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Another Great HS360 User Conference: Thanks to All Who Attended!

As the old saying goes, “Things get better with age.” This was our 3rd year to host the HotSchedules Annual User’s Conference, and I am proud to say that each year the conference just keeps getting better! Held September 13-15 in beautiful Austin, Texas, the theme for this year was “Engage, Promote & Retain,” which […]

As the old saying goes, “Things get better with age.” This was our 3rd year to host the HotSchedules Annual User’s Conference, and I am proud to say that each year the conference just keeps getting better! Held September 13-15 in beautiful Austin, Texas, the theme for this year was “Engage, Promote & Retain,” which was echoed throughout the conference in all speaker sessions and even in side conversations among our attendees.

We kicked off the conference with a fun and relaxed get-together for our attendees at Terrace 59, one of our local Austin customers. The next few days were filled with educational sessions from a wonderful line-up of guest speakers, which included:

Jason Dorsey, Acclaimed keynote speaker, bestselling author, corporate consultant and award winning entrepreneur
Peggy Rubenzer, Vice President of Training and Development, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro
Amanda Hite, Founder, CEO & Change Agent, Talent Revolution
Brian Pearson, Former VP of Information Services, BJ’s Restaurants; Advisory Board Member for Hospitality Technology Magazine and TechPoint
Ray Gallagher, Senior Director of Operation Services, Carino’s Italian, Fired Up Inc.

Scott Nelson, Partner, Baker and McKenzie
Fred LeFranc, CEO & President, Results Thru Strategy

The conference also included updates from our executives on the upcoming HotSchedules product roadmap, as well as plenty of opportunity for networking and entertainment. Overall, the conference was a huge success, with more than 50 attendees, and we are so grateful for everyone who made time in their hectic schedules to join us this year. For those who could not attend, see below for our “highlight reel” that recaps the best takeaways from this year’s conference:

Jason Dorsey Breakout Session: Recognized as The Gen Y Guy®, Jason’s session on how to manage the four different types of generations in the work place was a big hit with our attendees. If you haven’t already, check out his book ““Y-Size Your Business”:http://www.jasondorsey.com/books_YSize.html” that focuses on how Gen Y employees can save you money and grow your business.
Focus on Labor Laws: Another topic of interest at this year’s conference was how to successfully run a restaurant operation in terms of labor laws. Scott Nelson from Baker McKenzie talked about the latest trends in FLSA litigation, as well as tip pooling, compensable time issues, meal and rest periods, and employee misclassification. On that same note, many of our attendees told us that they would like to see labor law alerting capabilities from HotSchedules, including email, text messages, or data push to mobile apps.
Labor Forecasting, Advanced Scheduling and Communications: Real-time feedback from our attendees during the conference told us that labor forecasting, advanced labor scheduling features and communication are still a trending topic for restaurant operations. Our customers told us that they’d like to see HotSchedules provide them with more ways to benchmark data, using already existing labor forecasting and scheduling data. In terms of communication, they love how HotSchedules “gives back” to its customers through the HotSchedules communications portal. Many attendees told us that HotSchedules is a huge piece of the communications “puzzle,” allowing them instant access to employees and managers.
Employee engagement: During the conference, many of our customers told us that they use HotSchedules for employee engagement purposes. By leveraging HotSchedules, restaurants can quickly and easily recognize employees (i.e. birthdays, anniversaries, promotions), allowing full interaction with everyone in the company, across all locations.
Salesmanship: Another trending item among our attendees was that of salesmanship and how to better empower servers. Attendees at this year’s conference told us that they’d like to give their servers, not just managers, more opportunities to see sales figures in real-time. This could also include the ability to see their tips, average tips, how they rank against other servers, and maybe even company-wide sales contest that could be tracked through HotSchedules.

!http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/ketnergroup/HSUC2010-165.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1286478830006!During the conference, we also discussed the 2011 product roadmap with attendees. We received some great feedback from everyone, which we will be evaluating in the coming months. Stay tuned for updates!

I’d like to give a special thanks to all of our Sponsors you were a huge part of why HS360 2010 was such as great success! Sponsors for this year’s event were: Compeat, Custom Business Solutions, Data Foundry, Decision Logic, Deterministics, Onosys, Realview TV, Simple Offers, Syniverse Technologies, and Talent Revolution.

To conclude, I couldn’t have been more pleased with this year’s conference. I always look forward to seeing new and old friends and hearing feedback directly from our customers. HS360 is a perfect opportunity to bring together representatives from restaurant operations, human resources and training – opening the lines of communication and further enhancing the management console in those respective departments.

I encourage everyone to continue following our blog, Twitter and Facebook for company updates. Additionally, please join our LinkedIn User’s Group Forum as another avenue to provide us with your comments and ideas. After all, our company’s success has thrived and succeeded from getting direct feedback from you, our valuable customers.

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