and eLearning software and simply using mobile devices. With PlayerLync technology, Black Rock was able to leverage mobility with integration to allow employee performance reviews, checklists, and in-store tasks to be directly tied to the employee learning environment. PlayerLync’s blog post over “Why Modern Learning Should be xAPI Enabled” has some good examples of the differences between integrated mobile training and mobile training. They also have a free eBookover the blend of day-to-day work and employee training using leveraged mobile platforms.

Dynamic Job Aid:

Another way that Black Rock Coffee Bar was able to utilize PlayerLync was via the use of dynamic job aid. Using PlayerLync, dynamic how-to’s, as well as guides and ingredient lists for drinks, were created in order to assist employees. Of course, all of this is measurable, trackable, and digital using xAPI-based software.

Skills Testing & Performance Evaluations:

Unlike paper-based training, modern eLearning tracks employee progress systematically. For Black Rock, this means new hires now have a learning queue guiding them to what courses they need to complete based on the position they have been hired for. The eLearning courses are then available offline on iPads and the results are presented to the employee, manager, and corporate. In a less traditional sense, PlayerLync is leveraged to measure store performance as a whole and each location’s alignment with the Black Rock brand by building digital forms for their secret shopper program. These metrics can then be measured against learning data inside PlayerLync to identify the training that leads to great results. This also provides the ability to guide teams back to brand standards to improve areas of opportunity.

What Can We Expect from Black Rock Coffee Bar and PlayerLync in the Future?

The future between these two companies is optimistic. Plans are already in the works for tons of new content including custom videos incorporating unique recipes with a creative and strong company vision. Black Rock Coffee Bar isn’t typical. They have an incredibly unique value system and a creative company brand, so working directly with them wasn’t a challenge for PlayerLync; it was an adventure.

In summary, Black Rock Coffee Bar and PlayerLync were able to:

  • Replace paper training with a dynamic eLearning platform
  • Use PlayerLync’s localization and synchronization of content to bypass bandwidth issues
  • Integrate mobile training into various in-store systems
  • Create job aids that were meaningful and measurable
  • Create a plan for the implementation of custom brand-driven content

To learn more about PlayerLync’s software and solutions, check out the brief overview video at

About PlayerLync

PlayerLync is modern learning software that integrates mobility, digital forms, content distribution, and daily performance management into a single solution that helps operational teams deliver exceptional customer experiences. Deskless workers can communicate with one another and immediately access valuable information anywhere they need it, even with no or slow network connectivity. PlayerLync enhances or replaces your current LMS by introducing a data-rich mobile learning environment to your teams so that companies can adopt the next generation of learning and performance support solutions for mobile workers.

About Black Rock Coffee

Black Rock Coffee Bar strives for excellence in everything they do in life. Their crafted drinks are a way to show respect for their customers and themselves. They are the beginning of a relationship built on trust and care that through time grows to see their stories unfold. As part of local communities, each Black Rock Coffee Bar team finds ways to serve their neighborhoods. And by doing so they help raise the bar for relationship and compassion. As the relationship grows, so does accountability. They hold each other to higher standards for the good of all. Whether it be to care for nature, care for those in need, or just a sincere desire to see others do well, they learn to expect a lot from each other and a lot for their customers. Their priority at Black Rock is not for others to know who they are and what they do… but for others to get to know them, to add fuel to their story, and to share in the journey. To find a Black Rock Coffee Bar near you visit their website