If you’re having trouble getting your managers and other staff members to remember to do certain tasks or if you feel you’re a bit unorganized and you’re looking for the perfect system / solution to help you stay on track, then this episode is for you. Nick has been using a system called Jolt to train his new employee’s and to hold them accountable of their daily and weekly duties. Nick interviews Share Murphy who works for Jolt to dive even deeper how bar and restaurant owners can make their lives 10 times easier!
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Nick: Hey, what’s going on, everybody? Welcome to the Bar/Restaurant Breakthroughs podcast. This is episode number ten, Easiest System for Holding Your Employee’s Accountable with Shane Murphy.
I thought it was important to do this episode, because from all of the different bar and restaurant owners that I talk with, and even just knowing from my own struggles in the past, having your staff remembering to do side work, remembering to do maybe your social media stuff for you on a daily basis, can get aggravating at times, because maybe they’re not doing the things that they need to do. But it’s because we don’t have the right systems in place to get them to do that stuff.
So today, I want to bring on Shane Murphy who works with a company called Jolt. This is actually software that I installed probably four months ago at Casey’s that has pretty much systematized the way that we open the bar, close the bar – just for our staff – and also how we manage some of the social media stuff that we want our staff to take care of. But first, Shane, go ahead and introduce yourself. Tell us your role with Jolt, and tell us exactly what Jolt is in your terms.
Shane: Absolutely. My name is Shane Murphy. I’m the head of sales for Jolt Software. Jolt provides an operations platform for restaurants and bars that provides tools for employee management and food safety compliance so that operators are able to see a ton of cost savings and especially an increase in employee accountability and efficiency and overall productivity. Our whole goal is to improve the communication channel for day-to-day operations and really enable companies to improve compliance to business and local standards. Operators have real-time visibility into their stores, what’s happening, and the quality of those tasks, even when they aren’t there.
We do everything from digital task management to audits and self audits, time attendance, scheduling, employee announcements, food safety labelling. We have a lot of products that are built to be a platform to help operators and to help line employees as well. So that’s a little intro to Jolt. The whole goal is to save people money, eliminate those double labor costs that happen from retraining over and over again and tasks not getting done and having to be done a second time – pencil [inaudible; audio cut 0:03:13]. We want to eliminate that and improve quality of tasks.
And even just with labelling itself, Jolt is a quarter of the cost of Daydots and takes a 30 to 60-minute project down to five minutes. So you’re able to cut a lot of costs, and even when you’re remotely monitoring different stores because you can’t be there all the time, alerts can go off, be it text or email, if certain temperatures are out of range or certain tasks are overdue or even when a certain audit or task is completed. Everyone has visibility and the ability to get things done the way you want them done.
Nick: I think that’s one of my favorite features is just being able to have that app either on my phone or on my iPad, and I can see what’s being done and what hasn’t been done. So for example, I just want to give some of the bar and restaurant owners an example of how I use it in my business. And maybe we can talk about some of the different ways that you’ve seen other bars and restaurants use it as well.
One of the biggest problems that we always had that just drove me nuts that I couldn’t find a solution for, and a little pet peeve that my dad always had and jumped on me about years ago, is no paper towels or toilet paper right before a busy Friday or Saturday night. Customers are coming to the bar and saying, “Hey, you’re out of toilet paper.” Well, this stuff should be stocked up from 2:00 to 4:00 every single day right after lunch so that during the night, we shouldn’t have to deal with that and pull a bartender or waitress to go in there and do that stuff.
So one of the features that I love that you guys have is where you have to scan a QR code. With Jolt, one of the things that we have as a to-do every single day between 2:00 and 4:00 is that they need to get this done. And if they don’t get it done, we can have notifications come to us, showing us all the things that don’t get done within Jolt.
We take this little QR code that Jolt creates for us and put the little piece of paper on the side, not where customers can really see it. In order for them to check this off on their to-do list, they need to scan it with the iPad or phone, and it will then check that off. So that’s a great way for me to know that they’re actually going and doing this, because the only way for them to get it done is to actually go and look at the toilet paper, the dispenser, and the paper towel dispenser.
