At the center of every great restaurant is a great team. And a great team can only thrive under outstanding leadership.
For gusto!, their leadership sees team management as their greatest responsibility. With that team, they've built a brand of 11 locations serving fresh, fast, and healthy food to the Atlanta metro area.
They have been featured in QSR magazine's “40/40 List of America's Hottest Startup Fast Casuals" for 2020 and made Atlanta Business Chronicle's “Fastest Growing Companies” in 2022 list. And they've done it all while building a team culture that any operator would envy.
We chatted with Richmond Green, Partner and Vice President of Operations, about how they use 7shifts to simplify operations and stay in touch with their team.
What did that look like before 7shifts?
gusto! started out scheduling like many restaurants do—on Excel spreadsheets. But as they grew, they turned to scheduling software to help.
“We used a piece of software called When I Work, and it's supposed to do a lot of the same things that 7shifts does in terms of like scheduling, labor management, and communication. But just not at the same quality level that 7shifts does,” says Green.
As gusto! continued to grow, they developed a broader technology vision for their 11 locations. The gaps in When I Work's integrations become apparent.
“[When I Work] was fairly isolated as we were looking at our broader tech stack,” says Green.†
gusto! needed a team management tool that would work with the tools they already had in place, like Revel POS and the ADP Workforce Now payroll platform. The team turned to 7shifts to help them manage their workforce.
“7shifts stood out as [a company] that had a larger integration ecosystem, was somebody that many other brands used, and the user experience seemed smooth,” says Green.
How 7shifts changed gusto!'s operations
“7shifts also does a lot of things that When I Work doesn't do, like the Engage tab, task management, and integration with our payroll software,” says Green.
They were able to use 7shifts features beyond scheduling to help save time on payroll and keep a pulse on how their team was doing across 11 locations. They also found a surprising amount of success with 7shifts employee engagement tools.
1. Payroll integration
gusto! takes advantage of 7shifts' integration with ADP Workforce Now. The integration allows for an easy import of worked hours from 7shifts' built-in time clocking app, 7punches.
“It used to be a multi-hour process every other week, and now, it takes an hour. So to check the time punches, you fill out your tip sheet, and boom, you're finished,” says Green.
With a simple export of time-clocking data from 7punches, the gusto! team can send numbers directly to their payroll provider for easy processing.
“The payroll integration has made a process that's typically a headache [into] a smoother process,” says Green.
2. Communication and team engagement
It's no small feat to keep in touch with employees at 11 different restaurant locations. gusto! uses 7shifts built-in messaging and announcements tool to communicate with their team.
“I think all aspects of the tool make us better. We use the messaging platform as one of the primary ways we communicate with our teammates,” says Green. But the gusto! team was surprised by how much 7shifts' Engage tool enables them to keep a pulse on their team.
“We discovered the tool early on, and just because all of our teammates have the [7shifts mobile app], they started automatically being prompted to fill out surveys.”
When an employee clocks out from their shift, 7shifts mobile app prompts them to rate their shift and provide feedback on how it went.
“It gives us a lot of valuable feedback on what's happening on the shifts,” says Green. Leadership encourages staff to leave more feedback often.
Shift ratings and comments are collected for managers in 7shifts' Engage dashboard. Along with engagement, leaders can get an overview of lates, no-shows, and dropped shifts.
Nipping problems in the bud
Through comments from employees, Green and his team were able to prevent potential problems before they grew: take the case of not enough aprons. “We just had a situation where I looked on there, and one of our shops had a couple of comments over the last few days of, “Hey, we ran outta aprons, and we've had to wash dishes in our uniforms,” says Green.
He reached out to the store operator and increased the number of aprons ordered from 50 to 80. A small change with a big upside.
“That may not seem like a big deal with the operator, but if there's a huge deal, that teammate doesn't have to go home with a soaking wet t-shirt,” says Green.
It's these small things that make up the restaurant employee experience. And being able to get out in front of them is invaluable.
“Like a lot of times, you don't learn your lesson until people start quitting, you know?” says Green.
“Then you have to dive into it a little bit more. Like,' Why are people quitting? Oh, they've not been happy for a long time because of these tiny little things that I didn't even know were issues.' We can catch those things and address them before we get to that stage.”
And they're just scratching the surface of what's possible.
Next up? Green and his team are looking at implementing Engage scores into manager performance evaluations.
An app that teams love to use.
7shifts has become one of, if not the most used piece of software for the team at gusto!. And the widespread adoption comes down to the fact that the team enjoys using 7shifts mobile app.
“It is so critical that you enjoy what you're using,” says Green. “It's how we communicate; it's how we schedule. It's how we clock in and out; it's our most used software besides our point of sale. It's just critical,” says Green.
gusto! came to 7shifts for a team management platform that worked well with their existing tech stack. And beyond that, they found a tool that helps them keep a pulse on how their growing team is doing, every day, at every location. “[7shifts] has been a tremendous help with our greatest responsibility, managing our workforce," says Green.
And they're just getting started.
†At the time of writing, When I Work did not integrate with restaurant payroll providers. They do now.
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