Trend of the Month: April 2014

01 Apr, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Customer Facing Technology growing in popularity within the Food Service Industry

 

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According to an October 2013 study by the National Restaurant Association, we are seeing the growth of consumers’ acceptance and use of customer facing technology within the Food Service Industry. According to the study 63% adults use restaurant-related technology to order, make reservations and pay their bill via smart phones. Some restaurants and bars are now going one step further to offer quests tech gadgets at the table to enhance their experience. Chili’s National Restaurant recently ran a 5 month test with table technology for guests to order, pay and play $0.99 games while they wait. The results — 20% increase in sales.

We have already seen some basic recent new technologies for purchasing with credit cards in small businesses. This trend will quickly trickle down to restaurants.

Forecasters from Forbes have put together a list of technologies that they expect to see gaining popularity in restaurants:

  1. Touchscreen kiosks for placing & customizing orders
  2. Mobile ordering applications
  3. Tabletop tablets for ordering and paying
  4. Digital games and entertainment at the table
  5. Mobile apps rewarding customers for loyalty and increasing social media interactions
  6. Mobile-pay apps to pay from a smart phone or tablet
  7. Mobile apps for loyalty/reward programs
  8. Apps for virtual giving and donations – allowing a portion of the guests bill to be donated to charity

As technology based applications quickly become the norm in providing a high level of customer experience in restaurants, we will also see an increase in technology to advance the behind the scenes aspects of your restaurants and bars. There are many options for scheduling employees that offer different benefits, however unless you are using What Time Do I Work.com online scheduling software, you are wasting time and money. What Time Do I Work.com online scheduling software simplifies the scheduling process by storing employee availability, preferences, skills and contact information in the program for easy access when creating schedules. Additionally the software offers real-time labor calculations, automatic overtime and conflict alerts, as well as communication features allowing your employees to own their schedules.

Try our scheduling software free for the next 30 days and see how much time and money you can save!


The Top 3 traits of the Most Successful Bar and Restaurant Managers!

26 Mar, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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Managers of bars and restaurants have a long laundry list of responsibilities that are integral to the success of their business; the most successful managers excel these 3 areas:

  • Relationship with coworkers
  • Customer service
  • Attention to detail

In this blog article we will review what makes a successful manager.

Your customers’ first impression of your business is when they first step foot into your business. However it is the full experience including the food, service and atmosphere that remains with the customer long after they leave. Managers play a very important role in providing your customers with the best experience.

 

Relationship with employees:

  1. Treat employees with respect and remember to give good feedback – without a dedicated and supporting staff, your manager and business cannot be successful
  2. Give staff clear instructions – managers maintain the consistency in customer experience and clearly instruct employees about processes and policies. If there are changes that your staff is not aware of, customers can get a bad impression of your business
  3. Maintain a high quality staff  –   managers must support and praise the hardest workers, while weeding out the employees that aren’t performing (most importantly a manager should never discipline an employee in front of customers)
  4. Be a leader and set an example – managers must follow the same set of rules and policies as your entire staff without exceptions

 

 Relationship with customers:

  1. Meet and greet – businesses can only improve if they solicit customer feedback and respond immediately to all feedback to ensure that customers feel as though their feedback is valuable
  2. Respect that each customer will have their own opinions – while it might not be true that the customers are always right, managers should look to resolve any situations without argument or insinuating that the customer might be wrong
  3. Ensure that all customers leave happy – word of mouth marketing is very powerful, especially when the feedback isn’t too great, managers must remember this and strive to ensure that no customers leave unhappy

 

Attention to Business:

  1. Attention to detail in all aspects of the business – managers must have an understanding of what is going on in the back and front of house, to set expectations and handle any potential problems before they become a problem
  2. Do not ignore problems – managers should know inventory levels as well as any issues with equipment to ensure that speedy repairs to help provide each customer with the same high level service
  3. Efficiently manage day to day tasks – managers are responsible for all scheduling of their staff, and the pros use online employee scheduling software like What Time Do I Work.com, that records time-off requests and provides automatic alerts for scheduling conflicts and overtime hours to help manage labor costs.

 

Try What Time Do I Work.com today and get your first 30 days free with our no obligation free trial (you don’t even have to enter a credit card to start scheduling).


What is a Signature Cocktail (and why you need them too!)

