Schedulefly Stories

Growing a software business one restaurant at a time

Month: February 2010 (Page 1 of 2)

BC Restaurant News: Schedulefly Engages Restaurant Employees, Making Scheduling And Staff Communication Easier

An article in the Feb/Mar 2010 issue of BC Restaurant News talks about how Linkedin, Facebook and Schedulefly are using their social applications to help restaurants find, manage and communicate with their staff. We are thrilled to be included in such great company!

“…Schedulefly may just be the tool that gets rid of your staffing headaches once and for all. It makes staffing your restaurant easy and efficient, and engages everyone in your business.”

Check out the one page article below.

You can also find the BC Restaurant News article online – page 13.

Cool Article!

The Faces of Schedulefly…

One thing we’ve learned is that people care a lot more about what our users say about Schedulefly than what we say about it. In fact, we’re very focused on letting our users do as much talking as possible for us – they are the true “Faces of Schedulefly.” After all, who cares what we think? We’re admittedly biased. And we’re passionate about what we do, which is cool, but our passion is not nearly as contagious as the passion oozing from the people that use Schedulefly in their restaurants every day.

So instead of a filling up our web site with a bunch of content we’ve written about us, we prefer to share stories from our users. Which led us to buy a cool Flip video cam, which we send around to customers. We don’t tell them what to say. Not even a hint. We simply ask them to say what they think about Schedulefly. And we have over 40 quick clips now, with many more on the way. Here’s a fun “movie” I made, with quick snippets from a bunch of different clips…

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=9703628&server=vimeo.com&show_title=0&show_byline=0&show_portrait=0&color=00adef&fullscreen=1

And here’s a cool display of all of the videos we have to date – they’re all short and sweet, so check a few out….

http://vimeo.com/hubnut/?user_id=user1586837&color=00adef&background=000000&fullscreen=1&slideshow=0&stream=channel&id=56672&server=vimeo.com

The Schedulefly Flip cam is traveling all over the U.S. and Canada, coming home every time with more fun, cool user videos. Stay tuned for more….

Wil @ Schedulefly

Got Coverage?

About a year ago, a lot of our quick service and fast casual restaurant customers were asking for a bar graph view of their staff schedules. They wanted an easy way to see of they had any gaps in coverage. We thought a simple graph view would be useful to most or all of our restaurant customers. So we did it. Since you can color code your shifts, the graph is very easy to view.

We’ve had it for a year now – I’m not sure all of our customers have checked it out yet. So here you go….

http://screenr.com/Content/assets/screenr_1116090935.swf

Keepin’ It Simple & Fun,

The Schedulefly Team

"Schedulefly has taken scheduling & communicating with our staff to another level…"

This is a cool testimonial from Scott Young at The Palm – Tribeca in NYC:

“Schedulefly has taken scheduling & communicating with our staff to another level. Rather than using an Excel spreadsheet and “saving as” I can copy the previous week’s schedule and rotate my stations in a matter of minutes. I also find it very easy to look at a schedule and see who is available to work an extra shift or who not to schedule. Controlling labor costs with Schedulefly is easier than any other program out there. Schedulefly also has allowed us to communicate important training documents, pictures of new menu items and wines to our staff. Trading shifts amongst restaurant employees has always been a tricky thing. Did both employees sign off on it? Did a manager sign off on it? With Schedulefly it’s all done online and in real time.”

Also, check out all of the documents that Scott and his team conveniently have available to view from anywhere, any time, online. There are actually more than 30 documents, so one screen shot only shows about 1/3 of their list! None of these documents ever has to be printed and provided to all employees. No waste. No mess. No staff meeting just to hand out a bunch of paper. Each document takes just one click to upload and to alert all employees to view it.

It Used to be "The Pits" Trying to Communicate with Everybody…

Eric Harris is the GM of The Pit in Raleigh, N.C. He’s got over 100 restaurant staff members to help serve up the masses who come to taste mouth watering barbecue cooked up by Ed Mitchell. With so many employees, it used to be impossible to communicate important information with all of them at one time.

But that immediately changed when he started using Schedulefly’s easy restaurant employee scheduling & communication app. Now he can type one sentence and send it out to everybody as an email, a text, and a Message Wall post – with a single click. But don’t take it from us – here’s what he has to say:

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=9645380&server=vimeo.com&show_title=0&show_byline=0&show_portrait=0&color=00adef&fullscreen=1

Keepin’ It Simple & Fun,

The Schedulefly Team

Schedulefly’s Interview On UrbanBacon.com

Wes Aiken, Schedulefly’s founder, was recently interviewed by the guys at UrbanBacon.com – a new service that lets you search for restaurant deals in your city. They also have a great blog where they discuss restaurant trends, social media, and how technology is helping the industry.

The interview covers the story of Schedulefly, why it was created and the 3 owner’s philosophy on business and keeping things simple.

Check it out!
http://blog.urbanbacon.com/2010/02/interview-schedulefly/

How Do I Find Out My Schedule? Let Me Count the Ways….

