Backed by Danny Meyer’s investment fund, this technology helps restaurants put people first.

Team management has always been a challenge for restaurants, but in the midst of one of the largest labor crises ever to face the foodservice industry, restaurants are now facing unprecedented difficulties. As a result, many owners and managers have found that their traditional human resources processes, such as hiring, scheduling, and managing talent, no longer offer brands the flexibility they need to keep their restaurants running efficiently.

“Even prior to the pandemic, over half of restaurants were still using Excel spreadsheets or paper and pencil for scheduling,” says Jordan Boesch, founder and CEO of 7shifts. “Many of these operators have previously not wanted to invest in software that streamlines scheduling, because they want to use what they know or because they don’t see it driving sales for the restaurant, like third-party delivery platforms might. However, these leaders aren’t taking into consideration that there are many other ways to affect profitability, such as reducing costs with tools that automate critical, yet routine processes, like building schedules.”

This disparity in technology adoption has never been more apparent than during the pandemic, when many restaurants invested in technology that would help them survive. Yet Boesch says many still remain unaware that the right team management ecosystem can play just as critical a role in helping brands thrive in this difficult market by improving efficiency and reducing costs all while boosting employee engagement.

Chipotle Cosmetics Collection

Take, for example, the all-in-one team management platform, 7shifts, which offers a complete ecosystem including automated scheduling, time clocking, employee communication, task management, employee feedback, and hiring. By uniting all these processes in one platform, restaurants are able to gain numerous powerful benefits.

Boesch says 7shifts’ streamlined scheduling system, which can be assisted by machine learning, reduces the time managers spend building schedules by hand by 80 percent, but he also notes that only looking at the platform as a scheduling tool is taking too narrow a view. 7shifts can also automate the process of finding employees to replace call-ins, which gives managers more time to spend with employees and guests. The platform also integrates with dozens of leading POS and payroll partners to improve the ease and accuracy of forecasting.

These improved forecasts and schedules help ensure a restaurant is operating with optimal staffing at all times, preventing understaffing, which could cost sales when lines become too long, as well as overstaffing, which eats away at valuable payroll hours and increases expenses. Additionally, this integration gives leaders operational insights at a glance so they can monitor performance at any time.

“All of these benefits add up to significant operational efficiencies, as well as cost savings,” Boesch says. “We’ve seen restaurants save as much as 1–3 percent on their labor costs, which adds up to $10,000-30,000 per year for restaurants doing $1 million in revenue. This also includes savings generated by reducing turnover, which we’ve seen drop for our users by as much as 13 percent.”

Part of this reduction in turnover has to do with the visibility 7shifts gives employees around scheduling, best practices, and more through one-to-one and group messages available in the platform’s free mobile app. Additionally, by using a powerful technology-driven team management platform, restaurants can appeal to today’s young workers, who make up a large portion of the foodservice labor force and are used to operating in a digital-first world.

Brock Enterprises

“Hiring is much more competitive now than ever, and the restaurant industry employs the highest number of teenagers of any industry,” Boesch says. “They like very simple-to-use tools, and having a platform like this will be seen as a competitive advantage, since it tells new hires that a company has modern, accessible tools and transparent scheduling and management practices.”

However, this decrease in turnover can also be attributed to the 7shifts Engage software, which uses the brand’s algorithms to help managers recognize which staff members are the most engaged and which are becoming disengaged. This allows leaders to coach team members, seek feedback, address concerns, and offer support where needed, effectively reducing turnover before it happens.

“I think a lot of restaurants are used to seeing the rotating door in their restaurants, and they have accepted that high turnover is the norm,” Boesch says. “But I want them to know that it doesn’t have to be the norm. While you can’t control some aspects, such as staff members returning to school, improved screening of applicants—which we can help with—along with using technology to retain team members can really make an incredible difference.”

Yet while this platform is already packed with a variety of useful tools to help restaurants thrive in a challenging market, the platform isn’t done evolving yet. 7shifts recently received Series B funding, which was led by Enlightened Hospitality Investments (EHI), a fund established by iconic restaurateur Danny Meyer and his Union Square Hospitality Group (USGH), which is also responsible for such iconic restaurants as Gramercy Tavern and Shake Shack among others.

The 7shifts team has announced that it plans to use the funding to enhance existing software with new features, such as scheduling, as well as rolling out new hiring and on-boarding products. It will also expand it’s open API platform, enhance data-syncing with POS, and expand its customer support team beyond the strong support it already offers operators.

“We couldn’t be more excited about our partnership with Danny Meyer, EHI, and the USHG team for the next part of our growth,” Boesch says. “We have a shared philosophy about the importance of people in the restaurant industry, so we want to make sure we can help brands find and retain the best talent, while also helping restaurants provide a better experience for their people.”

Yet while these new endeavors are sure to add additional efficiencies to restaurant life, Boesch says the 7shifts team is still committed to the same initiatives it was prior to the funding: supporting the entire employee lifecycle from scheduling and onboarding to training, payroll, and retention all in one platform.

“For a product like ours, we’re priced very competitively,” Boesch says. “We’re able to save restaurants tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a year, even if those savings aren’t always obvious from a quick glance at a balance sheet. We’re seeing a lot of folks starting to think a bit more strategically about how restaurants can save money and boost sales at once just by streamlining team management and improving the staff experience.

To learn more about how automating labor management can help your brand, visit the 7shifts website.

By Peggy Carouthers

Sponsored Content