Deputy and The Blue Cat Cafe make the puurrfect pair

  • Austin, Texas
  • hospitality
  • Deputy Premium

At a glance

Reduced time spent creating and managing schedules from hours to minutes

Peace of mind that the right employee would show up to work at the right time

Increased revenue due to more accurate employee timesheets

The Story

The Blue Cat Café, located in Austin, Texas, provides a unique approach to the traditional café experience. Customers can cozy up and play with cats, while also enjoying great food, good coffee and local music and arts. By working closely with local animal charities, the café is dedicated to finding forever homes for the city’s stray and homeless felines. In fact, The Blue Cat Café has successfully completed 130 cat adoptions to date. Customers can adopt cats onsite at the café, as well as purchase cat accessories ­ from food and litter to furniture and toys.

“I love animals and have been around cats my whole life. When I heard about the cat café trend, I knew I had to start one in Austin, but I had never done anything like this before,” said Rebecca Gray, founder and owner of The Blue Cat Café.

I love animals and have been around cats my whole life. When I heard about the cat café trend, I knew I had to start one in Austin, but I had never done anything like this before.
Blue Cat Cafe
The biggest challenge was managing my employees. From the kitchen area, to the cat showroom and lobby where customers interact with the cats, there are four different types of employees to oversee and it was overwhelming to manage them all. I knew there was an easier way to streamline this process.

The Challenge

Because The Blue Cat Café is a store, restaurant, coffee shop and adoption facility, Rebecca is responsible for many different business operations, such as sales, inventory management, payroll processing and managing 12 staff members. Additionally, she also has to support the cat adoption process, which averages 4­5 cat adoptions per week.

The café’s rise in popularity created an unpredictable influx of customers and individuals looking to adopt. As a result, before Deputy, Rebecca would often scramble to make sure the right amount of employees were scheduled to support the increase in business, all while keeping track of the changes to employee timesheets to ensure that payroll was accurate and her financial forecasts were on target. Rebecca also had to effectively communicate the weekly schedule changes to dozens of staff members and keep track of requested time off and shift swaps. In addition, many times, employees would have a co­worker clock in for them if they
were running late or they’d clock in well before they needed to begin their shift, which created inaccurate payroll reporting and a huge headache for Rebecca. In sum, Rebecca needed a quicker, more streamlined way to manage her team so she could focus on growing her business to support growing demand.

“I wear a lot of hats with my company, such as cleaning floors, grocery shopping and taking food orders,” said Rebecca. “The biggest challenge was managing my employees. From the kitchen area, to the cat showroom and lobby where customers interact with the cats, there are four different types of employees to oversee and it was overwhelming to manage them all. I knew there was an easier way to streamline this process.”

The Blue Cat Café needed a solution that could:

  • Improve visibility into the type and amount of staff needed to support peak and off­peak business times
  • Instantly create weekly employee schedules based on real­time availability
  • Seamlessly communicate with and update employees on schedule changes
  • Easily allow employees to request time off, swap shifts or fill their shift last minute
  • Automatic and real­time tracking of employee clock­ins.
  • Automate employee timesheet changes to improve payroll processing

The Solution

The Blue Cat Café looked to Deputy, due to its simple interface and high­level of integration with the café’s existing payroll provider, Gusto.

By integrating Deputy into the café’s existing payroll solution, Gusto, Rebecca can adjust the amount of staff scheduled for the following week based on business forecasts, sales and past peak/off­-peak business times – all from her smartphone or tablet.


Seamless employee timesheet creation

Rebecca can create and update employee timesheets instantly via her smartphone or tablet in Deputy, based on employee qualifications and availability. If a café employee requested time off months in advance, Rebecca can view this in real time as she creates weekly schedules versus relying on post-­it notes or searching through emails to confirm vacation approval.


Total employee accountability

With Deputy, Rebecca can instantly share finalized schedules in Deputy via push notifications to employees’ smartphones, informing café team members of when they’re supposed to arrive for work, as well as any changes to the schedule. Rebecca can also communicate with employees using Deputy’s journaling tool, noting when an employee has continuously clocked in late or recognize an employee who has gone the extra mile during their shift.


Ultimate control over employee clock­ins

By leveraging Deputy’s Time Clock feature via the Deputy kiosk, employees clock in while at the café using Deputy’s face detection technology, instead of having someone clock in for them while they’re pulling in to work. In addition, Rebecca receives an instant notification in Deputy if an employee clocks in too early, prompting her to adjust employee timesheets accordingly.


Streamlined accuracy of payroll processing

The Deputy + Gusto integration also allows Rebecca to automatically maintain accurate employee time by instantly rolling up employee timesheets gathered in Deputy into Gusto’s payroll process. This eliminated the need to manually update individual timesheets and re­calculate employee time in Gusto, due to shift changes or shift swapping, etc.


Instant fulfillment of last­ minute open shifts

Deputy’s Shift Offer and Shift Swap features allow cafe employees to instantly swap shifts with another employee or notify their team of an available shift, all while requiring the final approval from Rebecca. Rebecca no longer had to contact each employee to fill open shifts or swap shifts based on employee’s needs.

“I depend on Deputy for the majority of my business operations,” said Rebecca. “It’s not only easier for me to create and adjust schedules and communicate with my team, but I now have greater control into overall business performance.”


The Results

Within days of leveraging Deputy, The Blue Cat Café streamlined the management and communication process among its employees, enabling Rebecca to create accurate weekly schedules that were based on business forecasts and true employee availability ­ all from her smartphone or tablet ­ freeing up her time to focus on more important aspects of her business.

The results of using Deputy include:

  • Reduced time spent creating and managing schedules from hours to minutes
  • Greater visibility into weekly business performance based on sales and labor costs
  • Clearer communication of when and where employees needed to work
  • Increased revenue due to more accurate employee timesheets
  • Ultimate accountability among employees to clock in and out at the right times
  • Quicker, error ­free payroll reporting process
  • Peace of mind that the right employee would show up to work at the right time
“I depend on Deputy for the majority of my business operations. It’s not only easier for me to create and adjust schedules and communicate with my team, but I now have greater control into overall business performance.”

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