17 Mar, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

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According to Wikipedia a Signature Cocktail “is any unique or original drink that expresses the nature of the person or establishment creating it.” Signature cocktails typically incorporate local ingredients and culture; match a theme or color for the establishment; and represents the customs of the local area. A signature cocktail is a distinction from your competitors and gives you an opportunity to enhance the experience of your customers.

Before you start creating signature cocktails you should look at current trends. The new fad is all about juicing, try incorporating more juices into your signature drink to reach this portion of the population. We are also seeing a lot of bars and restaurants offering bacon in the drinks, adding a new flavor. Try experimenting with these trends to offer drinks that appeal to a large audience.

When you go to start making your signature cocktail you will find that there are many ways to make a drink your own; you can even make your own liqueur by infusing fruits, herbs, or edible flowers into your favorite liquor to create a truly original drink. You should try combining complementary flavors like sweet & sour or sweet and salty. Another great way to create a signature drink is to substitute some ingredients and play with the recipe of other drinks, inevitably your drinks will come down to trial and error, but these steps will help until you find the perfect balance.

To find the extra time to experiment with your own unique cocktail, you can use online employee scheduling software. What Time Do I Work.com has helped many clients cut the time spent creating and updating schedules by more than 50%. This affordable scheduling software will make your scheduling a breeze and help you uncover unnecessary labors costs that you might not be aware of. With automated labor cost calculations, scheduling conflicts warnings and overtime shift notifications, you can significantly cut your labor costs. Try it today and get your first 30 days free with our no obligation free trial.


History of Bars and Fun Alcohol Trivia

12 Mar, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Alcohol/bars have been a part of human civilization as far back as ancient Babylon, with records of high priced watered down beer like beverages served in alehouses. Originally alcohol, specifically wine, was primarily used as a medicinal agent, but has expanded overtime. In the United States, over the past century, alcohol has gone from an illegal enterprise during Prohibition to one of the most glamorous and profitable businesses today.

We can trace the traditional concepts of bars back to ancient Greece and Rome. Throughout cities and the countryside, taverns began serving alcoholic beverages with food to travelers. As time passed and more people gathered there, these taverns began to expand their businesses to include gaming as well as other entertainment. However, with the fall of the Roman Empire, the number of these taverns began to decrease and only offer food, lodging and stables for travelers.

In Saxon times, “public houses” came into existence in England, and became popular gathering places for business and personal meetings. When New Englanders began moving to the New World, “public houses” were such a large part of everyday life, that in many new colonies the town began building these (called taverns) before churches. In many towns, as far back as the 1650s it was illegal to not have a tavern offering a place for food, drink and lodging. Taverns are very integral in the fabric of this country, and it is said that the spirit of revolution that freed the new world from England’s rule was sparked in taverns.

By the 1800s, the purpose of taverns transformed into what we now call hotels, and at the same time many “saloons” appeared on every street corner. With such high numbers of “saloons” the profitability of these businesses saw a sharp decline. So to increase profits, illegal activities began being offered to patrons. By World War I Americans were so upset about the activities happening in saloons (and from intoxicated townsfolk), that the 18th Amendment was passed. The 18th Amendment made the manufacturing, sale and transportation/importation of alcohol illegal. However this was hard to enforce, as “speakeasies” and moonshining gained popularity. So after only 14 years this amendment was appealed and replaced by the 21st Amendment in 1933, making alcohol legal again, but it brought a heavy list of stiff taxes and regulations that we still use to this day.

Alcohol Fun Facts:

  • Alcoholic beverages have been produced for over 12,000 years
  • Distillation was developed during the Middle Ages and alcohol was called “Agua Vitae” meaning the water of life- in fact it was required at all Treaty Signings at the time and it was also served with breakfast.
  • In the 1800’s beauticians used alcohol for beauty enhancers:  Rum was used to clean hair and thought to improve the health of hair and Brandy was used to strengthen the roots of hair.
  • The origins of “Toasting” at special occasions began with the Ancient Romans who would place toasted bread in wine to wish good luck
  • Early beer recipes included some or all of the following: poppy seeds, mushrooms, aromatics, honey, sugar, bay leaves, butter and bread crumbs
  • In Colonial New England it was common practice to put barrels of cider outside during the cold months, once they removed all the frozen ice the cider had a much higher alcohol content
  • The United States has the highest minimum drinking age in the world
  • Alcohol is also considered to be a flavor enhancer (the highest proof alcohol is still used in medicine today) – the alcohol beverage alone contains no cholesterol
  • One of every five glasses of wine consumed in the world is Sake
  • Some Restaurants provide free non-alcoholic beverages to Designated Drivers