So that’s just one little thing, but it’s also taking out the garbage or anything that you can think of that an employee can just check off. We’ve had these checklists before on paper, and of course they can just check it off and say, “Yeah, I did it.” Yes, you can still do that with some stuff in Jolt, but if you want to just completely make it where they can’t do that, you can just use that QR code for certain things that make them do that.
Another example of how I just started using the QR code feature a couple of weeks ago is our front door in the winter tends to not always lock sometimes. So we had our alarm go off because of the wind, and now we’re getting called at 3:30 in the morning. Well, what happened? They didn’t go check the door to make sure it was completely shut.
So now, we put that little QR code right next to the door on their closing list every single night, where they actually have to scan that and say “Yes, we made sure that this is locked.” Now, we haven’t had a problem at all with that. That actually happened two times within two weeks, about three weeks ago. But it’s those little features that I really love about Jolt.
The other thing that I think I love most and that we use it for is the training purposes. This is one of the main reasons why I jumped onto Jolt with your company was because I was so frustrated with the training systems we had in place. I should say this. I didn’t have the best training systems in place. I’m never there. I want to make sure that every single bartender and every single waitress gets trained in the exact same way.
So what I did was spend four or five hours putting together a training list of what I want the employee to know, what they should expect of us, what I expect of them, how we operate, and then just all those little different things they need to know about pouring certain shots, pouring certain cocktails, where receipt paper is, where the keys are to lock the door, where the keys are to go get liquor. There are all these things, how to change the TVs, how to change the sound. I mean, there are all these things that people need to know.
And over the years, I’ve had customers complain and say, “Hey, your bartender doesn’t even know how to turn on ESPN on TV number three for me. What do you have her working back here for?” It’s embarrassing. Now, with them going through this step-by-step training program that they follow in order, at the end once they go through their training for six, seven, or eight days, X amount of hours, before we let them go on their own shift, we have our own separate little test in there created through Jolt that they have to complete on their own in order for them to be on their own behind the bar or on the floor.
So those are just some ways that I personally use Jolt. The reason why I jumped on Jolt was because of the training system, because I want to make sure every single person gets trained the exact same way. One last quick thing that I love about Jolt, too, is you can record little videos and put those in there as to-dos. So you get a new person that comes on for a daily task and they’re like, “I don’t really get what this means” or “I don’t know what this is” or “I don’t know how to change a keg.”
I had our head manager take a video on his iPhone of how he changes a keg, how he drains the line and all that stuff through our line system. Now, if a bartender is ever there for any odd reason and can’t remember how to change a keg, there’s a video right there showing how exactly our system works.
So again, those are just some of the ways that I’ve used it. Why don’t you give the people who are watching and listening some other scenarios of how restaurant and bar owners are using Jolt to solve their frustrations with staff and management and systems, making sure things are getting done without them having to be there and check, every single day, that things are getting done.
Shane: Absolutely. I love those experiences that you shared, because it really highlights the problem that there are things that need to be done and we’re either spending a bunch of time for someone else to continually teach others how to do it over and over and over again, or as an owner, you’re spending all of your time that you don’t have enough of to go around, and that’s costing you. So it’s solving that huge problem for owners and operators and management in general.
Other ways that we see a lot of folks using the system are the photo items. So we have checkmarks, those QR codes that you mentioned, Nick, photo items. If you want somebody to just snap a picture of a restroom check to make sure that it’s not getting left a train wreck and our customers are having a bad experience when they go to the restroom, you can use a picture to validate those things.
Nick: I like that. I don’t mean to cut you off, but now that we’re on that point, I just want to explain how I use the whole picture thing. Sometimes I’d have some girls coming to work in hoodies. We have a dress code. Does everybody always follow that dress code? No. And we have uniforms, obviously, in place that people need to be using. I’m not there all the time, and my wife isn’t there all the time, so sometimes we’d find out that some of these girls and guys come in in hoodies, their hair up in a bun, looking like they just walked out of bed.
