Smoothie King: Smoothies (and scheduling!) with a purpose

Smoothie King: Smoothies (and scheduling!) with a purpose
Ana Cvetkovic

By Ana Cvetkovic

Smoothie King is famous for blending “Smoothies with a Purpose” - fresh fruit smoothies that help fuel every part of their customers’ fitness and health journeys. Founder Steven Kuhnau created the concept in Louisiana in 1973. Since then, Smoothie King has grown to more than 800 stores worldwide.

Mackenzie Rautanen recently joined the Smoothie King team as Area Supervisor for three Smoothie King locations in and around Savannah, Georgia. Mackenzie brings seven years of restaurant management experience to her new role at Smoothie King.


When Mackenzie joined the Smoothie King team, the shops she oversaw did not have a tool dedicated to employee scheduling. Her managers relied on a scheduling dashboard built into their POS system, Focus. However, Focus’ scheduling solution just wasn’t cutting it.

“To trade shifts staff would ask another (team member) to work (their shift) then have to call/text the manager to get it approved,” Mackenzie explains. This led to a lot of time wasted on back-and-forth communication to swap shifts - time that her team could have otherwise used to help grow the bottom line. “(It) took too long planning and moving around the schedule (with Focus),” Mackenzie says.


How Smoothie King Solved Their Scheduling Problem

Smoothie King’s main pain point, however, was not being able to project labor and sales through their scheduling solution. Fortunately, Mackenzie had used 7shifts in previous roles and knew that it was the tool that could solve this problem and more for Smoothie King.

Implementing 7shifts at Smoothie King has dramatically decreased labor spending since day one.

“In one month of using 7shifts, all three of my locations have dropped their labor by 5-7%,” Mackenzie explains. The three locations used to spend upwards of 25% total on labor. “Now we are (at) 15% and below on labor spending,” she says.

With 7shifts at her disposal, Mackenzie has the data she needs to make scheduling decisions based on sales, rather than guesswork. “We have been able to accurately look at our sales to see where our labor is as well as watch our sales over the day to see if we need to let staff go home early,” says Mackenzie.

In addition to being able to better forecast labor needs, 7shifts has freed up Mackenzie and her staff to spend less time on scheduling, and more time on activities that help grow the bottom line. Mackenzie now spends less than one hour each week on scheduling.


Beyond helping Smoothie King save money, Mackenzie likes how easy 7shifts is to use. “I like the fact that it is an app as well as a website and you can do everything you need (on) both of them.” This means that Mackenzie can make schedule changes while in the office or while visiting one of the three Smoothie King shops under her purview.

She also loves “how easy it is to use for management as well as staff.” The benefits of ease-of-use for staff have been apparent. The 7shifts app has made scheduling mix-ups a thing of the past, which has led to fewer cases of employee tardiness.

Additionally, requests for time off have increased now that employees no longer have to ask managers about it directly. With staff coming back refreshed from time away from work, they’re better able to serve customers.

The bottom line? “From day one I have seen the benefits of 7shifts. It allows my managers to free up more time when scheduling because they don't have to always look at a calendar to see if someone requested (time) off or what their availability is. I would and will always highly recommend 7shifts to any business owner or manager,” Mackenzie says.

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Ana Cvetkovic
Ana Cvetkovic

Ana Cvetkovic is a freelance writer. She is also the CEO of BLOOM Digital Marketing, a creative marketing agency that helps the hospitality and tourism industries reach millennials online.