OPERATIONS

Mama Fu’s rolls out online labor-management solution

BY CSA STAFF

Austin, Texas HotSchedules Tuesday announced that Mama Fu’s has successfully implemented the HotSchedules Enterprise online employee scheduling and restaurant labor-management solution and the on-demand Digital Logbook, for all its corporate locations in Arkansas; Florida; Georgia; North Carolina and Texas.

Mama Fu’s, a growing, fast casual restaurant offering freshly prepared Pan-Asian cuisine, completed the HotSchedules roll out in August.

Prior to selecting HotSchedules, Mama Fu’s knew that it needed a more robust restaurant labor-management tool to not only provide more efficient employing scheduling, but also to improve the quality and consistency of communication between managers. The Digital Logbook is already providing Mama Fu’s with a more permanent online record to capture and archive important data from each shift that’s easily shared and searchable among managers.

“We are constantly researching the best-in-class tools and applications that will improve our overall efficiency and make our staff as effective as possible. HotSchedules has proved to be just that for everyone from our corporate managers to our hourly employees,” said Steve McManus, COO, Mama Fu’s.

HotSchedules allows the corporate team at Mama Fu’s to track and review each store’s ongoing labor-management performance.

“This is especially helpful at the franchise level. We want to see our franchisees grow and be successful, and HotSchedules not only provides a more efficient way for employee scheduling, but it allows us to see how well our franchisees are costing schedules on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis,” said McManus.

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Retail leaders express concern with healthcare legislation

BY CSA STAFF

Arlington, Va. In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) expressed concern that healthcare reform legislation under consideration in the Senate would exacerbate many of the problems Congress has sought to correct, while also driving beneficiaries from the plans they know and like.

RILA and its member companies said they are committed to health care reform efforts that control overall costs, preserve the bedrock of employer-based health care, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and protect employers’ ability to design benefit plans to meet their unique workforce needs. In the letter, RILA urged practical changes to the Senate legislation that would protect the quality and affordable benefits RILA members provide.

RILA members currently provide benefits to millions of employees and their families. However, costly burdens, such as those imposed by the healthcare reform legislation passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the legislation currently under consideration in the U.S. Senate, could undermine economic recovery, cost more jobs for the retail industry and drive employees from the healthcare plans they currently know and like.

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Report: Retail employees lacking in customer service

BY CSA STAFF

Cambridge, Mass. A Retail Service Quality Index released Friday showed that retail employees are not providing high-level customer service.

According to data from The Salt & Pepper Group’s new Retail Service Quality Index, which measures 39 separate service opportunities in retail settings, service components dragging the index down include retail associates’ greeting skills, failure to recognize when shoppers need assistance, and a lack of leadership presence on the sales floor.

“Store managers and front-line associates are forced to do more with less,” said Rick Miller, consulting analyst at The Salt & Pepper Group. “They may be lacking essential training, and they appear to have lost their motivation. They don’t see that, on a personal level, many potential rewards still exist.”

In 27% of the 1,027 interactions measured in the RSQI study, the service opportunity being measured simply is not performed. In other situations, the skill level with which interactions are performed varies greatly. The study found that retail associates seldom initiate contact with shoppers appropriately, struggle to manage multiple customers in busy environments, and often do not close sales in a manner that strengthens the retailer-customer relationship.

However, the study found that the retail sector generally scores well on providing excellent check-out processes and clean, inviting shopping environments; it lags in the human components.

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