The possibility of home-based employees is just one of the several developing call center solutions that Colorado Springs-based call center operation Stellar Restaurant Solutions is creating.
According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, Stellar has grown from about 50 employees to 250 in the past year in its call center, and plans to double that to 500 this year. That will require expanding Stellar’s space behind Mr. Biggs Family Fun Center, adding about 20,000 square feet for a total of 50,000 square feet.
Founded in fall 2007, Stellar is a partnership between Bigari’s consulting company, i3, and Stellar Global Inc., an Australian global call center and outsourcing provider. The call center handles takeout and delivery calls for restaurants, from Springs-based pizza chain Borriello Brothers to national clients including Qdoba Mexican Grill and P.F. Chang’s.
Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach hailed Stellar’s growth and Stellar CEO’s Steve Bigari decision to keep Stellar’s corporate headquarters in the Springs at a news conference on Monday.
As Stellar looks to expand itself, by adding as many as 2,000 jobs in the near future, the call center is also considering a home-based workforce as part of its call center solution. Stellar will soon launch a test where a few call center agents work from home and also work at the call center one or two days a week for training. If this training program is successful, Stellar could draw workers from across the Springs, Pueblo and south Denver because employees only have to be in the office one day a week.
“Our agents take on the persona of the brand; they’re fully immersed in the culture and the food and they’re experts at what the brand does,” said Bigari. “It’s really the operational and cultural aspects that we need to test.”
Meanwhile, Stellar is still looking at establishing call centers in other cities.
“We need the redundancy of getting out from under the snow and any natural disaster,” Bigari said. “We’re actively looking at other cities for redundant centers, but our headquarters will be here.”
The decision to keep the headquarters in Colorado Springs came during changes in the business climate under Bach’s leadership. Stellar enjoys tax incentives from being in an enterprise zone, but the challenges of doing business in the Springs caused him to consider moving the headquarters to Dallas or Phoenix.
“It has become difficult to just get things done in town, to get things built and get permits, all kinds of things,” Bigari said. He credits Bach and his team with streamlining processes and delivering the message of “we want you to stay.”
Edited by Carrie Schmelkin