Category Archives: Digital Red Book

Manager’s Red Book Goes Digital

digital RB

For the last several months, we’ve been talking about and beta-testing our new Digital Red Book product, and I was really excited when I saw it get launched for “GA” (general availability) earlier this month.  The DRB, as we affectionately call it in house, is based on the Manager’s Red Book, which has been helping restaurants run more efficiently for more than 20 years.  When I was initially introduced to the Manager’s Red Book, I only mildly impressed, which only goes to show how little I knew about it.  Turns out, those books are a huge (and I mean HUGE) improvement over most shift management systems, and for good reason.  Not only do they consolidate tons of pieces or random paper, including notes between managers, employee requests off, maintenance details, personnel performance information and more, they can also be custom built for each brand so that the tasks and check lists are specific to the location.  Awesome!

We then took all this customization and consolidation of information to the next level by taking it online.  The Digital Red Book app is a highly customized online shift management solution that you can download right from the iTunes store.  We’ll set it all up for you (it takes us about a day to do that) so that when you login, you are using the DRB custom built just for you. Managers can collect and store all the same information they would in the books, such as – temperature checks, store deposits, sales info, etc.  Then they can track it, assign it, and comment on it. Once data is input, it’s stored there forever, so you can search for it later using simple keywords or phrases.  At the corporate level, users can login and see how stores are performing, review notes, see uploaded pictures and videos and more.  And they can see all that as soon as the data is entered – real-time, instantly.

The icing on the cake with this cool app is the iPad and uber tough enclosure you can get with it.  It takes ruggedized to a whole new level – to “kitchenized”.  Drop it, slop on it, spill on it, and like a Timex, it keeps on ticking.

I’ve been working in the “technology for restaurants” business for several years now, and I’m pretty excited and impressed by this incredible new tool. Take the Digital Red Book for a test drive and see if you aren’t as enthusiastic as I am!

Mary Kay Hyde | Sr. Director of Marketing & Communities| Red Book Connect


Making the Leap

cloudThe IT world is abuzz over the cloud. Many people talk about it. Few people really understand it. We suspect, like most people, you’re too busy grappling with your business to grapple with the cloud. If we’re right, then this post is for you!

What Is the Cloud?

“The cloud” is a metaphor. Like most metaphors, it’s difficult to pin it down to a single, specific meaning. Essentially, “the cloud” could refer to any IT capability delivered as a service over the Internet. The significance of this is in the comparison.

Traditionally, every company invests in the hardware, software, and technical expertise necessary to use technology to enhance their business processes. The cloud provides an alternative that gets you more technological bang for your buck. More specifically, the cloud involves buying the portion of a cloud provider’s data storage and processing capabilities you need to achieve your business tasks.

Why Use the Cloud?

By selling a portion of its data storage and processing capabilities to multiple customers, the cloud provider can achieve economies of scope and scale their clients cannot achieve by themselves. In turn, their clients receive scalable, adaptable IT services, without investing in the IT infrastructure necessary to create those services.

These same benefits also empower cloud providers to develop services that meet the needs of their clients—comparable to software—that meet the needs of their clients. They can afford to invest in the technical expertise, because the cost is shared among many clients. In short, by hiring a cloud service provider, you get the benefits of an IT department at a fraction of the cost.

Servicing Your Solutions

Red Book Connect is a cloud service provider tailored to the specific needs of the restaurant industry. We’ve combined our best practices and expertise in the restaurant industry with our IT expertise to address real problems with real solutions.

Our solutions focus on the most critical managerial challenges in the restaurant industry – hiring, training, scheduling, shift communication and back office management:

HotSchedules empowers you with staff scheduling, forecasting, and instant messaging.
Macromatix provides you with business intelligence, inventory management, and reporting capabilities.
GoHire delivers automated paperless recruiting, applicant tracking, and on-boarding.
Schoox provides easy access to continuous training through a social learning platform that allows for knowledge sharing in your own branded academy.
Digital Red Book gives you one centralized place for real-time shift communication, multi-unit consistency, and task workflow management.

Our goal is to provide you with no-nonsense solutions to real problems by providing you with cost-effective technological capabilities that enable you to control costs and improve profitability without losing quality.

By Stephanie C.

Our BAE Execution Principles: A Prescription for Effectiveness

Cover of "Getting Things Done: The Art of...

Software Advice recently shared with us how they took action and helped their team become more organized and effective,  because we all know its important to not just assume your team has it together.  Software Advice shared with us their very own BAE Principles: Their secret to executing on everything from small tasks to large projects. They borrowed from the classic text on organization, Getting Things Done by David Allen,  and added in the use of modern project management tools.

Here’s is a brief overview of what they teach employees:

Getting Stuff Done

An adaptation of Allen’s “getting things done”. The principle is twofold:

  • Break up projects into manageable chunks. Focus on the very next step that needs to be taken to complete each of their projects. This makes projects feel more manageable, and allows everyone to always be making progress.

Move Quickly

In business, momentum is important, and employees need to be able to work quickly and deftly. There are several components to this:

  • Deliver early and frequently. When dealing with large projects try to deliver something valuable as soon as possible.
  • Seek quick wins.  Accomplish something positive right off the bat when starting a project.  It will help you gain momentum,  set good expectations and builds trust and authority.

Google Exists

Employees should feel free to ask questions when they need to; at the same time its important to empower employees to use resources such as the internet to get answers to their questions. This frees up busy managers and keeps things running smoothly for. Furthermore, finding the answers to questions on your own builds problem-solving skills and demonstrates individual initiative. Keep in mind that doesn’t mean questions shouldn’t be asked.

Steps for Implementing the BAE Principles

There are many great online products out there to help you get and stay organized: The Manager’s Digital Red Book, Basecamp,  Google Calendar and more. Armed with such resources, here are the basic steps we take to get started:

  • Create a Project list
  • Create a Next Actions list
  • Create a Waiting For list
  • Clean your inbox
  • Put appointments, project deadlines and reminders on your calendar
  • Review everything daily

Using the BAE Principles and the technology available to them Software Advice has managed to get organized, and stay that way. Give it a try, implement these principles in your business or your personal life, organization is key to success!

You can view  Don Fornes’s original article here and get more detailed steps on the process.