One of the biggest challenges restaurant operators face today is a lack of interoperability among back-of-house technologies. In fact, according to a report by Starfleet Research, 91% of restaurant operators “agree” or “strongly agree” that technology platform interoperability is a key success factor, yet many miss the mark.
When back-of-house restaurant systems work together, it enables a unified view across the business. It allows operators to understand how things like the weather and holidays impact restaurant foot traffic and sales, and plan accordingly.
What was your first job? A bagel shop
Who inspires you? My children
What are your hobbies? Crafting and painting
What technologies excite you? Technology that makes daily obligations less dreadful
Sage Advice: Never stop growing, never stop learning and always believe there is a better way.
What is one other job that you would like to try?
What is one goal that you would like to achieve in your life?
To inspire as many people as possible through extraordinary culture and exceptional leadership.
For Bolay, the ability to consolidate disparate systems into one platform and drive actionable insights in near real-time is key. Bolay has 12 locations in Florida and plans to add five or more locations. With that planned growth, the brand needed a streamlined back-office that would optimize profits, enhance guest satisfaction, improve team member engagement and scale profitably.
During the initial search for a restaurant tech solution, there were various one-size-fits-all platforms that couldn’t or wouldn’t adapt to Bolay’s specific needs. This lack of customization and inability to collaborate on one all-encompassing tailored solution required Bolay to utilize several solutions at once — at one point managing 15 different technologies — each with its own login information and siloed database.
Desperately Seeking Streamlined Systems: During its research, Bolay discovered that back-office systems were often wildly lacking. Bolay identified four characteristics that were vital to move forward with any back-office investment.
1. Ease of implementation. Executives at Bolay wanted a platform that wouldn’t require a chief technology officer to manage the implementation.
2. Advanced & appropriate team member engagement solutions.
Bolay’s team members are on average between the ages of 16 and 21. Employee engagement needs to be intuitive and similar to the platforms where they spend the majority of their time — namely mobile and social platforms. By empowering employees with solutions that they feel comfortable using, frustration levels remain low and so do employee turnover rates.
3. Demand forecasting capabilities. Accurate forecasts are vital for operations. Augmenting historical data with predictive analytics for forecasting offers major benefits.
4. Fully configurable. Bolay wanted a partner that would customize analytics and dashboards to meet the specific needs of the business.
One of the technologies that did work for Bolay was HotSchedules, an inventory and management and workforce management solution that merged with Fourth. Fourth’s hospitality operations platform adds layered security access points, granting appropriate access based on what each employee needs to see. Since implementation, Bolay has seen quick improvement in various aspects of the business. With Fourth’s predictive analytics, leadership can now proactively schedule. Bolay has significantly decreased overtime costs and improved team member engagement and satisfaction rates.
About the Author:
Samantha Rubino joined Bolay in 2016 and quickly moved up the ranks with her knowledge of food and passion for hospitality.