Rashay’s Pizza Bar Grill
Sydney’s western suburbs is home to more than two million people and its population is booming. That provides plenty of growth opportunities to feed the burgeoning new middle class.
One business, Rashay’s Pizza Pasta Grill, is taking advantage. It operates five restaurants in the south-west corridor of Sydney, in the suburbs of Liverpool, Campbelltown, Narellan and Mt Druitt. It operates two restaurants in Liverpool, with one located on the busy Hume Highway, which connects Sydney to Melbourne.
Now, in its fourteenth year of business, Rashay's has a strong brand name, and its pizza, pasta, and grill menu is famous in the West. It sixth restaurant in Bankstown, opened in June. Its hearty meals, polished service and modern facilities have enabled it to generate a loyal customer base.
Managing the bar staff, the kitchen crew, the front of desk people, the back of house managers, and the supervising staff, could be a headache. The venues are scattered along the western fringe of the city, and the Narellan head office is located in the deep south west. The Mt Druitt restaurant is nearly 50km away. In all, Rashay's employs 250 staff.
The responsibility for ensuring standards remain smooth and uniform falls to Operations Manager Brendon Ford. He had seen the Deputy web platform in action at a pizza chain he previously worked at, and could see its benefits.
“I joined the Rashay's business in October of 2011,” Ford said. “Deputy was the first major initiative that I rolled out at Rashay's. We were using paper sign on sheets and excel for rostering, and facilitating our MYOB system with excel.”
The key thing is that with Deputy we could stop doing everything manually. Previously we couldn’t read some of the handwriting on the paper-based time sheets and it was manual and very time-consuming.
Ford knew that the daily work life of his staff, and his own job, could be positively transformed by getting the Deputy system onto the computers at each restaurant chain.
“I thought Deputy was fantastic, very user-friendly, and a powerful integrated platform. It’s great for our industry and it makes me a better manager,” he said.
With fifteen staff directly reporting to Ford, he knew by putting functions such as staff clocking in and out, and shift schedule and management, he could gain visibility of daily operations. In addition, his direct reports can send out rosters to staff electronically.
“The managers can send out the roster by SMS, via the Deputy platform or email and that saves alot of time and heartache,” Ford said. “I can see those rosters and plan operations in advance much better, such as our recent Mother’s Day special offer,” Indeed, staff frequently drop their roster schedule into their smartphone calendar, making it easy for them to know when they are next required to be at work.
The communications, or announcements feature of the Deputy platform also enables Ford and his team to send out employee-wide news and updates, allowing rapid engagement, and a closer connection between management and staff. Deputy has become akin to an internal social network for staff.
We do use it like Facebook because it’s very interactive.
The journal component of the Deputy system allows managers to comment on each staff member’s performance, providing a significant insight into their work performance.
Ford can also assess the opinions of each manager, and then weigh up the skill set of an individual employee, after digesting each manager’s comments.
He can set rules whereby he is only one that can see what each manager is saying about their staff. That feature enables Ford to track individual staff performance, and improve the way he trains his middle management.
“It allows me to coach the coaching ability of the managers,” he said. "The Deputy platform really does improve staff morale, and the ability of our managers to do their job properly.”
Meanwhile, back at the head office in Narellan, Ford said that Deputy has shaved off fifteen hours a week of manual work for the payroll officer, while out in the venues, he estimates that restaurant management have eliminated around thirty hours a week in setting rosters, and getting the right staff for the right shift.
Ford said the Rashay's operations have been transformed, and everyone loves using Deputy, because it eliminates any confusion and uncertainty among staff, and he gets full visibility into operations.
“This is the way the world is going,” Ford. “Businesses need to connect with their teams seamlessly and quickly. This is the perfect system for a restaurant or hotel operation.”