Shakey’s Pizza Asia Ventures, Inc. is reassigning employees to stores closer to their homes to reduce travel time and to ensure its stores are “crisis-ready.”

The company said the move would help mitigate operation disruption during “increasingly volatile times,” with quarantine restrictions brought by the pandemic continue to affect commuters.

“The ultimate goal is for 80% of our workforce to spend no more than an hour on the road,” Shakey’s President and Chief Executive Officer Vicente L. Gregorio said in a statement on Friday.

“Plans are already in place – from fully mapped out store reassignments to new hiring directives ensuring that new employees live within a store’s vicinity,” he added.

Under “Project Nerdy: Near and Ready,” over 100 employees have been relocated to branches near their homes since June 2020.

The company said the reassignments have led to a 20% decrease in its employees’ average travel time to work. Seven out of 10 of its employees now reportedly spend 30 minutes or less commuting.

“I spend only 30 minutes on the road, sometimes less. I am even able to walk home. That’s my form of exercise. I get to spend more time with my family and rest longer,” Shakey’s Aseana Branch Store Manager Rashidi Forteza said, adding that it used to take her two hours to go to work.

Shakey’s also said community-based store employees also help build better rapport with their customers, allowing these stores to have a “sense of family” experience.

“As we seek to expand, we will always give incumbent employees the opportunity to move to even nearer stores, further reducing their travel time and helping them create work-life balance,” Mr. Gregorio said.

On Friday, shares of Shakey’s at the stock market closed unchanged at P8.40 each. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte