Q & A Series: In conversation with a restaurant employee
The following interview is a lively chat we recently had with a server working in a medium -sized restaurant in downtown Vancouver. The conversation took place a few months after they had implemented Celayix employee scheduling software. The switch from pen-and-paper scheduling had been long overdue as management had found the old way of doing things was negatively effecting customer service, employee satisfaction & efficiency, and the bottom line. It’s been well documented how much workforce scheduling software can improve the business from an ownership standpoint, but what about employees? We wanted to find out how the change effects the operation from a staff point-of-view. So, here it is! (besides the initial chit-chat).
Restaurant staff scheduling software and it’s effect on the staff themselves
Q: Firstly, how was the transition between pen-and-paper scheduling and the new software that has been introduced?
A: Being honest with you, I didn’t really notice too much. I’m not sure is that a good thing or a bad thing. My manager would probably want me to be a bit more clued in to what’s going. But yeah, I guess that’s probably a good sign. The main thing was installing the app on my phone. But that was like getting any other app for me, really. I can’t get my head out of my phone anyway so there wasn’t any major change there!
Q: And speaking of the app, how do you find using the software? Is it easy-to-use? Or have you had some problems getting used to it?
A: Eh, no not really. It’s pretty standard stuff I suppose. The app seems really intuitive and it’s all clearly laid out. I mean, there’s not too many functions I have to use. See my upcoming shifts, book some days off, message my manager, or a swap a shift. The main consideration for me was making sure I got my previously booked vacation switched over to the app. Luckily, my manager is usually on top of these things, and it was already punched in when I went to look. Still, it was nice to see it there for me in black and white. I didn’t have to worry about it.
Q: You mentioned you get to see your upcoming shifts. How does that work? Do you get your schedule in advance?
A: So, before we had the app we’d get a text or a picture showing us the timetable. It could be a week before or a few days. It really depended on how busy things were. I have to say, this could be tough at times. Because it was really difficult to make any concrete plans. Being young and having no real responsibilities, my only major concern is making plans with friends, or going to see a movie or a show. The thing is, some of the guys have children and other commitments. So this must have been difficult for them. I didn’t really think of it before. The nice thing about the app is that we get our timetables two weeks in advance now. It definitely takes the pressure off, knowing when I’m off allows me to plan ahead and a bit more organised.
Q: Do you use the instant messaging feature? Has it made any marked change in your communication with management?
A: I haven’t used it much so far. I usually like to call my manager or speak to her in person. But, it’s a great feature to have. I’ts reassuring to think that if I need to ask for something that I’d prefer in writing (like time off), that the messaging function has a record of that. I’ve had previous jobs where there’s been mistakes, genuine mistakes where people forget things. So it’s easier for both my manager and I to have that reassurance.
Q: Have you noticed any change in management/ownership since the transition? Has there been any marked change?
A: I have to say, there has! As I said, she’s pretty on-the-ball most of the time so I’m not sure whether she’s noticed herself. But she seems to be on the floor with us a lot more. Maybe I’ve noticed more than the others because we get on so well, and we enjoy working together. Her being more involved suits me down to the ground to be honest. We all seem to work better when she’s in the trenches with us!
Q: Do you think the implementation of the software has improved the level of service you are able to provide to customers?
A: I like to think I provide great service no matter what the circumstances, but having one less thing to worry about, my schedule that is, when I’m running around and in the thick of it. It certainly allows me to focus on the customer a bit more, come to think of it. It’s easy to forget stuff or miss things when there’s something on your mind. So yes, I guess it does help.
Celayix: what we can do to help!
In what was a very insightful conversation, it was interesting to see how the small things made a big difference. Here at Celayix, one of our missions is as follows:
“Deliver the highest quality products and services that solve real problems and meet or exceed our customer’s expectations”
If you are a restaurant manager/owner without staff scheduling software or you’re unhappy with your current offering, why not get in touch and find out if we can help you to solve your problems and meet your objectives.