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Blog | Operations

Intelligent Workflow: The Evolution of the Restaurant Logbook

One of the most interesting things about operating a restaurant is that while the industry as a whole is evolving, there are some things that, conceptually, don’t change. Take, for example, the bathroom. Not the most interesting topic or operational lever in the world, but they’re pretty darn important to keep clean. Or what about […]

One of the most interesting things about operating a restaurant is that while the industry as a whole is evolving, there are some things that, conceptually, don’t change.

Take, for example, the bathroom. Not the most interesting topic or operational lever in the world, but they’re pretty darn important to keep clean. Or what about food prep and production? From an execution standpoint, there are some elements of these processes (or workflows) that won’t change over the years.

What is changing, however, is the way restaurants develop, deploy and drive accountability through innovation in operations and back office technology.

We explored this topic in detail at our Spark Conference, during our Make Your Move: The (R)evolution from Logbook to Intelligent Workflow session. In her presentation, HotSchedules Product Manager Laura Georges outlined how restaurants can connect, configure, enforce permission, deploy and scale those operational processes, business rules, communications, hierarchies and third-party integrations in a more streamlined and simplified way.

Here are our big takeaways from the Evolution of the Restaurant Logbook session:

1. What is Intelligent Workflow, exactly? There are a lot of terms to describe the way a restaurant handles its day-to-day operations – the tasks that go into making every shift run efficiently and effectively to deliver a great guest experience (and turn a profit).

Intelligent Workflow connects the tasks, teams, processes, and data in a single application. It’s the operating system for the restaurant; a singular view of all tasks and applications used to manage the daily, weekly, and ad hoc objectives of the operator.

The standardized workflow takes the guesswork out of the manager’s day, guiding them through their daily line checks and tasks.

2. The Intelligence comes from Actionable Insights. Insights are a combination of the in-store, near-store and above-store data a restaurant collects and the context that the workflow gives. In layman’s terms, that means that throughout the course of the shift, managers could receive insights that:

  • Tell them the weather is changing and that an afternoon thunderstorm is going to reduce patio sales.
  • Tell them there are extra steaks on-hand based on projected sales volume and then offer up suggestions for best-selling menu items and specials to run that evening.
  • Alert shift leaders that they’ve scheduled a server to close and to open without enough rest time in between shifts.

Those are just a few of the ways Insights and Intelligent Workflow combine to help great managers make smart business decisions on the fly.

3. It’s time to make it easier for managers to move through their day. As a general manager for eight years herself, Georges brought all the technology back to the person who is impacted by it the most: the manager!

“Our goal is to make managers more engaged in their work,” she said.

“We want to empower managers and their staffs to be fluid, to interact with software like they’ve never done before. Imagine being greeted right when you walk in. Imagine being presented with all the things you need to know to be successful during your shift. Imagine knowing something before it even happens. All of the innovation around Intelligent Workflow is about helping the managers deal with the unexpected.”

So, to recap:

  • Intelligent Workflow links your business rules, processes, and data together for a true business process management application

  • Access all HotSchedules Apps as well as third-party systems and devices through Clarifi with one login

  • Just-in-time insights help managers deal with the unexpected


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