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Jason Wagenaar
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6 Advantages of Automating Your Restaurant Staff Schedules

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.
If this is the year you’re determined to find a better way, you probably won’t need much convincing about the benefits of restaurant scheduling software after reading these six advantages of automating employee schedules.

1. ACES IN THEIR PLACES

Automated scheduling does something the human scheduling manager doesn’t always consider—not just the numbers of bodies, but also the kinds of bodies you need on the floor.

With restaurant scheduling software like Ameego, you create shift profiles (ie Night Bar 1) and employee profiles.

Employee profiles are kind of like filing cabinets for each staff member. The info you can log about an employee includes:

- Shifts based on skill level (Can work 4 table, but not 5 table section)
- Departmental Shifts (Can work server and cocktail shifts but not bartender)
- Availability (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 10-4pm, etc.)
- Time-Off requests (which they can upload in the employee portal)
- Number of Preferred Shifts (Open availability but only want to work 3 times/week)

So, with one-touch scheduling, the system looks first at the shift profiles you need to fill, and fills the hardest ones first, like Sunday Brunch (everyone's favorite :)).

Staff are only scheduled for shifts that are in their profile. So, a hostess wouldn’t be assigned to serve on the patio, or three new servers still being trained wouldn’t be assigned to Friday happy hour.

It’s not just scheduling faster, it’s scheduling smarter.

You’ve got leaders where they need to be and the right skill levels on the floor to ensure the shift runs smoothly and customers get the kind of service that will keep them coming back.

Another perk of automated scheduling and these profiles is that the system helps identify staffing gaps, and when you need to hire more bodies.

Click the link below to read more!

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* Surviving Winter: Making the Most of Unpredictable Weather *

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…

1. Get the App for That

Is there an extreme cold front heading your way in an hour? A snowfall warning? Thanks to the ingenuity of weather apps, you don’t have to be surprised by the weather anymore.

Click link for more below

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I recently did an interview with Natalie on time theft. Most articles on time theft are based on the idea that staff are stealing time, but in this article I discuss my thoughts on management's role on time theft. Have a read!

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3 Ways To Boost Your Restaurant Sales This December

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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Five Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Scheduling

Here are five tips to take some of the challenge out of restaurant scheduling over the holidays and make the season merry for your staff.

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When Planning Your Staff Holiday Party Don't Forget About Your Culture

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.

Fast forward thirty-some years, and we were trying to come up with a way to celebrate one hell of a year.

To thank each other for another 365 days of living and breathing the company most of us founded together nearly 10 years ago.

And, maybe most important, to stand out, to have another kind of company Christmas party—not the dinner and dancing fancy affairs of our parents’ generation, but one that would be very much Ameego: fun, meaningful and passionate about the restaurant industry.

That mandate brought us our friend Mike’s restaurant. He owns a specialty craft sandwich shop called King and Bannatyne in downtown Winnipeg – a must visit if you’re ever in town. When Pam asked if we could have his place and his food all to ourselves for our Christmas party two years ago, he said, “Heck Yeah!”

As usual the food was outstanding and a perfect fit for our identity. Casual, focused, refined. Fresh oysters on the half shell, slow roasted pulled pork sandwiches all dressed up, old fashions, wine pairings with a sommelier. Great food, great people, and a great time.

The intimacy of having a smaller restaurant to ourselves made it feel like home, except no one was at home stressed and working up a sweat to make this magical thing happen. Somewhere in the night, we even fit in a few speeches.

And you could feel how this place, this night, was completely perfect for us, because we’re in the business of helping keep restaurants in business.

Looking back, it was probably the coolest Christmas party we’ve ever had.

What makes a Christmas party great? Creating an atmosphere that is centered around your companies identity. One that mirrors your company’s culture and core beliefs. Here’s a few key points to keep in mind.

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6 Do’s and Don’ts of Restaurant Training Across Multiple Languages

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?

To answer that question, we’ve put together a list of do’s and don’t’s with insight from industry experts.

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7 Restaurant Survival Tips for the Holidays

They’re coming! We're talking about:

- American Thanksgiving
- Christmas
- 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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Seattle Passes Secure Scheduling Law: Is Your City Next?

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The Kitchen Staff Crisis: What Can Be Done About It?
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