The staffing battle in restaurants has become a technological one in many cases. There’s no question, even for the most traditional of restaurateurs, that digital solutions can ease one of the industry’s most complex and pressing issues. But where, in the incredibly vast and overwhelming marketplace, should an operator begin?
Sometimes, safety isn’t found in numbers. Lee Weiss, the assistant general manager at the Musket Room, a New York City restaurant that has been awarded a Michelin star three consecutive years, found some solidarity with Sling, a collaboration and scheduling platform. Having too many apps for too many tasks can muddy the communication process. Sling manages to combine several key functions in one platform. “It has saved me time and confusion with my staff,” Weiss says. “I think our staff feels like they have all of the information they need with them all the time because of Sling.”
Sling, which can work from desktop, iOS and Android locations, allows managers to manage and communicate with shift-based restaurant employees. That works whether the staff member is on the floor or sitting in their living room. More than just operate as a schedule streamliner (helping to set up shift schedules, manage time off and trade requests), Sling also helps connect the restaurant’s employees. Staff can send messages, photos, videos, and links through the app, either individually or in groups. There’s also a newsfeed for managers to post information, erasing the need for mass emails. Weiss says the communication function of Sling has helped foster a working relationship in the restaurant, one where he doesn’t have to send and receive text messages from his personal phone. “[The] schedule making and ease of communication are great,” says Weiss, who notes The Musket Room began using Sling about a year ago. “Simultaneously, it creates a platform to communicate as easy as a text, while keeping a "professional line" and not having your staff text your personal number everyday.”
Weiss also adds that the open lines allow for better employee performance. “Accessibility [helps]. All of our staff have access to each other, restaurant information, and their schedule at all times,” he says.