Building and Empowering a Nationwide Community: Sorbet Moodle Case Study

Sorbet, established in 2005, is a nationwide franchised beauty therapy hub with over 200 stores across South Africa which does up to a staggering 320 000 treatments per month. From manicures to pedicures to skin care and body massages, good hair days and bad hair days (and unwanted hair days), they serve up a double scoop of ‘amazing’ all week long.


Sorbet founder and serial entrepreneur, Ian Fuhr, believes the brand’s key differentiator has been its focus on people and building a community. He realised early on that the only way to stand out in the competitive beauty salon industry was to create a culture that focused on people first. The brand proposition of the salons is to focus on a bright and fresh look and feel, and to offer guests a consistently high level of service, delivered with a uniquely positive staff attitude.

Fuhr strongly believes that people should approach work as a calling. “You come to work to serve, and if you serve well you will make money. It is not just a job.” He has personally run the induction training on the Sorbet brand philosophy and culture for all 3 000 staff since the brand’s launch, with refresher courses every 18 months. This message of service and culture needs constant reinforcement to achieve scale.

The Situation

Sorbet employs and empowers over 3 000 people (citizens) who are sole breadwinners for their families. Head office required a system to manage all their citizen information that could then be linked to each Franchise Partner. In conjunction, it was a business priority to implement a training platform whereby Sorbet could train and engage with their citizens nationwide. It was an important criteria that the training platform could easily be managed and agile enough to be customised as the business evolved.

One of the core pillars of Sorbet’s culture is the important focus on upskilling and educating their citizens in a standardised form; equipping them to be able to provide their guests with the best treatment and experience; and continuing the core ethos of customer service. Sorbet was looking for a solution that enabled their learners to access training content 24/7 and self-study at any time of the day or night. In addition, Sorbet needed a solution to manage, measure and report on commission levels achieved by all learners registered on the platform.


The Solution

Sorbet did a lot of research prior their commitment to TTRO, the Group already uses Microsoft Teams, 365, One Drive and SharePoint, so Moodle was a natural fit for their organisation.

Sorbet had a vision around enhancing the learning and training experience for their Franchise Partners and citizens. As such, Moodle was selected as the desired platform to develop this vision. TTRO came on board to support Sorbet with turning this vision into a reality through the development of a customised learning journey, the integration of an existing point-of-sale and online booking system, and integrated virtual classroom capabilities for Zoom and MS Teams within the Moodle platform. TTRO fully developed the look and feel of the platform in alignment with the Sorbet brand.

As part of this customised journey, TTRO and Sorbet collaborated in developing and implementing certificates, as well as over 80 badges linked to performance on the platform, driving rewards and recognition.

TTRO offered further support with additional customised requirements for file uploads and authentication workflow authorisations, to provide peace of mind in terms of system access and administration.


The Impact

The platform is available to all Sorbet Franchise Partners and their staff, and can be used for multiple functions. Sorbet now hosts its own national training calendar with online links, and promotes its brands in terms of promos and new products and treatments, ensuring all Franchise Partners have equal access to the latest information and training content.

To help drive adoption and participation, all Sorbet’s current and future training has the added incentive of training badges issued on completion which are linked to learners’ performance and upskilling actions visible on their personal profiles.

“The future opportunities are endless, and we look forward to this journey with the team from TTRO,” Aline Venter, Project Lead, said after the learner platform rollout.


“Together with the team from TTRO, we have catapulted our citizens and Franchise Partners into the future, putting them at the forefront of taking responsibility for their own development journey by equipping them with the necessary tools.” said Venter.

Following successful development and deployment of the Sorbet platform, TTRO continues to support the Sorbet vision and journey, and is fully appreciative of the professionalism of the incredible Sorbet team.


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