Next Gen Tech Tools
Train, Reward, Connect
Make sure your staff is trained consistently, rewarded frequently and networks easily with these new apps designed to up your game with always-connected young employees.
Bringing the critical function of an HR department to the small restaurant owner inspired the Waitrainer app. An extensive library of content with training on essentials, segmented for fast casual, informal dining and table service concepts, is pushed to employees’ smart phones or computers, with tests and quizzes to assess understanding.
“Most employees are new to foodservice and it’s not enough anymore to simply print off a handbook and have them shadow a more senior employee,” says Waitrainer CEO Todd Edman. “Consistent training is key to helping resolve the industry’s high turnover rate.”
At Florida’s Long Doggers restaurants, Melissa Winton uses Waitrainer to communicate accurately with a rapidly growing staff.
“This ensures employees are getting our intended messages on promotions and service changes, with nothing left to misinterpretation,” she says. “Waitrainer makes it easier to know that everyone is following policy, treating guests the way we want them to and adding value to each visit.”
Keeping young staff engaged with peer recognition forms the solid foundation of app Bonusly. Used in more than 1,200 U.S. companies and growing, Bonusly assigns each employee a monthly points allowance to give to co-workers for a job well done. Points may be redeemed for rewards or donated to charity.
“The insight behind Bonusly is appreciating the fact that people work for more than just a paycheck, but need to know they are valued members of the team,” explains CEO Raphael Crawford-Marks. “We deliver a system for meaningful, timely recognition that is a proven strategy for reducing staff turnover.”
At Debos Diners, Mike Richman has pressed Bonusly into service for the last six months, and while he says it’s too early to tie directly to greater staff retention, he notes a high degree of engagement among employees using the app. In addition, he views it as a seamless way to integrate the restaurant’s core purpose.
“Getting people to rally around company objectives can be a challenge, but this gives us a way to emphasize and reward the values we live by: character, service, teamwork, gratitude, growth and excellence,” says Richman.
StaffVibe, a free smartphone app, gives restaurant people—servers, chefs, managers, etc.—
a forum to post photos and events, find help or look for jobs. Most notable is the “find and mingle” function, connecting industry peers from across the globe.