Trevor is a franchisee of three Boston Pizza locations, and he works under a larger group, Premier Group, that oversees ten locations (nine in Alberta, one in Saskatchewan). His day-to-day responsibilities as a franchisee fall into the realm of operations which includes finding ways to optimize spend and working with higher level management to achieve company-wide goals. With labour costs being the biggest expense for restaurants, it’s one of the key aspects he focuses on to reduce overall spend and maximize profits.
Before Ameego, Trevor built schedules manually with an excel spreadsheet. He would base shifts on year over year comparisons (matching needs based on the same day in previous years), sales projections, and updated labour rates. Not only was this time consuming and potentially involved some guess work, it was also very challenging due to staff turnover and of course, the lasting impacts of the covid-19 pandemic.
“Turnover is always a huge pinch point in the industry so staying ahead of staffing and training is always top of mind. Not to mention, covid was a special curveball that threw us for a bit but the team really came together, with many offering their services up for free which really helped.”
Once Trevor and his team started their search for software solutions to help streamline some of the scheduling tasks and increase accuracy in labour forecasting, they explored different products before making the decision to go with Ameego.
“I’m a big believer in trying different things until you find the right one. At one point or another, we used Schedulefly, When I Work, and Push. The decision to go with Ameego was simple – robust features, great functionality, and it wasn’t a steep investment unlike some of the other options that were available.”
To dive a little deeper into why Ameego was the clear winner, Trevor pointed to a few core functionalities and product philosophies that made all the difference, starting with Ameego’s POS integration – having payroll reports match with scheduling was a complete game changer. He also appreciated the fact that he could give input on the product if he came across gaps.
“The Ameego team is always trying to improve the platform. They always ask for feedback and they will actually work on building a solution for whatever it is we’re looking for. Or, if there’s already something in the works, they’ll share it with us so we know it’s coming.”
Beyond being able to give input for what to build next, the Ameego team has always supported Trevor and his team in a way that helps them maximize their investment in the product.
“If there’s a way for us to save even more money and time with Ameego, the team will help us explore how. In fact, they reach out to us as they see how new features can help us become more efficient. With labour being the biggest cost of the business, a software company that thinks with that first and foremost is really important to me. And, crossing off a few other things from the to-do list is just fantastic.”
Being a franchisee operator of three Boston Pizza restaurants, Trevor appreciates the multi-unit operator. This means everything is in one place so there’s no need to remember multiple passwords and logins. A few other noteworthy features include the dashboard that’s continuing to evolve over time to give real-time information and the ability to customize reports.
“Pulling reports for single and multiple locations has become a lot easier. There’s less manual work to sort through and within a few clicks, I’ll have access to labour metrics like sales, hours worked, cost per hour worked.”
Trevor also pointed to Ameego as a tool for helping his staff maintain some level of work-life balance with two key features: manager logbook and shift swapping.
“Typically, restaurants tend to use an app for managing communications like WhatsApp. Everybody is added into a group and another one is set up for managers. This means people’s phones will constantly get blown up because there’s always something to relay to the team. Having Ameego means that all communications are housed there so it’s much easier to keep your work-related comms separate from your personal comms.”
“Another way Ameego helps with my team’s work-life balance is the ability for staff members to easily view and request shift changes. It’s all within the app which means staff members don’t have to leave shifts in my hands and I don’t have to chase down people to cover shifts.”
Having been with Ameego for over five years now, Trevor can’t imagine life without it. He’s been able to spend more time on things that he deems most important like getting back to helping his team on the floor and reimagining ways to better his team by further coaching them in other areas.