Notorious in the restaurant industry for adding time to the end of an arduous 10-plus hour shift, entries were traditionally made by hand to the manager’s big red logbook. With the onset of technology it meant email replaced paper and pen, but the new bane of restaurant managers became never ending email threads and buried information. Today, when it comes to the delicate balancing act that is restaurant management, apps and online programs can now provide ways to streamline everything from the simplest to the most complicated tasks.
The Manager’s Log module by In The Weeds (ITW) is an excellent tool for restaurant managers who thrive on data. Focusing on providing workforce management and optimization software that’s simple, smart, and occasionally magical it not only allows managers to stay connected, share files, and increase productivity by creating online to-do lists, it also allows them to post and share schedules with their employees. All of which can be viewed immediately using the In the Weeds mobile app, available on iPhone and Android:
- The first mobile app version of its kind, the ITW Manager’s Log is available on both web and mobile platforms. The first manager’s log with a live news feed viewable, the app allows managers to make entries on the go in addition to viewing entries made in real-time.
Distributing Data For Later Use
- When an entry is made regarding an individual’s performance, that information is added to their performance file (see image below). Urgent entries are added to the top of the activity feed on the restaurant dashboard.
Information Viewable To Select Managers
- ITW restaurant account has a smart permission system allowing the correct entries to show in each manager’s news feed, dependent on the permission level and department of the user. If there is a disciplinary action regarding an individual, this entry will only show in the news feed of users with a higher permission level and in the same department. This insures entries made about you, a peer, or a superior do not show in your news feed.
- The above logic is used for creating reports. If a user creates a report for verbal warnings in the last year, then the only data points shown are from entries the user has access to. Each manager can only view the performance page of employees with a lower permission level than their own and that are in the same department.
Locating & Understanding Past Data
- All information is saved in the restaurant account’s database and viewable through reports (see image below), which can be made from all types of entries. Multiple reports can be made on one graph to compare data (e.g: safety trainings vs injury reports), with all data keyword and date range searchable.
- ITW manager’s log is designed to let managers create entries efficiently with a list of questions presented to quickly jog their memory and cut down on forgotten entries.
Key Information Left Out Of Entries
- When a manager makes an entry on mobile or web, they are presented with a quick form. This consists of pre-populated drop downs and forms for speed, but also helps limit mistakes and missed information.
One Manager Entry System
- Since there is usually only one or maybe two computers in each location, each manager making entries can become time consuming. ITW manager’s log makes it easy for each manager to create an entry from their mobile app throughout the day as they make observations. ITW manager’s log also makes it easy for mangers to make a single entry, and easy for all managers to contribute to the manager’s log
Keeping Entries & Data Separate At Multiple Locations
- At multiple restaurants it’s hard to keep the information from each location separate, yet easily accessible. ITW system is set up so that each user logs in and can have varying access to multiple restaurant accounts on web and mobile. ITW web and mobile app can keep you in only one restaurant account at a time, but the user can switch restaurant accounts with two clicks. So a manager can be at one location, creating entries on the managers log and quickly switch accounts to view the manager’s log news feed at a different location. All from mobile!
Recording Employee Performance
- Entries made regarding an individual’s performance will also be added to their performance page
- A color-coded timeline reflecting positive vs. negative vs. neutral events is displayed to give managers a snapshot of each employee’s performance to date.
Communication About Entries Across Departments
- On the web app there is an option to create a discussion about a manager’s log entry where a user can click on “discuss this entry” and a new discussion is created in the system. The user can then choose to notify other users about this new discussion. The manager’s log entry is copied to the top of the discussion thread. This helps manager’s take action quickly and solve problems together, even when in different locations or someone is not in the restaurant.
As the former Food & Beverage Manager at The Westgate Hotel in San Diego, CA, Ashley Drake has several years experience dealing with the issues senior management face, both during and after long shifts on the floor.
What tools have you previously used to record manager logbook entries, and how did you find using that system?
We used a Word template and emailed it to everyone at the end of each day. It was kind of archaic, but the worst thing about the process was the time it took to assemble all of the information. The hotel world is very fast paced so things would often get overlooked or forgotten.
How would you feel about using a program like In The Weeds Manager’s Log?
I think it would be amazing. It’s much more comprehensive and brings everyone to the same level of communication. It’s a one stop shop and, at the end of the day, we all want to use something more efficient.
Do you want to revolutionize the way you manage your restaurant(s) and team, click here to sign up for a free trial of In the Weeds Manager’s Log and learn more about the rest of their apps.