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Client Success Story:
Danielle Alderson

Danielle Alderson is the owner-operator at the Chick-fil-A Eastpoint restaurant in Baltimore, Maryland.

Danielle has worked at Chick-fil-A for 34 years and has been an owner-operator for 20 years.


The Challenge

“When I started [as] a franchise owner, our volume was a tenth of what it is now,” Danielle remembers. “You start as a franchise owner doing everything. [I needed] to be able to make sure [I was] spending [our] resources in other ways, and so [I] would take up the slack. 

“As the business grew, there were still little things that would fall through the cracks.”

Danielle noticed she was having a hard time managing her calendar and four email accounts — one with close to 20,000 emails. She needed someone who could help her organize her email accounts and find what she needed when she needed it — specifically when planning their operator retreat.

“Sometimes just calling the hotels can take time,” Danielle says. “So it was like, ‘How do I find time in my day when I've already got a lot of the things that I needed to take off my plate?’”

That’s when she met single dad and owner-operator Rob Herold on her way to Chick-fil-A’s NEXT annual conference.


“I was on a plane going to Chick-fil-A NEXT, sitting next to an operator who [uses] BELAY’s services,” Danielle says. “And I was like, ‘How do you find time to do this? How do you do all this stuff and not have this fall through the cracks?’ 
“And that was kind of where we started with that conversation. [He] could not say enough amazing things.”


Enter BELAY Virtual Assistant April Swiger.


The Solution

And as soon as April was on board, she immediately cleaned up the metaphorical junk drawer that was her email account.

“That was big when I started to see that,” Danielle says. “There’s still a lot to do just in the emails, [but] April showed me two or three new resources to use that [made] messaging a little bit quicker for me because for me writing is time-consuming.”

One of the resources April introduced Danielle to was Voxer, and Danielle loved it so much that she has now implemented it with her team and uses it on her 40-minute commutes.

“One of the first things that Danielle wanted me to do were the cards, which was a cool and unique task to do,” April adds. “She'll get emails every single day from Chick-fil-A that have prayer requests on them or new baby praises. And I'll write cards to the people on the list and mail them off. 

“That's been really neat, just the special touch of sending that. Danielle will get messages in her inbox of people who were so moved by it, and it's cool to see the impact of that. I think I've written close to 700 or something cards over the years.

“As time has gone on, [we’ve become] more efficient with things like keeping the team informed, posting daily labor reports, food-cost reports, time-punch reports, going over those every day, making sure there are no violations and letting them know if there are. 

“That's something that I can knock out pretty quickly, and it saved [Danielle] so much time, which makes me feel wonderful.”


The Result

“The efficiency and professionalism I get from April is [something] I didn’t know I needed,” Danielle says.
“April is professional, and she does her job. April picking up these tasks has given me freedom and more time to do things with my team.”


“There are only so many hours in the day, and when you've got a multimillion-dollar business that Chick-fil-A is individual, you need to grow leaders and you can't spend time with everyone. I've got to find time. 

“[It] has been such a valuable resource [to have] April taking some of [those tasks] off [my plate]. April understands me in all the right ways.”

Not only has the help of a BELAY Virtual Assistant given Danielle more time to refocus her energy on other tasks, but it has also helped accelerate her restaurant’s growth strategy.

“April is a pivotal part of that,” Danielle explains. “As we keep growing, we have to consistently evaluate roles as tasks. I have four or five people in my business who don’t touch chicken. Years ago, I was doing all of that and now I’ve got [these] people to do it because of how [much we’ve grown]. 

“I can actually think and plan, and when I do need to document and protect the business, April can help me. And when I need assistance with launching things, April is there for that as well. 

“When I’m better, then I’m better for my team.”


Meet the Specialist

BELAY Virtual Assistant, April Swiger



Virtual Assistant