Time-Thieves Stopped at 31-Unit Applebee's Franchisee

Apple-Metro, the New York Metropolitan area franchisee for Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar, has selected HotSchedules Enterprise for restaurant labor management, communication and forecasting. After conducting a four-restaurant pilot, Apple-Metro went live with HotSchedules Enterprise in April 2010 to all 31 Applebee's restaurants in the five New York boroughs, Westchester and Rockland counties.

Apple-Metro knew that it needed a more powerful labor management tool that could easily integrate with the aging DOS system used throughout its restaurant base. After being recommended to HotSchedules by Applebee's corporate, DineEquity, Apple-Metro knew that it had found the perfect labor management solution. Apple-Metro tailored the HotSchedules training process to best fit its business, opting to conduct all training sessions in-house. Apple-Metro corporate executives gathered content from HotSchedules' webinars and applied practical applications/Q&A's for a series of in-person, one-day moderated sessions at each location in order for its employees to quickly learn how to use and apply HotSchedules.

"We use HotSchedules for just about everything now, including labor management, communication and especially forecasting," says Randy Liss, restaurant systems manager, Apple-Metro. "In my opinion, the greatest features of HotSchedules Enterprise are the budget comparison tool, sales forecasting, and staff level chart. Prior to working with HotSchedules, our managers were not forecasting properly, making it difficult to get an accurate picture of where our labor costs were on a weekly and monthly basis."

Curbing time clock abuse
With HotSchedules automated scheduling process to keep labor in check, Apple-Metro has been able to closely monitor time clock abuse and early clock-ins, which has resulted in significant labor savings especially for those employees with higher job wage rates. Apple-Metro also uses the HotSchedules Digital Logbook, a web-based logbook that replaces the old method of paper log books and encourages accountability and communication among store and district managers. "Our managers love the Digital Logbook because it has streamlined our communications - allowing them to send messages to other managers about the day's activities when they are not in the restaurant," says Liss.

Additionally, HotSchedules' online scheduling empowers Apple-Metro managers to significantly reduce the time it takes to develop more accurate staff schedules and manage/approve shift changes. Employees can quickly log on to the online employee portal anytime, anywhere on a computer or mobile device, or receive text messages via mobile to check their schedules or request shift changes.
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