Our restaurant customers love how Schedulefly enables staff members to easily find out when they’re working. The Schedulefly web site, text message, email, Facebook, and iGoogle are all easy, quick ways to see your schedule. As you might imagine, all of the “When am I working this week?” phone calls are eliminated. That’s right – you are reading this correctly – no more schedule calls! None. Zip. Zero. So you can focus on stuff that matters without the interruptions and hassles!

Check out this quick tour…

http://screenr.com/Content/assets/screenr_1116090935.swf

Keepin’ It Simple & Fun,

The Schedulefly Team

We Feel We Can Do It In House

Recently a restaurant group checked out Schedulefly. On paper, they could not have been a better fit: 20 locations, nice casual, full service, generally young staff. But after some internal meetings, they told me: “We have a very talented IT department and we feel we can build something just like this in house.”

There are tons of articles published on the build vs buy debate. One thing that seems consistent in these is that the decision to build makes sense when the solution is related to a core business process and owning the solution will help differentiate the company from the competition. In this situation it may well be worth the investment in time and money to craft a custom solution to ensure that the competition can’t just go out and buy the same software. Buying, on the other hand, makes sense when the solution is related to a commodity business process. The time, money and IT resources that are freed from buying a simple easy to deploy and adopt solution can be spent on custom systems that actually give the business a competitive edge.

Of course, I’d suggest that Schedulefly – at about $1/day/location – makes more sense than the cost for their IT staff to build (and own) an application, update it, maintain it, train employees, train new hires, field questions, provide support – not to mention the opportunity costs of IT working on something else more important. We are very good at restaurant employee scheduling and communication and it is all we do. We keep things simple and easy which allows us to continue to be out in front of changes and developments to ensure we make our customers’ lives easier. Since Schedulefly customers are spreading the cost with tons of other customers, they only pay a small recurring amount to resolve a problem that would likely be a distraction and costly to solve themselves.

Keepin’ It Simple & Fun,

Wil @ Schedulefly

Dial Into Schedulefly On the Fly

Need to blast a critical message to all staff’s cell phones but your not at the computer? Need to approve a schedule change that you were just alerted to – but your running errands? No sweat. It is terribly simple to do on our mobile site.

Just point your favorite mobile device at http://m.schedulefly.com and do any of the following…quickly.

– View Today’s Crib Sheet (who is at work, daily notes and events)
– View Your Schedule, Offer up Shifts and Pickup Shifts
– Approve or Decline Shift Trade Requests
– Check and Post to Your Message Wall
– Read and Reply to Inbox Messages
– View Employee Directory and Contact Information
– Check Labor Costs against Sales Forecasts

Also – if you have more than one location and use the Schedulefly Dashboard – the mobile site will show you your locations and let you choose the one you’d like to visit. You can hop back and forth between locations too.

Fun Data Center Field Trip!

We made a quick day trip to Raleigh yesterday to slip a new Dell server into the rack at our data center. We co-locate our web and database servers in Raleigh NC at a company called Hosted Solutions. The SAS 70 Type II certified data center is impressive. We only spent about 20 minutes at our server cage on this visit but I wanted to blog some highlights because it is such a cool experience.

1. As we entered the facility lugging a new server, some rack rails and a backpack full of cords, we found ourselves in a holding area with a security guard [see below, nice guy] behind a ballistic-rated glass window. Yes, ballistic.

2. He had 6 monitors showing activity inside and outside the building – including the parking lot. I saw my car – so I guess he watched us pull in.

3. After he eyeballed us and asked us who we were via a speaker – we told him were the Schedulefly guys. We handed him our driver’s licenses and a signed a visitor log.

4. He looked at it our info and then transported our badges to us via a contraption like drive up bank tellers use. He then touched a button and a door to the left of him unlocked and opened. I had no idea it was even a door – it had no handle.

5. We walked through and now we were in a small room with no doors. It is a man trap room that you can not get in or out of without a biometric scan by the guard. It is like some room from Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, no windows or door handles. The guard entered from one side and he scanned us in through the other side. We were in! We were then escorted to our cage so he could unlock it.

6. On the way to our rack – we passed countless racks of humming Dell servers and I could not help but think how COLD it was in there. Had to be less than 50 degrees. I zipped up my down vest. We also passed the NOC (Network Ops Center) – which looks like a scene from War Games. Engineers monitoring activity in the data center. It’s very cool.

7. As we rounded corners and passed into new rooms, we walked across large sticky mats that cleaned the dust from our shoes. You would walk across and it felt like glue. When you were off – nothing. Weird feeling.

8. We got to our cage and the guard opened her up using a laser etched key with a magnetic signature! We said thanks and he stared at us and left. We eyeballed our servers and all the little lights were twinkling. Check.

9. We mounted the new server in the rack. We hooked it to our redundant power, redundant switches, redundant firewall and redundant Internet drops.

10. We labeled the new server, snapped a few pics and left. On the ride back we discussed the plan for this new machine. We were like proud parents having just dropped off their kid at camp. We have so many dreams for this new addition to our family. It’s going to play a part in taking care of our customer’s and their data. It is going to make us proud!

Here are a few pics…

The guard

The new server

Our rack and our founder

Thanks for reading!

The Schedulefly Team

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