Six advantages of automating your restaurant staff schedules

2/8/17 7:00 AM Natalie Appleton

If you asked your managers, ‘What’s the one task you do every week that you dread, and that takes you off the floor for far too long?’ there’s a good chance they won’t even have to think before answering:

'The Schedule.'

For many restaurants, scheduling manually takes hours every week, and in the end, it may not be serving anyone very well, leaving a trail of inefficiencies as well as disgruntled team members and customers behind it.

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Topics: Restaurant Scheduling

Surviving winter: making the most of unpredictable weather

1/17/17 7:00 AM Natalie Appleton

Is there any other industry so instantly and dramatically affected by the weather?

In the restaurant world, we bless it, we curse it, and in the end, the best we can do is prepare for it.

Fortunately, despite Mother Nature throwing us one helluva winter, these days it’s much easier to keep your restaurant and staff on track even when the snow is blowing your hair back.

And hey, we might even have a few tricks to turn that blizzard into an upsell opportunity…

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Topics: Improving Restaurant Profit

Thinking of offering online ordering? What your restaurant needs to know.

1/10/17 7:00 AM Natalie Appleton

That’s it. This is the year your restaurant is going to tackle—er, embrace—online ordering. Trouble is, you’re just not sure where to start. And when you begin to look into it, you get lost in the proverbial rabbit hole.

What kind of system?

Should we deliver?

What’s the ROI?

So many questions. So many decisions.

To help give you an expert introduction into all the things you should consider as you venture into online ordering, we spoke with Charlie Jeffers, CEO at TakeOut Technologies.

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Topics: Improving Restaurant Profit

Time theft: who's really doing the stealing?

12/7/16 7:00 AM Natalie Appleton

Most of the time, when we talk about time theft, we’re hearing it from the point of view of owners: Employees are skirting the rules to show they’ve worked more hours than they really have, and that’s costing me money.

What we don’t always think about is the other kind of time theft, the kind where staff are being stolen from.

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Topics: Restaurant Culture, Time and Attendance

Three ways to boost your restaurant sales this December

11/29/16 7:00 AM Natalie Appleton

Another round? Why not.

A bottle of the Malbec? Absolutely.

Friday lunch on the company? Sounds great!

This spirit of indulgence that seems boundless in December is the stuff of dreams for restaurant managers.

There’s no doubt this time of year puts everyone in a spend-y state of mind. So, while that’s taking place why don’t we walk through a few ways to help drive profits even higher this quarter by simply doing what you already do better.

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Topics: Improving Restaurant Profit

When planning your staff holiday party don't forget about your culture

11/16/16 7:00 AM Jason Wagenaar

The best Christmas party Ameego ever had.

Sounds like the title of the kind of story you write on the first day back at school after Christmas holidays. Except I’m sure I would have spelled Ameego wrong.  

And when I was nine a ‘party’ still involved everyone bringing cookies from home, and maybe a mix tape with Madonna and Hall and Oates. Classic.

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Topics: Restaurant Culture

Six do’s and don’ts of restaurant training across multiple languages

11/9/16 8:00 AM Natalie Appleton

Sous chefs and expeditors, resos and high tops.

The safe internal temperature of chicken.

Squirrel (the POS system).

Restaurants are a world of their own, with a language and safety standards you just won’t find anywhere else. Given all that, it’s hard enough for people born here to find their place in the kitchen or front of house, never mind for those who speak English as a second language.

With some estimating that more than a third of kitchen and fast food workers are non-natives, the restaurant industry enjoys incredible diversity, but also challenges when it comes to training.

How can your restaurant break through language barriers to successfully train and develop team members who aren’t native English speakers?

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Topics: Restaurant Culture

Seven restaurant survival tips for the holidays

11/1/16 7:00 AM Natalie Appleton

They’re coming!  We're talking about:

  1. American Thanksgiving
  2. Christmas
  3. New Year’s

And this year, your restaurant is going to sail through the holiday season so gracefully you could do it with your eyes closed and one mittened hand behind your back.

Here’s how.

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Topics: Restaurant Culture

Seattle passes secure scheduling law: is your city next?

10/25/16 7:00 AM Natalie Appleton

While worker advocates were celebrating Sept. 19 as Seattle became the second US city to pass a law that regulates how large restaurants and food chains schedule staff, restaurant owners in this Washington city—and beyond—were crunching numbers and asking a single question: Now how are we going to pull this off?

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Topics: Restaurant Scheduling

The kitchen staff crisis: what can be done about it?

10/12/16 6:00 AM Natalie Appleton

When it comes to finding and keeping great kitchen staff—a challenge that’s reached near crisis levels in some areas in recent years—the restaurant industry faces a hard and simple truth: Wages are too low and the hours are too long.

Or is that the reason kitchens can’t keep staff? 

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Topics: Restaurant Staff Hiring, Restaurant Culture

How can restaurants win over sports fans?

10/4/16 7:00 AM Natalie Appleton

When it comes to sports fans, we know this much:

  1. They like to watch the game live.
  2. They like to drink while they watch the game.
  3. They like to eat while they watch the game.

In short - sports fans are good for business.

What do you need to know about getting more sports fans in your door?

To give you a sense of who your sports fans are, the impact they can have on your restaurant, and how you can best prepare for them, we’ve profiled four unique sports species: NFL fans, fans of that other kind of football, MLB fans, and NHL fans.

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Topics: Restaurant Scheduling, Guest Experience

Considering free wifi for guests? Only if you want to increase your profits!

9/28/16 7:00 AM Natalie Appleton

But the guests will hang around for hours without buying anything.

But I’ll have bartenders messing around on Facebook while drink chits are flying in.

But it’s going to cost money.

When it comes to considering going wireless in your restaurant, there are often a lot of ‘buts’.

At first.

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Topics: Improving Restaurant Profit

Planning your 2017 restaurant budget? Five common mistakes to avoid

9/21/16 7:00 AM Natalie Appleton

Yes, it’s that time of year again.

The time when restaurant owner/operators hole themselves up for days with charts and reports and more charts and reports to come up with the magic numbers that will determine how this restaurant is going to swim for yet another year.

While we all know it’s a gruelling and time-consuming task you’ve done time and again, you might think it’s pretty straight forward: Here’s our sales. Here’s our costs. Here’s our profits. Let’s do it.

And yet every year, for many restaurants, ‘unexpected’ numbers creep through cracks and targets go off-course and/or unnoticed by managers.

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Topics: Restaurant Labor Control, Restaurant Sales and Labor Forecasting

How Generation Z will shake up the restaurant industry

9/13/16 7:00 AM Natalie Appleton

They told you that Gen X-ers wanted experiences over stuff.

They said Gen X-ers believed in working to live.

They said Gen X had a short attention span and they wanted everything, now, on their phones.

Well, forget all that, because it’s nearly Gen Z’s turn, and they’re an entirely different bunch.

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Topics: Restaurant Culture

Top three things to consider when buying restaurant scheduling software

9/7/16 7:00 AM Natalie Appleton

There has to be a better way.

You’ve said it before.

Your managers say it all the time as they emerge like zombies bearing this week’s schedule after four hours in the stuffy back office littered with time-off requests written on napkins.

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Topics: Restaurant Scheduling, Manager Time Savings