Now, what they need to do is snapshot a picture of themselves and upload it in there. It’s then sent to us so that we can see how they look for work, because we want them to come in looking their best, to make the most amount of money, and obviously we want people to look great when they come in to work. So that’s a way that we also use the photo as well.
This is whole thing that I love about this. It holds your staff accountable. They know that they have to take this picture. They know it’s going directly to you, and if they look like they just woke up and got out of bed, they know that there’s going to be repercussions. Maybe they lose a shift. Maybe it’s their third strike, and now they’re done. Now they know that they’re being held accountable.
When employees know that they’re not being held accountable, what the hell is the reason for them to do it if they don’t have that drive and motivation? That’s what I’ve seen and what I’ve noticed from talking with other owners and clients is you’ve got to find ways to hold them accountable, and Jolt is a great system for that. I didn’t mean to cut you off. I just got excited when you talked about that, and I wanted to share how I use that as well. But let’s go on with a couple more things on how people could use Jolt.
Shane: No, that’s perfect. Other common use cases are temperature logs, whether it’s your walk-in or even just food items, are we have integration with a Bluetooth probe to eliminate the human error that ever gets involved with temping. So your line items, if they’re ever out of a specific range for standards, it will shoot off those alerts right away so that you’re not serving bad food. If a freezer is out of temp, it will let you know right away so that you’re not wasting hundreds and thousands of dollars in product because a freezer or fridge went out. You’re able to be proactive instead of reactive, and that’s all geared to save the bottom line. You mentioned [HR 0:12:51] write-ups, too. That’s a huge one.
Nick: Yeah. Let’s talk about that, because I didn’t know that about the Bluetooth with the coolers and everything. That’s really important. So you’re saying you can put some type of Bluetooth device in your freezers and your beer coolers, and if it gets to a certain temperature, it will send you a text message or an email?
Shane: Great question. Later on this year, we’re actually going to be launching and introducing the temp sensors for equipment where you have a sensor in those units. And if something is out of range, it will create a new list on the iPad for corrective actions. It will let everyone know. You can track trends. That’s all coming out later this year.
Right now, we’ve got a Bluetooth temp probe specifically for food products where if you stick that in a steak or other item, that’s going to temp the food and if it’s outside of that threshold, it will automatically let you know. Generally, restaurants are having to do those temps every three hours, and sometimes even more frequently on the line, and making sure that’s in compliance is huge. All the auditors are going to come in and say, “Let me see your temp logs.” And oftentimes you go scramble to find all the pieces of paper, and there are holes all over that sucker.
This ensures that it’s getting done on time. If it’s not, it’s going to shoot off a notice. And if it’s out of temp, corrective action is happening immediately, not reactively, and you’re having to fight a food illness case.
Nick: Right. Awesome. Is there anything else that you can think of, any other kind of case studies, anybody that you’re working with that has used this to transform their business, their life? It’s helped me out a ton. And the other thing I just want people to understand too is the great thing about Jolt is you could have lists and reminders created where it reminds you like on a monthly or bimonthly or every six months time period as well. We’re starting to do that with our coolers to blow out the condensers, the beer coolers and everything, where that’s automatically popping up for our manager to take care of and do.
There are so many different things in a bar or restaurant that need to be checked, not just on a daily basis, but stuff like once a month or once every three months, and those are the things that I notice that I would tend to forget about quite often. So it’s great having these reminder systems in place, where it’s like, hey, I can never forget about this stuff unless it comes to me and I do nothing about it. But that’s what’s great is you actually have to check it off. You get the notifications if it’s not checked off. And if you find that you can’t personally do this stuff, that’s where you get your manager and hold them accountable to do this stuff for you.
So that’s the other great thing that I love about Jolt. Don’t think of this just like a daily checklist type thing, but it could be a monthly or bimonthly checklist for anything in your business that needs to be taken care of. Do you have any other kind of case studies or scenarios that you’ve seen bars or restaurants have a big transformation in their business from Jolt?
