Schedulefly Stories

Growing a software business one restaurant at a time

Month: June 2010 (Page 1 of 2)

The Schedulefly Story – Why We Are Here And What Kinds of Restaurants Love Our App

We’ve added a new section to our web site to share our story. The story of why we created an online scheduling and communication tool for restaurants, the types of restaurants that love Schedulefly (and why) and where we are headed as a company. Check it out!

Wes, Wil and Tyler
The Schedulefly Crew

Man…When People Are Involved, Restaurant Scheduling Is Not Easy!

Restaurants run really well when the right team of people are in place to take care of the customers – as well as each other. Team is the key word here. When the staff operate as a team and help each other when it gets hectic, the customers do what they came to do – they have a great time. I know this because I am a customer and I notice this when I dine out. When the staff are smiling and helping each other serve us – we have a blast. It goes smoothly when people work well together. Customers are confident in the service and glad to be there. I also used to be responsible for building a team of wait staff that worked well together each week – hopefully providing our customers with that same experience. I’ve been on both sides and I know when the right team shows up – customers enjoy themselves. It’s that simple and also that difficult.

So – my point is it’s really tough to schedule people. It is not something that software and inputs like availability and seniority can solve alone. People have personalities – some that gel and some that do not. They have relationships with each other that can cause issues at work, they have events that happen in their lives that can temporarily effect their ability to perform. Throw in unexpected changes in the weather and things like last minute reservations and scheduling becomes very tough to master. Software can certainly help build a schedule faster – but in the end – a person does the scheduling and a person decides which available staff members will make the best team….and they only know that from getting to know the different personalities on staff and having worked with the team themselves.

I saw this message below posted tonight on the message wall of one of our customers. It was a scheduling manager posting a message to all staff. I could not agree more and it inspired me to write this blog post…

Please be advised that not all swaps will be approved, because not all combination’s of people work well together.

What a great message to share with staff – because it is so true.

Keepin’ it simple and fun…

Helping Restaurants Find New Staff

This is a quick introduction to a new feature we’ve added for our customers that lets them post job openings online. We’ve given them a simple way to create a page with the jobs details and a built in “Apply” button. When people apply, the application details are stored inside Schedulefly for easy viewing at any time. The hiring managers also get an email alert when the application comes in – with the resume attached.

Check it out…


The Heart vs. The Head Part II: "It Was the ‘Me’ I Had Always Wanted to Be"

I recently wrote about following your heart vs. your head, with some help from a scene from the movie “Braveheart” to make my point. Some more thoughts on this topic, with help from the movie “Jerry McGuire.”

On a sleepless night, Jerry McGuire, ├╝ber agent with a premier sports agency, has a “breakthrough.” His heart takes over for his head, and enables him to pour out a vision for the future of his company. He calls it “The Things We Think and Do Not Say.” He fills it with stuff like, “With so many clients, we had forgotten what was important,” and “The answer is fewer clients.” A quote from the scene is a nice summary for his epiphany: “I had lost the ability to bullshit. It was the me I had always wanted to be.”

Soon after Jerry sends his mission statement to his entire firm, he is fired. The firm doesn’t need a maverick. They don’t want people to follow their hearts. They need guys and gals that fall in line and focus on the bottom line. So Jerry had to make the painful walk out of the office one afternoon, and notice what happens when he asks his colleagues to follow their hearts.

At least one person was “crazy” enough to go with him, to follow her heart. But otherwise, Jerry was on his own. He had followed his heart and it had lead him down a risky path that seemingly would lead to failure. But if you’ve seen the movie, you know that’s not the case. This is a man who has found his freedom. A man who is led by his heart.
Ten years ago I left a “safe” job with Bank of America to help build a startup business. I ignored my head and followed my heart. Coincidentally, my wife was really the only person who “came with me,” just like the scene above. While she always believed in me, most of my family and friends thought I was crazy to leave my “good, safe job” at the bank. It didn’t make sense. It was too risky. I had no experience building a business. Blah blah.

But I didn’t care. My heart was begging me to come with it and I wanted to follow it. And you know what I have learned, and what Jerry McGuire learned, and what many other people who’ve taken the same “risky” path have learned? We learned that while listening to our heads seems like the smart, logical, safe thing to do, following our hearts has led us to happiness, and, ironically, more financial success than we would have ever had if we had listened our heads. And we all view the financial rewards not as the objective, but as the byproduct. Following our hearts was and will always be the objective.

Your heart is trying to lead you right now. Follow it. Be the “you” you’ve always wanted to be.


Wil’s Whiteboard, Volume II – Some Ideas Don’t Work Out Like We Hoped

I thought we could accelerate our infiltration of franchised brands that we already serve, and quickly start helping lots more of them with easy restaurant staff scheduling and communication. I was sure I had a great idea of how to make it happen. I was wrong….

Knowing When to Scrap Bad Ideas,

Wil’s Whiteboard – Volume I

Hey folks, I decided to start filming and discussing the stuff that is on my white board. I thought it would be cool to show you ideas we are brainstorming (for our app, our web site, our marketing, etc.), and talk about what’s behind the ideas and why we are considering them. Any time we move forward with one of them, I’ll keep you updated in future posts on how things progress.

So these whiteboard posts will more or less be a real time documentary of what’s happening inside Schedulefly. Come on in and see what’s happening…


Restaurant Owner Podcast #15 – "Well, The World Needs Ditch Diggers Too"

That’s not Andy Murray’s philosophy, but rather it’s his favorite line from “Caddyshack,” the movie written by his brother Brian, and starring Brian and one of his other brothers, Bill Murray. Brian had an idea for a restaurant based on that famous movie, and he and his five brothers got together and made it happen with Murray Brothers Caddyshack in the World Gold Village in St. Augustine, FL. And in an incredible Cinderella story, this unknown interviewer comes out of nowhere to capture the story. Enjoy…


Restaurant Owner Podcast #14 – "Part Of Our Mission Is To Have Fun, So We Look For Employees That Are Fun To Be Around & Hang Out With."

Kevin Horne spent fifteen years in corporate America. Now he owns a very successful Great Harvest Bread location in Lincoln, NE. Kevin talks about having fun, being generous, and other nuggets of wisdom that have helped him quickly build a successful location, even after having been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. This is awesome! Enjoy…


Restaurant Owner Podcast #13 – "We Just Had The Best April and May The Dairy Inn Has Had In 63 Years"

Dave Kornbluth went from working for Verozon in New York to buying Dairy Inn in St. Petersburg, FL. Having attended culinary school in NY, he’s doing all sorts of cool things with Dairy Inn’s food menu, knowing that ice cream alone will not drive successful growth. He’s also adding a tiki bar in the back of his parking lot, and is looking into delivery and catering. Dave has a lot of cool ideas and great advice. Tune in and enjoy….


Restaurant Owner Podcast #12 – "Takeout Food Is The Next Horizon"

Richard Gordon spent fifteen years as a criminal prosecutor, and now he owns South End Buttery, one of the most popular coffee shops in Boston. He talks about the need for a solid business plan, being ready for a rainy day, his plans to expand, and how South End Buttery was one of the only coffee shops still making coffee during a recent water pipe emergency outside of Boston. Richard runs a great business and you’ll learn a lot from him. Enjoy…


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