 

What Time Do I Work.com is an online scheduling software designed with benefits for many industries, including the bar and nightclub industries. As a bar scheduling software, the program offers automatic alerts for scheduling conflicts or overtime shifts, reducing the amount of time spent scheduling each week. Additional benefits include one-click scheduling communications to your entire staff and real-time labor cost calculations. What Time Do I Work.com software also manages your employee availability and time-off requests by storing the information for review and automatically populating approved requests into the schedule. Sign up today and try it out for the next 30 days FREE!


The History of Scheduling & 5 Scheduling Myths Busted

10 Mar, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Scheduling began its origins in ancient times when shift work made its first appearance with the need for kingdoms and military watchmen to stand vigilant 24 hours a day. Over time shift working began to growthrough different industries, and in the late 1800s starting with the invention of the light bulb and expansion of electricity, it was now possible to have employees working even through the darkest nights.

With the rising costs of fixed assets and the increased time required to start up machinery, it became more financially sound for certain industries, such as steel mills, iron foundries and textile mills, to have non-stop production. At this time the first traditional models of workforce scheduling appeared, splitting up workers into rotating day and night shift groups. The first schedules were very simple and consisted of working 12 hour shifts with half the staff scheduled to work at night, and the remaining staff scheduled to work during the day. This workforce scheduling would continue for 13 straight days per employee with 1 day off before being scheduled for the opposite shift; however this resulted in a high level of work related accidents and injuries.

In 1866 the first industry unions began pressuring businesses and the government to limit the number of work hours to 8 per day, however at this time the idea was met with a tremendous amount of resistance. It wasn’t until 1933 that congress passed their first labor act, “National Industrial Recovery Act” detailing minimum wage, maximum work hours and collective bargaining. This act was later repealed and replaced with the “Wagner Act” that went much further by also defining rules and regulations for part-time workers and overtime requirements.

In the 1960s 12 hour shifts again became popular to employees looking to complete their work during fewer days, increasing time with family and friends. This continues today, but has become more complicated with employers offering different lengths of shifts, and then scheduling their workforce to overlap for portions of the shifts. Due to this paradigm shift, scheduling software like What Time Do I Work.com has become a required tool to ensure that businesses of all industries are adequately staffed, while taking less time to create the schedule. This is the future of scheduling!


Myths of Scheduling Software:

Employee scheduling software is expensive

What Time Do I Work.com is affordably priced and offers special pricing based on company size. On average users spend about 75% less time creating and dealing with their weekly schedules, and end up saving themselves and their employees many wasted hours each week.. What Time Do I Work.com employee scheduling software saves time throughout all aspects of scheduling, with unique features such as our automatic conflict alerts and approved time-off requests that are auto populated on schedule.

Employee scheduling programs are hard to use

Employee scheduling itself can be difficult, but What Time Do I Work.com has specifically designed the software for ease of use. Additionally once you sign up (and anytime you need assistance) there is a wizard to walk you through the features, and to help you add all your information into the program. With our import wizard you can upload all your employee information right to the program, instead of entering the information manually. So set up is a breeze too!

Scheduling software is used by large companies

What Time Do I Work.com scheduling software was designed for all companies, no matter if you have 5 or 500 employees. If you have to create a weekly schedule, then you need scheduling software. Our system has many features that benefit companies of all sizes. The program allows your employees to enter their time off and availability requests directly through the software. This means you no longer need to remember everyone’s requests, they’re saved in the system for you to approve and they are auto populated on the schedule. Once the schedule is created it’s posted online where all employees have access to view it, eliminating countless phone calls asking “What Time Do I Work?”

Scheduling programs require constant and time intensive updates

What Time Do I Work.com provides employee scheduling online supported with secure logins. There are no downloads required, so you can access and create schedules from wherever you are in the world. Also our enhancements to the program are seamlessly added without any disruption of service.

Online employee scheduling programs require long term contracts

What Time Do I Work.com offers monthly pay-as-you-go billing; there are no contracts and no hassles. We‘re so confident that you will love our software that we’re offering the first 30 days free!

Sign up for your no obligation free trial today!