Category Archives: Mary Kay Hyde

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

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Five Companies with One Mission

It has been about a year since Red Book Connect brought together 5 companies that focused on hiring, training and scheduling employees, inventory management, business intelligence, loyalty programs, and shift management solutions.  Though we’ve been featured in a lot of news stories since then, I thought I’d provide an insider view of what’s been happening.

First, we hired an amazing CEO and leadership team.  Larry Abramson, our CEO, came over from Oracle, and he is committed, passionate and scary smart.  Additional great minds soon followed to assemble a powerhouse of thinkers, leaders and doers. We’re also hiring like crazy under each of these new leaders.  If you’re looking for work and want to join an amazing company that is rocketing to the moon, check out our careers page!

Second, we held onto great leaders and team members that were already in place.  Sure, we had a little bit of natural attrition, but the team that built the original companies – the ones that know the products inside and out and have spent years building relationships with our customers – are still here, in leadership positions helping to drive us to the top.

Third, we started focusing on platform integration in earnest.  Most of our products can already be accessed with a single sign-on, but we hadn’t done so much to make them look and feel like an integrated whole.  We’re doing that now and the UX/UI team is having a blast.  Watch for more to come later this year!

Finally, we launched the digital version of our Manager’s Red Book earlier this year.  It’s an amazing shift management app that makes creating a consistently flawless guest experience easier and the perfect shift more attainable.

This is all just the very beginning. We’re moving fast to enhance the most amazing suite of restaurant technology apps ever known to this industry or any other. Just wait til you see what’s coming next!

 

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

On The 12 Days of #Tipmas…

tipmas

For the holiday season, Red Book Connect encouraged acts of kindness to the hard-working staff in the restaurant industry and called it #Tipmas. During the 12 Days of Tipmas, from December 9 through 21, we asked our co-workers, colleagues, friends and family to be generous with their servers and urged everyone they knew to do the same. It is not just about giving back financially either; we tweeted and posted #Tipmas suggestions from compliments to the manager to leaving a dessert for your server to enjoy (see full list of options below) with the goal of spreading the word and igniting the #Tipmas movement!

So what happened you ask? Check out our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages to find out. The outpouring was nothing short of amazing! There are so many great stories and pictures it’s hard to believe. We even got a shout out from celebrity Yvette Nicole Brown (@yvettenbrown) who jumped on the bandwagon – how cool is she!!

In fact, #Tipmas was such a success, we’re not going to let it end. Treating the service industry peeps like the rock stars they are really should be a year-round initiative, so we’re making it one! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to stay in tune with our plans for 2014!

12 Days of #Tipmas Missions

  • Day 1 (Dec 9): #SecretServer
    Secretly ask for a manager to tell them that your server has done a fantastic  job.
  • Day 2 (Dec 10): #SharingIsCaring
    Share the story of the excellent service you received online and tag it with #Tipmas
  • Day 3 (Dec 11): #HolidayHero
    If you know your server will be working the holiday (Xmas eve/Xmas/New Year’s) leave them a Christmas card/holiday card from your family.
  • Day 4 (Dec 12): #LetterToServer
    Write your server a letter and leave it at the restaurant.
  • Day 5 (Dec 13): #MilkAndCookies
    When you go out tonight, order dessert. And leave dessert for your server (i.e. candy bar, candy cane, etc.)
  • Day 6 (Dec 14): #ElfOnTheShelf
    If you notice another server working hard, besides your own, mention them to the manager as well!
  • Day 7 (Dec 15): #FastBreak
    When you visit, buy your server a meal they can quickly eat on their break, such as an appetizer.
  • Day 8 (Dec 16): #WarmFuzzies
    “Like” or “Follow” the restaurant on Facebook/Twitter then share your warm fuzzies about your server on the restaurant’s Facebook and/or Twitter pages.
  • Day 9 (Dec 17): #ShareTheLove
    Recommend the restaurant and the server to your family and friends through a Facebook Recommendation.
  • Day 10 (Dec 18): #MerryTipMas
    Tip extra today.
  • Day 11 (Dec 19): #TipMasMAS
    1+1 means tip extra, extra!
  • Day 12 (Dec 20): #GiftCardGreeting
    Purchase a gift card for your sever to use for the holidays. Itunes, Amazon, Visa gift card, etc.

For more fun Tipmas stories, check out our blog at http://redbookconnect.com/category/blog/.

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

This One Time, at Brand Camp…

That’s right, I said Brand Camp – the People Report and Black Box Intelligence (PRBBI) Summer Brand Camp, to be exact. This well-attended restaurant industry conference took place last week and included industry rock stars such as Kelly Vaccaro, Director of Training at Kerbey Lane Café, Heidi Collins, Director of HR at Pacific Catch, Kirstie Johnson, Chief Experience Builder at Enlighteneer Enterprises, Jim Knight, CEO of Hospitality on Point and many, many more.

Also presenting and attending was Amanda Hite, Chief Change Officer of BTC Revolutions and social media maven, who talked a lot about doing good, paying it forward and spreading love.  But what do you do when your employees or guests *aren’t* spreading love with your brand? To the contrary, what if they are using social media to bash your brand or grossly misrepresent it?

You’re probably aware of one of the most recent examples of this – the Taco Bell employee who was shown licking all the taco shells.  It was a PR and marketing nightmare gone viral: http://blogs.ajc.com/food-and-more/2013/06/04/taco-bell-on-the-defensive-after-picture-of-employee-licking-shells-goes-viral/?cxntfid=blogs_food_and_more

taco bell shells

Bravely, the CEO of Taco Bell, Greg Creed, climbed on stage to address this issue directly in his presentation about how traditional marketing no longer works.  Social media is now enabling every employee and every guest to essentially become your chief marketing officer, and they can either work for you or against you.  Gone are the days when it was easy to control your company’s messaging and representation of its brand.

With that in mind, it is even more important that your employees are fans of your brand and working hard at all times to give your guests a great experience. Hiring the best employees, training them thoroughly and fully engaging with them is more critical than ever, as is extending a high level of trust to them.

Crred

According to Creed, “If we do not engage, interact with, deal with and really amplify the relationship we have with our team members, we are crazy to have the expectation that the customer experience will improve.”

In other words, you have to work to create team members who love your brand, who then want to share their positive experience and show your guests why they love your brand.

Different companies will, no doubt, have varying approaches to try to accomplish this higher level of team member engagement, but solutions exist today that can help. As part of Red Book Connect, we’ve expanded our platform to include many best-in-breed products that address the very issues outlined by Creed and others in the industry.  Struggling to hire the best and brightest talent?  Our paperless hiring and onboarding tool, GoHire, with ranking questions and assessments can help!  Looking to train your new employees and help them grow and develop well into the future?  Schoox, our social, eLearning solution is the answer.  Want to schedule and communicate with employees seamlessly, while providing more flexibility to both staff and managers?  HotSchedules is here!

Learn more about these and all of the Red Book Connect technologies at www.redbookconnect.com

Mary Kay Hyde |  Director of Marketing | HotSchedules/Red Book Connect