Shane: Yes, great question. The industry standard has come from paper, which this is an obvious transformation there, to hold people accountable. Like you said, accountability is absolutely key to running a tight shift and a profitable business.
One key standard, and what everyone has done in the industry, has been handwriting your expiration labels for food safety or Daydots. And people spend way more than they need to, not only on the labels themselves – they might be spending one and a half to three cents for every single label, and they’re paying somebody 30 to 60 minutes a day to go and write all these Daydots. There are errors all over it, you can’t read them, and it takes a lot of time.
Jolt’s labelling system gets raving reviews because not only do you take that cost per label from three cents down to .3 cents, three tenths of a penny, and save money there. But then, you literally take a 60-minute project down to ten minutes a day, and you’re either able to reinvest that employee’s time in the business and get more done and focus on the customers, or you can either shave off 50 minutes off the schedule and cut your labor costs by $10 bucks a day, and that adds up really fast.
So everyone, whether it’s a Chick-filat operator or Buffalo Wild Wings, whether it’s a large corporation or a Casey’s Pub, is generally coming to us and saying, “You’re saving us money every single month.” Whether it’s $400 bucks a month or $800 bucks a month, it goes up and up from there. This is a savings tool and an accountability tool.
Nick: You’re not $400 dollars a month or $800 a month.
Shane: No, that’s what they save.
Nick: Oh, OK. I just didn’t want people getting confused and thinking it was $400 a month. I forget even what we’re paying. What is it per month at the time of this recording?
Shane: It’s $50 bucks a month. It’s super cheap. I mean, we’re giving it away. When we started with just checklists, this was $50 bucks a month. And our philosophy has always been, how can we provide more and more value? So that’s where we’ve expanded to announcements, information distribution, training, labelling, scheduling, and the whole nine yards.
That’s why people come and say, “Yeah, Jolt is a no-brainer, because I paid $50 bucks this month. I made $400 this month from Jolt. That’s what it did to my labor. That’s what it’s doing to my hard costs.” Jolt is here to make lives easier and to save money at the end of the day. And that’s what we can do for any business.
Nick: Yes. It’s worth it to me. We’ll wrap this up, but if anybody is interested in Jolt, just check out jolt.com. Take a look at it. Do a demo with them. That’s what I did. I’m always looking for products/services, and I always use them personally before I ever recommend them to my audience. I want to make sure that I like it and there are no problems with it. I’ve been using Jolt for four months. I love it. It’s worth it just for me for the training, knowing that every single employee is going to be trained every single way that I want.
I created a short 17-minute video that they are to watch of me talking. Actually, it’s just a keynote of what I expect of them, what they should expect from me, and how I treat our employees. I want them to understand our vision, our culture, as a business and what we strive for in customer service. I think it’s really important that every single person gets that same exact message integrated into their head, and I don’t want there to be any chance of that message being misinterpreted by another employee or manager.
So for $50 bucks, it’s great. I’d pay more, knowing that I had this system in place. It eases my mind to know that I have a set system that ensures everyone is doing everything right. And if people are doing something wrong, then it’s my fault. Maybe my training system isn’t exactly where it needs to be, and then I need to go back to the drawing board to do that. But that’s what I love about Jolt.
Shane, I appreciate it very much. Again, anybody, if you’re looking for better systems solutions to hold your staff accountable, to get things done during the day and closing shifts, labelling, and especially training – training systems are key. If you have problems with your managers or staff training people and getting them to train everybody the same exact way, Jolt is by far the number one resource I’ve seen out there to be able to do that. So Shane, appreciate it again. Again, everybody, jolt.com, check it out. And we’ll see you guys on the next episode.
Nick Fosberg is known as one of the highest paid, marketing and promotional consultants in the bar & restaurant industry and he owns 2 bar / restaurants in the Chicagoland area. He's famous for creating some of the highest grossing digital marketing promotions in the history of the bar & restaurant business..... without spending a penny on marketing. All done through e-mail & Facebook posts. Click here to get a free copy of my latest book.